All-Star rosters will be released tonight, and while Wizards point guard John Wall will likely be selected, he’s borderline at best, and wouldn’t make the team if I was making the picks. I’ve looked at the numbers several different ways — total production, per game production, per minute production — and Wall remains just on the fringes of the All-Star roster.
This is in no small part because of the fan vote, which picked the starters in each conference. In the East, at least according to my analysis, Dwyane Wade, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony are undeserving of All-Star status — even as reserves. This pushes all guards down one spot, and all front-court players down two. In my analysis, the next guard up for the East: John Wall. The next front-court guys: Greg Monroe and Al Horford.
In the West, the only poor choice was Kobe Bryant, who received a career achievement honorific. The next deserving front-court player was Blake Griffin, whose injury would have pushed to next man up Dwight Howard.
Here’s the way Player Production Average (my metric, see below) would divvy up the teams:
|G||Kyle Lowry||Stephen Curry|
|G||Dwyane Wade||Russell Westbrook|
|F||Lebron James||Kobe Bryant|
|F||Paul George||Kevin Durant|
|F||Carmelo Anthony||Kawhi Leonard|
|G||Jimmy Butler||Chris Paul|
|G||Kemba Walker||James Harden|
|F||Paul Millsap||Draymond Green|
|F||Hassan Whiteside||Anthony Davis|
|F||Andre Drummond||DeAndre Jordan|
|G||Isaiah Thomas||Damian Lillard|
|F||Chris Bosh||Derrick Favors|
My guess is that Wall will probably be chosen over Walker and that Horford will make it over Whiteside. In the West, I’d anticipate Thompson over Lillard and Howard or Demarcus Cousins over Favors.
Those Mediocre Wizards
Talk about the Wizards potentially becoming trade deadline “sellers” inspired me to apply my “Real Trade Value” toy in an all-new way to measure the team’s pervasive mediocrity.
I haven’t written much about Real Trade Value, which is still a work-in-progress. RTV attempts to determine the trade value of each player in relation to the league’s MVP. In RTV, there’s accounting for age (younger players get a bonus; older players get a deduction), and total production and per minute production are given equal weight. So, RTV “likes” players who are young, productive and durable.
There’s no accounting (yet) for contract or position.
In RTV, the top value (this year it’s Stephen Curry) is set at 1,000. Other players are scaled beneath. The idea is similar to the NFL draft pick value sheet. A theoretical trade for Curry would cost 1,000 RTV points. Here are the players closest to each 100-point mark:
- 1,000 — Stephen Curry
- 900 — Kawhi Leonard
- 800 — no one (here’s how outlandish Curry and Leonard have been: Curry’s RTV is 1,000; Leonard’s is 878; next closest is Westbrook at 721)
- 700 — Russell Westbrook, Andre Drummond, Kevin Durant, Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Davis
- 600 — Greg Monroe, Hassan Whiteside
- 500 — Al Horford, Kevin Love, Derrick Favors, Paul George, Clint Capela, Chris Bosh
- 400 — Zaza Pachulia, Mike Conley, C.J. McCollum, LaMarcus Aldridge, Enes Kanter
- 300 — Ryan Anderson, Bismack Biyombo, T.J. McConnell, Jrue Holiday, Jeff Teague
- 200 — Trevor Booker, Kyle Anderson, Frank Kaminsky, Jeremy Lin, Ramon Sessions
- 100 — Mike Muscala, Jamal Crawford, E’Twaun Moore, Jameer Nelson, Kevin Martin
- 0 — Vince Carter, Sasah Vujacic, Emmanuel Mudiay, Markieff Morris
Got all that? There’ll be a quiz later.
In terms of actual trade value, contracts and position almost certainly need to be included. But, for looking at franchise health — weighing productivity and health vs. age — it works reasonably well.
Here’s a table with the results, sorted by conference.
|TEAM||CONF||NBA RANK||CONF RANK||FRANCHISE HEALTH INDEX|
The last column is a “franchise health” index where the top team (Golden State) is set at 100 and other teams are scaled below. The Wizards rank 19th overall and 9th in the East. League average “index” score is 69, indicating they rate a little below average.
IF this measure has any predictive value at the team level (and that’s a HUGE “if” because I’ve done precisely zero research on that question), the Wizards have significant work ahead of them to upgrade the roster.
Player Production Average
The ratings below are a from a metric I developed called Player Production Average (PPA). In PPA, players are credited for things they do that help a team win, and debited for things that don’t, each in proportion to what causes teams to win and lose. PPA is pace neutral, accounts for defense, and includes an adjustment based on the level of competition faced when a player is on the floor. In PPA, average is 100, higher is better, and replacement level is 45.
League-wide PPA scores through games played 01/27/16 are here.
The numbers aren’t too encouraging. Wall has followed up his Player of the Month December with a thoroughly meh January. If the Wizards are going to get back in contention for a spot in the playoffs, they need something closer to the December Wall than they’ve been getting.