Kevin Garnett  (35-yr old, ’13 WARP 6.4, ORAPM 2.1, DRAPM 3.6, 3-yr, $34mm) stays with the Celtics.   I like this signing for the Celtics, even though Garnett’s projected WARP will decline over the next three years (6.4, 4.8 and 3.4).  They’re overpaying him in year three, but he’ll be a productive player next season.

Gerald Wallace (29-yr old, ’13 WARP 4.2, ORAPM -0.8, DRAPM +2.9, 4-yr, $40mm) stays with the Nets.  The Nets slightly overpay for Wallace, who brings a defensive energy to the Nets.


The Celtics pick #20 and #21.  I’m hoping that they pick at least one of the following three sophomores.

Terrence Jones (6’10″ PF, Kentucky, projected by Chad Ford to go #17)
Will Barton (6’6″ SG, Memphis, projected to go #29)
Jared Sullinger, (6’9″ PF, Ohio St., projected to #19)

With two picks, the Celtics can afford to take a chance on Sullinger, who has been red-flagged with a bad back.


Charlotte receives
Ben Gordon (28-yr, 2013 projected WARP 0.0, -0.3 ORAPM, -0.8 DRAPM, 2yr, $26mm)
Protected 1st round pick

Detroit receives
Corey Maggette (32-yr, 2013 projected WARP -0.3, ORAPM -1.5, -1.9 DRAPM, 1 yr, $11mm)

I like this trade for Detroit. Both Maggette and Gordon are near or below replacement value, so the trade is essentially a protected first round pick for $15mm. Only the top 4 picks in the draft are worth that much.  Charlotte is overpaying for the pick.

Trade Analysis: Budinger for #18th pick

Houston receives
2012 1st round pick (#18)

Minnesota receives
Chase Budinger (23-yr, 2013 projected WARP +3.3, ORAPM +0.7, +0.5 DRAPM, 1 yr, 0.9mm)

Fair. Budinger is a solid young player who will make only $0.9mm before entering restricted free agency in 2013. On the open market, Budinger could be worth 3.3 WARP*1.6+1 = $6.3mm. The #18 pick in the draft is worth around $1.7mm per year for four years, so the exchange seems to be a fair one. Houston will reportedly attempt to package their picks (#14, #16, #18) for a bigger prize (e.g. Dwight Howard).


If the Cs get this lineup through trades or s&t’s, I’d be ecstatic, especially if they can somehow also keep Pierce and Stiemsma:

Rajon Rondo, Josh Smith, Andre Iguodala, Joakim Noah, Avery Bradley


Congrats to LeBron James who won his first championship at the same age that Michael Jordanwon his first.  Five more to match Michael.

LeBron James, MIA (2.315 SWARP, 30.3-9.7-5.6, 1.9 stl, 0.7 blk, 3.5 tov, 0.5/0.259/0.739)
Rajon Rondo, BOS (1.375 SWARP, 17.3-6.7-11.9, 2.4 stl, 0.1 blk, 3.8 tov, 0.468/0.267/0.696)
Kevin Durant, OKC (1.31 SWARP, 28.5-7.4-3.7, 1.5 stl, 1.2 blk, 3.2 tov, 0.517/0.373/0.864)
Russell Westbrook, OKC (1.19 SWARP, 23.1-5.5-5.9, 1.6 stl, 0.4 blk, 2.3 tov, 0.435/0.277/0.802)
Dwyane Wade, MIA (1.187 SWARP, 22.8-5.2-4.3, 1.7 stl, 1.3 blk, 3 tov, 0.462/0.294/0.729)
Tim Duncan, SAS (1.019 SWARP, 17.4-9.4-2.8, 0.7 stl, 2.1 blk, 1.5 tov, 0.495/0/0.707)
Kevin Garnett, BOS (0.757 SWARP, 19.2-10.3-1.5, 1.2 stl, 1.5 blk, 2.2 tov, 0.497/0.25/0.813)
Serge Ibaka, OKC (0.582 SWARP, 9.8-5.8-0.6, 0.6 stl, 3 blk, 0.6 tov, 0.528/0.25/0.722)
James Harden, OKC (0.582 SWARP, 16.3-5.1-3.4, 1.6 stl, 0.1 blk, 2.1 tov, 0.435/0.41/0.857)
Kobe Bryant, LAL (0.538 SWARP, 30-4.8-4.3, 1.3 stl, 0.2 blk, 2.8 tov, 0.439/0.283/0.832)
Andrew Bynum, LAL (0.513 SWARP, 16.7-11.1-1.5, 0.4 stl, 3.1 blk, 1.3 tov, 0.477/0/0.783)
Darren Collison, IND (0.484 SWARP, 8.7-1.3-3, 1.3 stl, 0 blk, 1 tov, 0.514/0.364/0.87)
Blake Griffin, LAC (0.475 SWARP, 20.2-7.2-2.7, 1.8 stl, 0.8 blk, 2.3 tov, 0.516/0/0.635)
Jrue Holiday, PHI (0.455 SWARP, 15.8-4.7-5.2, 1.5 stl, 0.6 blk, 2 tov, 0.413/0.408/0.864)
Tony Parker, SAS (0.446 SWARP, 20.1-3.6-6.8, 0.9 stl, 0 blk, 3.1 tov, 0.453/0.333/0.807)
Chris Paul, LAC (0.413 SWARP, 17.5-4.7-8.3, 2.8 stl, 0.1 blk, 3.8 tov, 0.429/0.364/0.86)
Roy Hibbert, IND (0.394 SWARP, 11.7-11.2-1.1, 0.4 stl, 3.1 blk, 2 tov, 0.5/1/0.667)
Carmelo Anthony, NYK (0.321 SWARP, 27.8-8.2-2.2, 1.2 stl, 0.2 blk, 2.8 tov, 0.419/0.222/0.756)
Marc Gasol, MEM (0.315 SWARP, 14.5-7-3.3, 0.3 stl, 1.7 blk, 1.7 tov, 0.517/0/0.794)
Paul Pierce, BOS (0.314 SWARP, 18.9-6.1-3.1, 1.5 stl, 0.9 blk, 2.8 tov, 0.386/0.31/0.894)
Al Jefferson, UTA (0.305 SWARP, 18.3-8.5-2.5, 1.3 stl, 0.8 blk, 1.3 tov, 0.529/0/0.25)
Pau Gasol, LAL (0.283 SWARP, 12.5-9.5-3.7, 0.5 stl, 2.1 blk, 1.7 tov, 0.434/0.4/0.828)
David West, IND (0.282 SWARP, 15.3-8.5-2, 0.7 stl, 0.5 blk, 1.5 tov, 0.446/0/0.818)
Joakim Noah, CHI (0.279 SWARP, 15-9.3-3, 0.7 stl, 1.3 blk, 0.3 tov, 0.731/0/0.636)
Evan Turner, PHI (-0.242 SWARP, 11.2-7.5-2.5, 0.9 stl, 0.5 blk, 2.3 tov, 0.364/0/0.688)
Steve Blake, LAL (-0.242 SWARP, 6.3-2.8-2.3, 0.7 stl, 0.2 blk, 1.3 tov, 0.419/0.419/0.714)
Jason Collins, ATL (-0.255 SWARP, 2.4-2.4-0, 0.2 stl, 0 blk, 2 tov, 0.545/0/0)
Udonis Haslem, MIA (-0.281 SWARP, 4.8-6.4-0.6, 0.2 stl, 0.3 blk, 0.9 tov, 0.455/0/0.743)
Caron Butler, LAC (-0.308 SWARP, 8.7-2.8-1.1, 0.6 stl, 0.2 blk, 1.6 tov, 0.375/0.286/0.833)
Mickael Pietrus, BOS (-0.326 SWARP, 3.5-2.1-0.1, 0.7 stl, 0.3 blk, 0.5 tov, 0.329/0.222/0.563)
Ramon Sessions, LAL (-0.401 SWARP, 9.7-3-3.6, 0.3 stl, 0.1 blk, 1.8 tov, 0.377/0.16/0.743)
Kendrick Perkins, OKC (-0.597 SWARP, 4.7-6.2-0.7, 0.4 stl, 1.3 blk, 1.5 tov, 0.416/0/0.8)


New Orleans receives

Rashard Lewis (32-yr, 2013 projected WARP 1.1, ORAPM -0.7, 0.9 DRAPM, 1 yr, $24mm)
Second round draft pick

Washington receives
Emeka Okafor (29-yr, 2013 projected WARP 1.4, ORAPM -1.2, 1.6 DRAPM, 2 yr, $28mm)
Trevor Ariza (26-yr, 2013 projected WARP 3.9, ORAPM -1.3, -0.4 DRAPM 2 yr, $15mm)

I like this trade for the Hornets, who are expected to buy out Rashard Lewis’ contract for $14mm. In essence, they got rid of Okafor and Ariza for a net savings of $29mm over two years. Those two players are not worth that amount of money, so the Hornets were wise to exchange them for a second round draft pick. The trade frees up cap space so that the Hornets will be well positioned to build around Anthony Davis.


Best Performances

Lebron James (0.197 WARP, 26-11-13, 2 blk, 1 stl, 6 tov)
Chris Bosh (0.202 WARP, 24-7-0, 1 stl, 2 blk)

In a rather anti-climactic fashion, the Heat dominated the Thunder last night to win the 2012 NBA Championship series 4-1. Lebron (and Shane Battier, Chris Bosh, Juwan Howard, and …. Eddy Curry) finally have their first championship rings. While Lebron James led his team to the championship in a triple-double fashion, Mike Miller reincarnated the phrase “Miller Time” and was a ridiculous 7-8 from three-point land last night. Russell Westbrook went back to his usual ways and shot 4-20 from the field. Kevin Durant scored 32 points but was plagued by 7 turnovers, but give him credit for continuing to play hard even when the Thunder were down 20 and the outlook was bleak. Overall, this was a team effort by the Heat as all of their starters scored in double digits. Though I’m happy to see Lebron get his ring, I am sad that this very entertaining finals series and tumultuous lockout season is over. Now onto the offseason free agent moves…


Best Performances

Lebron James (0.301 WARP, 26-9-12, 2 stl, 3 tov)
Russell Westbrook (0.225 WARP, 43-7-5, 1 stl, 3 tov)

Notable Mention: Mario Chalmers (0.181 WARP, 25-2-3, 2 stl, 1 tov)

Worst Performances

James Harden (-0.141 WARP, 8-10-2, 4 tov)

In what was probably the most exciting game of the series thus far, the Heat held off a remarkable performance by Russell Westbrook to secure a 3-1 lead in this series. Right from the opening tip, the tone of the game was fast and physical. OKC opened up hot this time around and were up by as many as 17 points in the first half, but Miami maintained composure and steadily climbed back into the game. In a back and forth 4th quarter, Chalmers came up big for the Heat after being cold for the past 2 games, scoring the Heat’s final 5 points. Lebron suffered what seemed to be painful leg cramps in the 4th quarter, but doing his best Paul Pierce circa 2008 impression, returned to the game to drain a huge game tying 3-pointer with 2:51 remaining in the game.

Though Westbrook was seemingly scoring at will last night, he made a critical error in fouling Mario Chalmers with less than 5 seconds remaining on the shot clock when all the Thunder had to do was get a stop in order to get the ball back. Thus, it should not come as a surprise that Russell Westbrook is the 7th player to make 20 or more field goals in an NBA Finals game, but he’s the first of those players to lose.

If the Thunder want any shot at getting back in this series, they need James Harden to show up. Harden looked tentative all night and missed shots that he normally makes (including a breakaway layup that he normally would have power dunked). If he doesn’t get his act together, he might very well get the label that Lebron had last year as the “choker” of the Finals.


Best Performances


All the stars had a turnover-ridden game (LBJ – 4 tovs, Dwade – 5 tovs, KD – 5 tovs) so no one made the best performances list last night. However, Lebron played another complete game, with a game-high WARP of 0.144 on 29-14-3, and once again came up big in the 4th quarter while KD did not continue his usual 4th quarter barrage last night. KD found himself in foul trouble yet again this game, forcing him to sit out in the 3rd quarter when he picked up his fourth foul. Thunder coach Scott Brooks made a questionable decision of sitting out a struggling Russell Westbrook at the same time and the Heat coincidentally erased the Thunder lead and pulled ahead to close out the 3Q. The 4th quarter was a battle back and forth, but ultimately, the Big 3 of the Heat were just too much for the Thunder.

The Thunder were uncharacteristically 15-24 from the line last night, which makes all the difference in the tight margins that these Finals games have been settled by.