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Valuing the Toronto pick

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by NIKEstrad, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. NIKEstrad

    NIKEstrad Contributing Member
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    Long post ahead warning.

    I was just looking at the East to get an idea of whether we'd get the Toronto pick, and that conference is a mess. We need Toronto to miss the playoffs in order for their pick to come our way, and essentially that means we want to have 8 teams better than them.

    Toronto was terrible last year. They ended up with the 8th pick, but they were all of 1 win ahead of Sacramento, who had the 5th pick. They were 11th overall in the East, but a comfortable 12 games out of the playoffs. 14th place was only 3 games behind them, while 9th place was 8 games ahead of them.

    Toronto's roster moves
    Toronto isn't really losing much from last year's team. They only have 2 significant free agents to sort out in Aaron Gray and Jerryd Bayless. Gray started most of the season at center, but is obviously replaceable. Bayless is an interesting case -- he had a great PER, and has a load of talent, but has never quite put things together as a point guard. With Lowry on board, they don't need to keep him, but may choose to keep him (and amnesty/trade Calderon).

    On the flipside, they're adding 3 players to their rotation. Jonas Valanciunas (2011 #5 pick), Terrence Ross (2012 #8 pick), and Kyle Lowry. Projecting how these guys will do will probably tell the story.

    Ross is probably the easiest to project -- he has an NBA ready body, but rookie wings don't typically come in and score 20 ppg. In the last 3 years, top rookie wings have put up 12-14 ppg (they've all been college seniors, Ross is a sophomore), and that's probably a highside projection for him. He'll probably take minutes from James Johnson, but I'm not sure how much of an improvement to them he'll be in his first year.

    Valanciunas is the wild card. A lot of analysts said he would be a surefire #2 pick this year behind Anthony Davis. It won't be hard to be better than the Aaron Gray/Amir Johnson, but how much better? Last year, Kenneth Faried led rookie bigs in scoring/rebounds with 10-8. The year before, Blake Griffin was a beast, and guys like Cousins (15-8), and Greg Monroe (10-8) were also solid. I don't think he'll be Blake Griffin-like (though maybe?), but if he puts up Cousins numbers, that's a big boost.

    I won't go into Lowry, but he probably becomes their best player immediately. He has a higher PER than anyone else on their roster. Defensively, he's a massive upgrade to Calderon, and offensively he's better too. He needs to continue to show his outside shooting is not a fluke, and he could be in for a big year.

    Toronto also has a number of young players who could improve. Bargnani has led them in scoring the past few years, but I think he is what he is at this point -- a 7 footer who can score 20 a game, and not much else. DeMar DeRozan is a talented wing, but his numbers declined pretty much across the board from year 2 to year 3. Same story with Ed Davis last year, which falls in line with his career inconsistency. I wouldn't expect much improvement from those guys, but you never know.

    Basically, Toronto will be better. How much better I think will depend if Valuncias is Blake Griffin rather than Greg Monroe, and if they get good surprises from Davis/DeRozan/Bargnani. The odd thing about their team is they're very balanced, and so an injury or two shouldn't hurt them too much.

    As for the rest of the East...

    Playoff locks
    1.) Miami - Yeah.
    2.) Boston - They have a couple of years left. Bringing back their core and adding Jason Terry, they're pretty secure for the playoffs.

    That's really it.

    Playoff probables

    3.) Indiana - 3 seed last year. They have a ton of caproom, so presumably even if Hibbert walks, they'll do something to keep them in the playoffs.

    4.) Philadelphia - Playoff team last year, not really losing anyone of note. They could be in a danger zone if they get hit with injuries.

    5.) New York - Adding Jason Kidd to a playoff team that lost Melo and Amare to injuries for chunks of the season. I'd think their year will be less tumultuous rather than more, but we'll see.

    Wild card

    6.) Chicago - With Derrick Rose, they're a top 3 team in the league. Without him? Will be interesting to see what they do with Asik and what moves they make this offseason. With Deng, Noah, Gibson, and Boozer on the frontline, they're still a good team.

    Who is out?

    The two teams most likely to fall out are Atlanta and and Orlando. If everybody above makes it, (ifs on 4 of them) that'll leave 2 spots. Both could still make the playoffs -- even though Atlanta is in sell off mode, they've still got Horford/Josh Smith up front, and can potentially absorb Joe Johnson's scoring loss. Marvin Williams never did much anyway. Who knows with Orlando, depending on what they do with Dwight Howard. I think they're out, though.

    So who makes the playoffs?

    Milwaukee and Detroit both finished ahead of Toronto last year, and are generally moving forward.

    Milwaukee retooled their roster mid-season, but if Jennings and Ellis figure out how to play together, combined with the addition of Dalembert (they were a donut in the middle when Bogut went down, he's a substantial improvement), they are a playoff contender. Guys like Henson and Dalembert are exactly what they need in the frontcourt to support that kind of backcourt. Jennings rebounded from a down year, and will likely improve further.

    Detroit is a young team, that has some promising, improving talent. The Drummond pick is kind of a double whammy, as I wouldn't expect him to contribute to their improvement this year, but Monroe and Knight could both take big steps forward. Toronto will probably leap frog them, though.

    The others

    New Jersey is a team that was 1 game worse than Toronto last year. They've added Joe Johnson for spare parts, Gerald Wallace will be there all year, and the Deron Williams circus is settled. They've also added a Euro big that seems to be a player. Their improvements were probably bigger than Toronto's, and I'd look for them to leapfrog the Raptors with decent health.

    Washington is also a borderline playoff team with the additions of Beal, Okafor, Ariza, and Nene for McGee and Rashard Lewis' contract. They've been a laughingstock for awhile, but it looks like they've cleaned house, and Beal was a perfect fit for them. They were 3 games behind Toronto last year, but added substantial experience to go with their youth. They could be a .500 team or better and make the playoffs.

    All told

    So I think Toronto will be in the mix of about 5 teams on the bubble for 2 playoff spots vacated by Atlanta and Orlando. I'm going to predict New Jersey, Washington, and Milwaukee will remain ahead of them, and they'll miss the playoffs.

    I think we'll be looking at an 11-13ish pick...maybe even 14.
     
    #1 NIKEstrad, Jul 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
    9 people like this.
  2. Aruba77

    Aruba77 Contributing Member

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    Good post Nike. I agree that we are lokking at late lotto with this pick. For our best trade asset, that really blows. I dont know how someone can see it any other way. I know Morey made the deal to improve his offer for drama Dwight, but this was an incredibly short-sided move; definitely his worst trade to date. Very upsetting.
     
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  3. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    High lotto picks are the most valuable commodity outside of stars in basketball. I love Lowry to death, but im not sure how much higher you can peg his trade ceiling than mid to late lotto

    It appears to represent a better deal than was offered last week (lotto pick straight up vs the right to move up 4 spots).
     
  4. jdjd

    jdjd Member

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    Good post. I was a little upset at the trade at first, but I'm patient and I think they'll address the pg before the season starts. Other teams will began cutting their good players soon and we'll find someone servicable. I actually think the pick will end up being a little lower than that, I'm thinking 7 or 8.
     
  5. IzakDavid13

    IzakDavid13 Contributing Member

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    The Toronto Raptors are the New Utah Jazz in my books in terms of respect. They could've traded with us in the draft, in order for us to select the Big Man that we coveted, and still got their beloved Ross...but nooooooooo, they decided to play hardball and stick it to the Rockets.
    Well played Toronto, you got your prize, but stuff you for shafting us.

    A message to Lowry...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. AroundTheWorld

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    A lot will depend on injuries.
     
  7. NIKEstrad

    NIKEstrad Contributing Member
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    Agreed. One thing I forgot to include was Landry Fields to Toronto. That will hurt the Knicks and is one more piece for Toronto. I think it also further underscores that Terrence Ross will have minimal impact, though.

    Edit: Also, I'm going to predict Scola and/or Martin gets traded to one of those bubble teams. We've already heard about some Scola to NJ dealings (I'm guessing off the table now). I could see them trading Scola to Milwaukee (reuniting with Dalembert!) for Beno Udrih's expiring contract, for example.
     
    #7 NIKEstrad, Jul 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  8. JayGoogle

    JayGoogle Member

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    I think the Nets are a lock for the playoffs.

    If you just look at their team that's group of talented guys. Joe Johnson and Wallace are not world beaters, but they are good enough to get their teams to the playoffs. Along with Dwill that's a playoff team IMO.

    I think the Bucks can sneak in there as well. We shall see, but I agree that they are fighting for those last few spots.
     
  9. BamBam

    BamBam Contributing Member

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    Injuries..........The Achilles Heel of all teams!
     
  10. gsmiths_s

    gsmiths_s Member

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    Great post.

    I don't think Lowry moves them into playoffs either...
     
  11. Aruba77

    Aruba77 Contributing Member

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    Not really. Every draft is different and this past draft was a good one. But I want to state plainly that this is not a mid lotto pick. It's late lotto. Lowry is a top 10 pg on a very cheap contract for two more years. He's worth more than late lotto. You can't defend this trade.

    Dallas, and Philly needed pgs too. Why the desperation on our part? Only excuse was that Lowry screwed us by going public. If people want to argue that was the difference between getting mid lotto and late lotto, that's a reasonable excuse. But please don't pee on me and tell me it's raining.
     
  12. TexAg713

    TexAg713 Member

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    Agreed. Not to mention the upcoming draft is supposed to be very, very weak.
     
  13. supa

    supa Contributing Member

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    If he was a top 10 point guard we would have gotten more but hes not. What desperation are you refering to? We tried to trade him for the number 8 pick last week and now we got a lotto pick for him. Could be higher than 8 could be lower but obviously thats about what we thought his value was worth since we would have taken it last week. Dallas has nothing to offer us better than Toronto's pick and Philly has a young pg under contract that is on par with lowry.
     
    #13 supa, Jul 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  14. Aruba77

    Aruba77 Contributing Member

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    Please take that last part back about Philly. That's plain wrong.

    Name 10 better pgs than Lowry
     
  15. kevC

    kevC Contributing Member

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    What I posted in the other thread...

    Let's do some simple math to project Lowry's impact:

    The simplest approach I can think of Lowry's possible impact on the Raptors is using his win shares per minute and replacing them with Jose Calderon's.

    Let's say Lowry plays about 2000 minutes next year (a reasonable number with his history in 82 game seasons) at the same production level as 2011-2012, which was by far his best season. (.157 WS/48).

    .157*(2000/48) gives us 6.54 win shares.

    Calderon last year had .136 win shares/48. Let's say Calderon would have played 2000 minutes next season anyways for simplicity's sake.

    .136*(2000/48) gives us 5.67 win shares.

    So conservatively, replacing Calderon with Lowry by itself is probably worth only about a one win improvement in a 82 game season.

    Raptors were essentially a 29 win team in a 82 game season last year, so Lowry makes them a 30 win team.

    So the real wild card is Valanciunas, but I venture to say a 20-year old center would not make THAT much of an impact his first year and he'd be replacing Aaron Gray and Ed Davis's minutes who were not terrible. So let's be conservative and say he adds another win.

    So we're looking at a 31 win team here, which is probably good for about the 10th or 11th draft pick.
     
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  16. Aruba77

    Aruba77 Contributing Member

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    Good analysis. I have to mention that you forgot the new SG tandem in Landry Fields/T.Ross. That will improve their win total.
     
  17. BigM

    BigM Contributing Member

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    Morey couldn't move Lowry for a mid to late first rounder this year and I'm thinking he tried.

    He basically just pushed it back a year and in that light it's not a bad deal.
     
  18. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

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    Before the draft everyone seemed cool with the idea of dealing Lowry+12 for 8. Think about that. Lowry PLUS the #12 only netted you the #8. Yet people think Morey should have been able to get a high lottery pick for Lowry?
     
  19. Outlier

    Outlier Member

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    Lowry's value = George Hill's value when the Spurs traded him for the 15th pick.
     
  20. NIKEstrad

    NIKEstrad Contributing Member
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    They're going to take minutes from James Johnson (who I actually really like) and Linas Kleiza. I'm not sure there's a big difference there.

    I think the Landry Fields signing is awful value. It actually reminds me of the Linas Kleiza signing.
     

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