Friday, June 18, 2010

Evaluating the Samuel Dalembert trade

On a night where the NBA world was mystified by a game 7 between the top rivarly in the NBA, I've decided to tackle the only other NBA news for the day - a trade by the Philadelphia 76ers sending center Samuel Dalembert to the Sacramento Kings for center Spencer Hawes and Andres Nocioni.

The Sixers have generally been unhappy with Dalembert since giving him a gargantuan contract he had no hope of living up to. Dalembert is a rebound/blocks machine but has hurt the Sixers offensively at times. The Sixers have a capable replacement in Marreese Speights, and they get Spencer Hawes as a younger backup center. Let's take a look at how these three players compare.

Dalembert: In Score (C-), Out Score (F), Post Def (A), Rebound (A+)
Speights: In Score (B-), Out Score (C), Post Def (C+), Rebound (B)
Hawes: In Score (B-), Out Score (B-), Post Def (C+), Rebound (B-)
Average C: In Score (B-), Out Score (D-), Post Def (B), Rebound (B+)

Dalembert is clearly a poor offensive player, but he is also an excellent defensive player and rebounder. He is the prototypical defensive anchor most teams look for out of their center, and the Sixers will be ill-equipped to fill that void with what they have now. There has been some talk of Elton Brand playing some center under Doug Collins, but with C+ grades in Post Defense and Rebounding, he won't be a solution there either.

Spencer Hawes has the potential to be the next Brad Miller, but he hasn't done much in his first three NBA seasons, and there's not much reason to suggest that will change with him playing behind Marreese Speights. Hawes will only be 22 next season, but Speights himself will only be 23 and the organization will be favoring Speights' development over Hawes (who is entering his contract year). Getting out of Sacramento is a good thing for Hawes psyche, but his situation hasn't exactly improved as Philadelphia is also a lottery team trying to rebuild, and he should only be looking at about 20 minutes per game pending any injuries.

Andres Nocioni is the other key piece in this deal, and very intriguing upon a deeper look. Nocioni of course is a tweener forward with a solid outside shooting stroke. He should fit into the uptempo attack that Collins wants to institute, and should bring some toughness to an otherwise soft team. However, the Sixers already have quite a few SFs on their team, and I take that to mean there's another trade in the works.

Iguodala: In Score (C+), Out Score (B), Per Def (B+), Rebound (D+),
Young: In Score (C+), Out Score (C+), Per Def (C+), Rebound (C-)
Nocioni: In Score (C), Out Score (B-), Per Def (C-), Rebound (D)
Kapono: In Score (C-), Out Score (B+), Per Def (D-), Rebound (F)
Average SF: In Score (C+), Out Score (B), Per Def (B-) Rebound (D+)

I am 100% certain Iguodala is safe, as Collins surely sees a lot of Scottie Pippen in him and he should compliment Evan Turner well in an uptempo attack. With Iguodala locked in as the SF of the future, it looks like Thaddeus Young is on the outside looking in (which makes sense, since he's a tweener like Nocioni). Young has enough upside to get a quality asset in return, and he honestly doesn't have much of a future in Philly with Iggy and Brand already locked into high paying contracts for the next three years. Nocioni is a downgrade from Young, but he's similar enough that the Sixers can look into trading Young without detriment.

At face value, I would rate this trade a D from Philadelphia's perspective. They downgraded their roster and added longer term salary at a position they are deep at. However, since I believe this is a precursor to another trade, my grade is inconclusive until the SF glut is cleared up.

To the point, Samuel Dalembert is a perfect fit in Sacramento. They have badly lacked any interior defense over the last few seasons, and Dalembert immediately rectifies that in a big way. He makes an excellent compliment to offensive Carl Landry, and should push Jason Thompson to a bench role (where he is honestly best suited).

More over, this is a flat out talent upgrade. Dalembert is much better than Hawes, while Nocioni's minutes are immediately absorbed by Omri Casspi, Donte Greene, and Francisco Garcia.

The team should be drafting DeMarcus Cousins which gives them Dalembert/Cousins/Thompson at center and Landry/Thompson/Brockman at PF. All they need now is a backup for Udrih (and perhaps a defensive roleplayer upgrade from Udoka/McGuire) and Sacramento's offseason can't have gone any better. I wouldn't say they're a playoff team as we all know how deep the west is, but they've got just as much of a chance as a team like the Grizzlies, and that's more than you could hope for from a team whose future is growing brighter by the day.


Anonymous said...

great analysis rashidi, not surprised. last night's game was totally street and odd to watch. do you think rivers should have went small and brought in lil nate when boston had that drought in 4th? or maybe replaced allen altogether?

Anonymous said...

First and foremost, I'm a Sixers fan and I have very little idea as to why we made this trade.

Samuel Dalembert was clearly a headcase who skipped practice and hurt our team chemistry, so I understand getting rid of him.

However, he only had one year left on his contract! The Sixers would have been able to open up more money to potentially sign a big name free agent in the summer of 2011.

That means this trade shows that the Sixers believe that they can win NOW. Why else would they make the trade for two players under contract for 2-3 years?

So going with the idea that we're trying to win now, the best players we acquire are two role players on a bottom feeding team?

I can understand this move as a team on the brink of being a championship contender and looking to solidify it's bench, but not for a team like us that's trying to simply find an identity.

Now, we're paying almost $8 million a year for 3 years to a guy on the downturn of his career who's only averaged 11 points a game. Spencer Hawes is really the only variable in this deal, as he has potential to become a better player, unlike Nocioni who's 30.

If we wanted a solid defensive role player like Nocioni why not resign Rodney Carney, who is at least younger and ten times cheaper.

Thus, I've come to conclude that the deal was strictly to acquire Spencer Hawes and we believe that he will be our center of the future. That's the only reasoning that makes this deal seem legit for the Sixers.

Anonymous said...

rashidi, when will you post the final ratings of la and celtics??

Rashidi said...

I understand it's game 7 and you want to go with your vets, but I felt Ray Allen was killing them. I would have went with Nate/Tony earlier just to give Rondo/Ray more of a breather.

Plus, Tony's defense would have helped when Kobe came back in the 4th, he got it going because he was faced up against a tired Ray Allen.

Perhaps Doc felt he couldn't take out Rondo because they needed every board without Perkins and they were getting killed on the glass. The Celtics would have won this game with a healthy Perkins, because the Lakers wouldn't have gotten half the offensive boards they did early, and the Celtics offense sputters whenever they can't get offensive boards. Celtics were among the worst offensive rebounding teams in the league this year and that was WITH Perkins so that was a very devastating loss.

Rashidi said...

Not to mention Perk would have helped keep the Celts out of foul trouble, Sheed wouldn't have fouled out, plus Sheed was pretty winded by the end of the game...

Rashidi said...

Also I'm posting LA and BOS today, their ratings are already done I was just waiting to update their playoff stats.

Rashidi said...

Now, regarding the Sixers and Comment #2....

The Sixers are in cap hell for the next three seasons. They're not signing anyone in 2011 with or without Dalembert, if anything they'd just end up re-signing him due to being capped out and they obviously didn't want to do that, they just got done overpaying him and they'd likely have to do it again to prevent him from walking.

Iguodala makes 12.4 million next year (his contract ends with him making 15.9 million in 2014), while Brand makes 16.0 million (his contract ends with him making 18.2 million in 2013).

Nocioni is only under contract for 2 more seasons. He makes 6.9 million in 2011 and 6.7 million in 2012. There is a team option for 2013 for 7.5 million that the Sixers (and every team in the league) would obviously decline.

The Sixers made the trade because they save luxury tax money for this season, their savings come to about 10 million which is pretty significant. They added more contract money (Nocioni and Hawes are owed a combined 16.6 million compared to only 12.9 for Dalembert) but because of the potential 2010 tax bill the Sixers actually save more.

The Sixers do like Hawes, and he does have some potential. He's probably a favorite to start over Marreese Speights because he'll play better with Brand (better passing/shooting).

I don't think Carney is much of a player especialy when they have Turner/Iguodala plus Thaddeus Young on the bench. They need 3pt shooting and Nocioni will help in that area, plus he's a tweener - don't forget Donyell Marshall was very successful in 2009 with Philly and Nocioni is much younger than Marshall was.

I originally thought Speights might be the one to explode with Dalembert out of the way (still might happen, he averaged 19 points per 36 mins last season yet only got 16 mpg of playing time), but now thinking about it, it's probably best if they trade him for a more defensive-minded front court player. Brand is under contract for the next 3 years so unless you plan on starting Speights over Brand in the coming future you're not going to get as much out of Speights as you otherwise could.