Did a lot of research, have a new plan

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by blueadams, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. blueadams

    blueadams Banned - Sent to NBDL

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    The old thread like this I created is still on the board. But I've done a lot of research and thought a lot about this the past week or two. I have a new plan, and sometimes these things are sort of lost in the 9th page of a thread.

    First of all, PERSONNEL. I've been getting really into the advanced analytics side of things recently. There appear to be three prominent sets of data. Basketball Reference's WS (total) and WS/48 (efficiency), John Hollinger's EWA (total) and PER (efficiency), and - the new one - Ilardi's WAR (total) and RPM (efficiency). It's hard to pick one, as all three seem to be theoretically sound, and return very different results.. So, I combined them. I took the top 50 overall players in each of the six categories, I found their rankings in all (six) of the categories, and I averaged them out into a FINAL blueadams ranking. The '04 Pistons might've not had a superstar, but they did have 4-6 of the top 50 players in the league, and I think that's still the model here.. hence my choice to find the top-50. *I'll be happy to share this data with the board as soon as I'm able to make it presentable enough.

    Based on this data, I have a new plan..

    #1) Drummond rated as the 40th best player in the league. Monroe rated as the 50th best player in the league. That's 2/5. I prefer to keep -- and build on -- what's here, rather than to move half of it. In truth, I still think the Drummond-Monroe combination works (but not with Smith). It makes us the best rebounding, post-defending and post-scoring team on the court most nights, and that's a hell of a great thing to be. Monroe might never be the Tim Duncan-mid-range machine that we want him to be, but as he and Drummond's offensive games develop, and chemistry between the two (without Smith) is developed, I think it'll make for a fine front-court. Monroe might always struggle against stretch 4's too, but many of them are going to struggle with him too, and I LOVE Tony Mitchell's potential. He and Drummond's athleticism together in the front-court makes me drool. I think he could be an excellent anti-stretch-4 off the bench sooner than later, and I want to see him getting a lot more PT next season.

    #2) Some salaries need to be moved in order for my plan to work. Either "Smith" or "Jennings, Jerebko and Datome or Bynum".
    ---Is there an at all realistic chance that Jerebko could be talked into not picking up his player option? I don't hate Jerebko. But his 4.5M salary is way too much. He hasn't (and I think "isn't going to") turned into what I'd hoped he could. He's been here too long, and his on and off-court attitude isn't what it used to be. Plus, I prefer Mitchell at his spot off the bench, and I'd really like to see him get minutes. I guess he wouldn't be impossible to move if he picks up the option. He's a talented stretch-4 offensively. He's solid defensively. He's relatively young. His attitude isn't a "problem". There are teams out there that could take on $4.5M.
    ---Is there an at all realistic chance that Datome could be talked into going back to Europe? He seemed to be 'the man' in whatever league he was in out there, and I'm sure he enjoyed it. Look. No one's seen enough of Datome to know what he is. But based on what I have seen (poor shooting, defense and about everything else in a small sample size), I'm comfortable moving on. I plan to move Smith and to bring in a new starting 2 and 3, I like Singler and KCP off the bench at the wing, $1.9M is a significant salary, and Datome's just going to rot on my bench. I guess he wouldn't be impossible to include as a throw-away in a bigger deal.
    ---I like Bynum. For a time there, he was "my guy". But I plan to move Jennings, to bring in a new starting 1, I LOVE Siva as my third point guard, and I'd like to have a (sorry WB) better backup. He shouldn't be impossible to move. Some talent. Not an attitude problem. Not a big salary.
    ---I hate Jennings, and under no circumstances do I want him to have anything to do with this team. Personal feelings aside, strictly speaking statistically, he is just a terrible player. He's still a name. He's 24. He scores 16ppg. Perhaps there's a struggling franchise lacking a point guard out there that needs to excite their fan base and sell some tickets this summer? That's our best hope. If I couldn't move him, I'd put him on waivers and tell him to stay home (seriously) until something got worked out.
    ---I hate Smith, too, and under no circumstances do I want him to have anything to do with this team. Again, personal feelings aside, strictly speaking statistically, he is just a terrible player. Beyond that, he is just an especially terrible player here, at the 3. He IS a great talent, though. His WAR did rank 38th in the league (which we'll need to sell). He is a name. He is exciting. He does sell tickets. His salary isn't absurd. He could be a great, great 4 under the right circumstances, elsewhere. It'd be a tough sell, but not impossible.

    #3) Goran Dragic (27) is the most underrated player in the league. By my calculations, he's actually the 9th best player in the league. The Suns were shopping him all season -- in part because he plans to leave as a FA next season (idk what's going on there), in part because they want to make Eric Bledsoe the face of their franchise, and they don't like the Bledsoe-Dragic back-court combination (for some reason?--it works). He's an undersized 2-guard, for sure, but he's obviously been more than holding his own at that position statistically (really, I can't emphasize this question enough--how many big, super athletic, great scoring 2-guards are there in the league today?). Should we ever encounter someone who gives him problems, he can run the point and I like KCP as a defensive match-up off the bench (it also helps to have a big front-court, Drummond and Monroe, behind him). How do we get him? I like the talent at 7/8 in the '14 draft, but not as much as I like Dragic, and I have an idea that might not be terrible. There IS going to be an exciting, big-name, young prospect available there. I'm sure the Suns would love to turn Dragic into someone like that, who -- in their opinion -- is a better fit alongside Bledsoe (they're also going to have two mid-1st-rd. picks...so they could actually build something exciting out there). Think they'd take our 1st rd. pick AND Josh Smith in exchange for Dragic? It works on the trade machine with a minimal contract addition on the part of the Suns. Bledsoe's a super athletic point guard that likes to get out and run. Smith, alongside Morris, is actually a pretty ideal situation for them in the front-court. Just an idea, but it could work. If not, I think the pick on its own would be enough to make it happen.

    #4) Kyle Lowry (27) is the second most underrated player in the league. By my calculations, he's actually the 11th best player in the league. He's also an UFA. He's also projected -- by ESPN Insider's Free Agent guy -- to sign a contract in the annual 5.7M range. I'd happily pay twice that. This is a no-brainer move, IMO.

    #5) Trevor Ariza (28) is probably our next best free agent option. There's not going to be enough left to make a significant move after we part with that pick. I've evaluated the market, and Ariza is our next best option. By my calculations, he's the 58th best player in the league, and that's the best we're going to do. If Lowry's projected to make 5.7M, then I'm guessing Ariza (who isn't even on ESPN's top-30 FA list) is expected to make less.

    #6) Chris Anderson (35), PO, from Miami, is also really, really underrated. By my calculations, he's actually the 33rd best player in the league, and he doesn't rate in ESPN's top-30 FA's either. He looks like a moron, but he does bring a little edge, and I think he'd make for an excellent backup big off the bench. Defends, rebounds, scores efficiently.

    #7) Patty Mills (25), UFA, from San Antonio, is also really, really underrated. By my calculations, he's actually the 38th best player in the league, and he doesn't rate in ESPN's top-30 FA's either. Nor does Isaiah Thomas (24, RFA), who ranks 24th in the league by my calculations. But I prefer Mills because he'll be cheaper not being restricted, and also because he's a better combo with Lowry--as he's an EXCELLENT 3-pt shooter. I also just love the idea of bringing in a Popovich-Parker-groomed backup point.

    So, your 2014-15 Pistons:

    C: A. Drummond, C. Anderson, J. Harrellson
    PF: G. Monroe, T. Mitchell
    SF: T. Ariza, K. Singler
    SG: G. Dragic, K. C-Pope
    PG: K. Lowry, P. Mills, P. Siva

    Reserves(?/traded/at home): Jennings, Jerebko, Bynum, Datome

    I love that team and IMO, it's a legit NBA title contender (depending on what happens with LeBron..).
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
  2. blueadams

    blueadams Banned - Sent to NBDL

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    Second, HEAD COACH: I set the baseline here at Lionel Hollins, as he's more or less already stated publicly that he'd take the job. In all honesty, there are really only two coaches out there that I'd for sure prefer to Hollins (Popovich and Brown), and two or three others (Carlisle, Thibodeau, Sloan) that I might. I'm guessing that all five'd turn us down anyways, so.. whatever, let's hire Hollins. I really did love that team he coached in Memphis. It was a tough, hard-working, smart, scrappy group that reached the WCF, and to whom winning appeared to come first and foremost. The players all seemed to love their coach, and to play for him, but also to respect him. There were two post-bigs who played very well together. I'd be pleased with such a hire (though I'm still holding out hope for Brown!).

    Third, GENERAL MANAGER: There are three executives I like in the league. Buford, Presti (an ex-Buford assistant) and Pritchard (another ex-Buford assistant). None of them make more than $3M a season. I'd genuinely see if any of the three had a price before settling for whoever Buford's current top assistant is (Scott Layden ~ I guess he drafted John Stockton and Karl Malone, hired Sloan and built that program).
  3. The Panda

    The Panda Garbage Post All Star Forum Donor

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  4. Walter

    Walter All-Star Forum Donor

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    Thank you for the post blue. It sounds like you did a lot of research and put a lot of effort into it. Chris Anderson is an interesting choice. He is the ideal off the bench big guy for a contender. I like Dragic as well, but I highly doubt we'll be able to get Lowry that cheap.

    I really dig the "blue rating". Would love to see your complete list.
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  5. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    There won't be cap space to sign those guys after we extend Stuckey this summer.
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  6. blueadams

    blueadams Banned - Sent to NBDL

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    I don't think so either. But like I said, I'd be happy to pay him twice what he's expected to get
  7. Laimbrane

    Laimbrane All-Star Forum Donor

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    First off, I'd like to see your blue rankings as well, and perhaps the methodology you used to rank those players. Any type of extensive work like that is always appreciated.

    As for the advice...

    Number one, Smith has negative value. Nobody's taking him unless they're moving something they don't want, either. There's a reason you didn't come up with an option; there isn't one. Unless you're willing to make your team worse to get rid of him, he's on the team. And that's not a bad thing - but more on that later.

    Jennings likely has negative value now, too, though with his age and name and semi-reasonable contract he might not be that hard to move. But this isn't other sports - you can't just throw a guy on waivers and get rid of his salary. If the Pistons were to do this, Jennings could basically go wherever he wants - even some team that's only able to give him the minimum - and still make whatever his contract is. In other words, if the Pistons were to waive him, he could sign with Miami for $750k/year, Miami would pay him that amount and the Pistons would essentially be allocating money and cap space to a guy playing for another team. And Jennings strikes me as the type of dude that would do exactly that, because he's gonna get his $8 million regardless of how big of a contract someone else pays him (unless it's more, in which case, why aren't we happy we're keeping him?), and it might as well be his old team footing the cap space.

    And yeah, there's a way you get players to go home/not pick up their player option. It's called buying them out, and the Pistons did it with Richard Hamilton. Now, Jerebko has said that he's thought about not picking up his option because he wants to find a better team, so maybe that works out. But do you think, after this season, that anyone's going to pay more than the Pistons are for Datome? Me neither, which is why his agent will tell him to just ride it out.

    Bynum might be able to be moved, but probably just as an expiring.

    If you're keeping Monroe, how much are you paying him? He'll have a $5.479 million qualifying, but he'll get an offer of at least twice that. I'd be shocked if he's playing anywhere next year for less than $12 million. Now, I like Monroe. He's my avatar, and only partly because it's a stupid picture of him. He's a very good post player, a Piston pick, and has been playing out of position for the better part of two years now because of Drummond and hasn't complained. But here's the crazy realization that I came to tonight while considering your post...

    Josh Smith is better than Greg Monroe in almost every way.

    I know there are a lot of Smith haters on here. He jacks too many threes. He appears unmotivated at times. You know what? COACH BETTER!

    But seriously... Smith is a better post player. He's a better mid-range and long-range shooter. He's faster and more athletic. He's a better defender, especially on the perimeter. He's a better shot-blocker. They're both good passers, so that's a wash. The only area where you could make a case for Monroe over Smith is in rebounding. But their rebounding abilities aren't that much different, and with Drummond on the team (and maybe Mitchell off the bench), rebounding isn't an issue.

    So ditching Smith in favor of a guy that benefits them less seems a little silly.

    As far as other players, I really like those free agents, and would be happy with any of them on the team. But there's no feasible way to get all four, not the least because Chris Anderson's already under contract with Miami for next year.

    Calling Dragic the ninth-best player in the league seems a stretch, and if he's anywhere close to that, then the Suns aren't going to give him up for just an 8th overall. Plus, if he's planning on option out of his contract ($7.5 million) after next year, and he's the 9th-best player in the league, then you can be pretty sure that he's going to get twice that on the open market.

    Lowry at $5.7 M is a pipe dream. He's averaging 17.4/7.6 with a 37.7% rate from deep. If Calderon, who's old, got $7 million a year, expect that to be the starting place for Lowry. You're looking at Brandon Jennings money - at least - for him. Plus you'd have to pay a "playing in Motown" tax.

    Similarly, Ariza's netting 14.6/6.3 while gunning over 41% from deep and playing solid defense. He won't sign for less than $5 million.

    Where do you think Mills is going to want to be a backup point guard - in San Antonio or Detroit? Not gonna happen.

    So while I like some of what you did here, I don't see it happening. But I'd love to get those rankings... :)
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  8. blueadams

    blueadams Banned - Sent to NBDL

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    1) I believe Smith improves A LOT of teams, as a 4. I believe that honestly. He's a great defensive 4. He's a great rebounder. And he's a very efficient scorer when he's attacking the basket.

    2) Jennings is a tougher sell. No matter how he's coached offensively, he's an overall negative net value, because he's such a poor defender. If a team used him as a scorer off the bench, and chose his match-ups carefully (i.e. had him guard non offensive stars), he could have a positive value...ala Monta Ellis with Dallas.

    3) For those reasons (along with ticket sales), it'd be possible to move both. If I couldn't, though, and I had a strong coach -- I'd plug them into the proposed Chris Anderson and Patty Mills roles off the bench, hope for the best, and continue to shop them.

    4) Hoping Jerebko opts out. If not, hoping Jerebko, Bynum and/or Datome can be included -- as throw-ins (perhaps along with our pick?) -- to make another deal work; I realize they have no value on their own.

    5) In my cap calculations, I projected Monroe as ESPN does, at 12.5M/season.

    6) I actually agree that Smith is a better player than Monroe. But there are two important issues you ignore. 1) Andre Drummond is the future of this team. His prime is, likely, our prime. He is 20 years old. Greg Monroe is 3 years older than him. Josh Smith is 8 years older than him. That's a major issue. 2) Josh Smith, given his age and contract, is -- inevitably -- in the leadership position of this young team. Josh Smith is a terrible leader. Greg Monroe isn't.

    7) Chris Anderson has a player option at the end of this season and he's making almost league minimum right now. He'd be a complete fool not to opt out after having this incredible season he's in the midst of.

    8) The calculations I did are the calculations I did. He's 9th. The suns seem to undervalue him (according to trade rumors), just as the rest of the league does. If we were to acquire him, I'd be happy to go over the cap to resign him (as we'd be allowed to) at the end of next season.

    9) I also stated in the post that I'd be happy to be Lowry twice what he's being projected to earn.

    10) Ariza wasn't listed in ESPN's top-30 free agents, so I had no projected contract to use as a starting point. I penciled him in at his current contract in my cap calculations (7.7M-an exaggeration) to veer on the safe side.

    11) Mills isn't being paid what he should be in San Antonio. It'd take a raise to get him.

    *I'm about to post the rankings...just finishing cleaning them up. It takes time and you'll see why.
  9. Walter

    Walter All-Star Forum Donor

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    I highly doubt Jerebko would opt out. He hasn't been given an opportunity to showcase himself for his next contract. Based on his current level of play, he'd be lucky to get $1.5M or so a year. Opting out for him would be throwing about $2.5-3M down the toilet. Next year, he'll still be young enough that someone will pick him up. And who knows, the situation next year might allow him to increase his stock value. It certainly can't go any lower than where it is right now.

    I really think that he'll be used as a trade filler by the new GM for some draft day trades.
  10. Kristijan Francina

    Kristijan Francina First Round Draft Pick

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    Yeah and you have 16 player in rotation ;-)

    Sent from my C6603 using Tapatalk
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  11. Mogilny

    Mogilny All-Star Forum Donor

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    Dragic is a top 5 guard in the league. I don't see why he would get less than Monroe.
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  12. blueadams

    blueadams Banned - Sent to NBDL

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    Making it more simple, one sec..
  13. blueadams

    blueadams Banned - Sent to NBDL

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    Dragic is under contract next season. If we acquired him, we wouldn't need to worry about resigning him until after next season. At that point, we could go over the cap to RE-sign him.
  14. The Panda

    The Panda Garbage Post All Star Forum Donor

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    Depends how far over the cap. From memory if we hit tax (which we might in this scenario) then it becomes a mini MLE - around 2.5 or 3m

    6) You don't dump talent. And Monroe is not a better leader. He walks back on defense and has no fire. I would much rather Josh Smith (squarely in his prime) playing with Drummond (quickly become a monstrosity) than mopey mc no defense. Monroe also adds to our spacing problems because he has no range and no ability to make cuts or dribble drives. Josh Smith does both of these things at an elite level when he wants to.

    7) Chris Andersen is getting rings on his finger and is 35 years old. He loves playing in Miami and has been completely rejuvenated there. WHY WOULD HE GO TO DETROIT?

    8) Goran Dragic is averaging 20/6/4 on 50/40/76 shooting. He is pretty much Durant-lite at the moment except for the foul shooting. Trust me, this guy is getting a massive payday from somebody and it will absolutely be 8 figures.

    9) We are going to have to be prepared to. Lowry has been one of the best point guards in the east, if not the league and a huge reason why Toronto is now fighting for the 3rd seed. Rumours are that Toronto wants to resign him so good luck to us.

    10) Trevor Ariza is a generally crappy player having a contract year. He hasn't turned the corner. No way I fork out money for him unless we have a very good coaching hire.

    11) Yeah but he loves being there and he is being very well developed by one of the best coaches in the history of basketball. He will get a raise next year and he will get more playing time. He isn't coming to Detroit without starters minutes and money.
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  15. blueadams

    blueadams Banned - Sent to NBDL

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    Here we go, people. IT WORKS. Here's a very, very simple explanation of HOW it works:

    i) Starting point: 40.1M in committed salaries. Salary Cap for '14/'15 season is 62.1M. "Tax" cap is 75.7M. We're starting off with 22M in cap space.

    1) Trade our '14 (or '15?) 1st rd. draft pick for G. Dragic. His salary is 7.5M. This leaves us with 47.6M in committed salaries, 14.5M in cap space.

    2) Sign K. Lowry. Expecting him to get about 9M/season. This leaves us with 56.6M in committed salaries, 5.5M in cap space.

    3) Sign T. Ariza. Expecting him to get about 4M/season. This leaves us with 60.6M in committed salaries, 1.5M in cap space.

    4) Go over the salary cap to resign our own restricted free agent, G. Monroe (legal!!). Expecting him to get about 12.5M/season (*14.5M would be the absolute maximum salary he could get). This leaves us with 73.1M in committed salaries, 11M over the salary cap, 2.6M below the "tax" cap.

    ***If Tom Gores is willing to pay the luxury tax*** (we'd be in the lowest "offender" category)

    5) Over the salary cap, use our MLE (legal!!) to sign C. Anderson. Expecting him to get about 4M/season. This leaves us with 77.1M in committed salaries, 15M over the salary cap, 1.4M above the "tax" cap, meaning that we'd have to pay 2.1M in tax (not that bad, right?).

    6) Then we'd have to buy-out L. Datome to get the roster down to 15.

    ...

    and

    ...

    we're left with -- drumroll -- THIS incredible roster:

    C: A. Drummond-#40(20)(2.6M), C. Anderson-#33(35)(*4M), J. Harrellson(0.9M)
    PF: G. Monroe-#50(23)(*12.5M), J. Smith-#93(28)(14M), T. Mitchell-nr(22)(0.8M)
    SF: T. Ariza-#58(28)(*4M), K. Singler-nr(25)(1.1M), J. Jerebko-nr(27)(4.5M)
    SG: G. Dragic-#9(27)(7.5M), K. C-Pope-nr(21)(2.7M), P. Siva-nr(23)(0.8M)
    PG: K. Lowry-#11(27)(*9M), B. Jennings-nr(24)(8M), W. Bynum-nr(31)(2.9M)

    *Name-blueadams ranking(age)(salary)
  16. blueadams

    blueadams Banned - Sent to NBDL

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    Incorrect. If we paid the tax THIS season, then our maximum MLE would be a little over 3.09M. But since we didn't pay the tax THIS season, our maximum MLE would be a little over 5.15M.
  17. blueadams

    blueadams Banned - Sent to NBDL

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  18. blueadams

    blueadams Banned - Sent to NBDL

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    Due to concerns about being able to sign K. Lowry, I've adjusted "the plan".

    i) Starting point: 40.1M in committed salaries. Salary Cap for '14/'15 season is 62.1M. "Tax" cap is 75.7M. We're starting off with 22M in cap space.
    2) Trade our '14 (or '15?) 1st rd. draft pick for G. Dragic. His salary is 7.5M. This leaves us with 47.6M in committed salaries, 14.5M in cap space.
    3) Sign K. Lowry. *I'll pencil him in at the absolute maximum we could give him ~ 14.5M. This leaves us with 62.1M in committed salaries, 0M in cap space.
    4) Sign T. Ariza to the maximum MLE salary, 5.2M. This leaves us with 67.3M in committed salaries, 5.2M over the cap.
    5) Resign G. Monroe. I'll pencil him in HIS absolute maximum salary we could give him ~ 14.5m. This leaves us with 81.8M in committed salaries, 19.7M over the cap, 6.1M over the "tax" cap (2nd tier status, 10.7M punishment).

    Roster:
    C: A. Drummond-#40(20)(2.6M), G. Monroe-#50(23)(*14.5M), J. Harrellson-nr(25)(0.9M)
    PF: J. Smith-#93(28)(14M), T. Mitchell-nr(22)(0.8M), x-J. Jerebko-nr(27)(4.5M)
    SF: T. Ariza-#58(28)(*4M), K. Singler-nr(25)(1.1M), x-L. Datome-nr(26)(1.8M)
    SG: G. Dragic-#9(27)(7.5M), K. C-Pope-nr(21)(2.7M), P. Siva-nr(23)(0.8M)
    PG: K. Lowry-#11(27)(*14.5M), B. Jennings-nr(24)(8M), x-W. Bynum-nr(31)(2.9M)

    That's an absolute worst-case scenario, too. I highly, highly doubt Monroe, Lowry or Ariza get those salaries.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2014
  19. blueadams

    blueadams Banned - Sent to NBDL

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    lol. Chris Anderson picked up his TO for next season. Wrong on that one.
  20. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    That's too bad. Giving Birdman $26 million to play for the Pistons until he is 40 years old seems like a great idea.

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