With the return of Avery Bradley now official, we now find ourselves with a bit of a dilemma in the backcourt.
We have 5 quality players (Rondo, Barboa, Bradley, Terry, Lee) trying to share time in a so-so backcourt. We only have space for 3 or 4 of those guys, which means at least one of them is likely to get traded out as Jan 15 nears.
My idea with this thread is to look at who of these guys is most valuable to us both as a player and as a trade asset.
Here are my thoughts, along with my rating on how willing I would be to trade each player. The trade rating is out of 5 and is as follows:
0/5 - not willing to trade at all
1/5 - willing to trade if the return brings an All-Star or potential franchise player
2/5 - willing to trade if the return brings major improvement brings major improvement
3/5 - willing to trade if the return brings significant improvement
4/5 - willing to trade even if the return brings slight improvement
5/5 - Would do anything to get rid of the person, even if it means getting nothing back
1. Leandro Barbosa
As a person Barbosa has a positive attitude and seems to be an easy guy for teammates to get along with. On the court his effort level seems to be solid, if not inspirational. He has exceptional athleticism, but at ~30 years old has no real upside to his game.
Offensively Barbosa's biggest asset is his ability to put points on the board FAST when he's hot. He is the type of player who can score 12 points in 4 minutes when he's feelng it, and he can score equally effectively from outside or by driving to the basket. He's a fairly stead ball handler and rarely turns the ball over, but he's no playmaking PG. His downside is that he's very streaky - he'll either score in bucketloads or he'll do nothing at all. You never know what you're going to get from him.
Defensively Barbosa gives good effort but gives up a lot of points. Neither his on-ball defense nor his team defense are especially great, and I think it's safe to say he's out weakest defensive backcourt player.
As far as trade value goes I think Barbosa's is relatively high. Firstly he is on a one year veteran minimum contract, which means any team who picks him up is taking an incrdibly low risk. Secondly there are a lot of teams out there who could use an athletic, high volume scorer as an addition to their roster. Thirdly he's got the size, quickness and handles to play either PG or SG if needed. Considering the talent he offers Barbosa is incredibly good value for a vet min deal, and I think he could be a potential difference maker if added as 'filler' in a trade.
As far as his value to us, Leandro Barbosa comes to mind as our least vital guard. He has solid value to opposing teams at his current low cost, and yet he has fairly low value to our team because we are already quite deep at guard and he doesnt really offer anthing we dont already ahve. He'd be the first person I'd look to trade, but his low contract and niche skill set means he'd be more useful as filler rather than as a key piece. I wouldn't mind throwing him in, but first we'd need a piece that's significant enough to grab initial interest.
Willingness to trade - 4/5
2. Courtney Lee
For several months I've been anti-Lee guy, but I have to admit that the last few games he's been getting better and he is slowly but surely winning me over.
As a person Lee has a 'good guy' reputation. He's seen as a respectful player who's easy to coach and who's not the type to whinge or complain if things aren't going his way. He's very athletic and has decent size for SG. His effort level ranges from about 30% (invisible) to 100%(exceptional), and which one you get seemingly depends on the day.
Defensively Lee has struggled a little with his team defense, and despite his quickness he tends to be slow at closing out on perimeter shooters. His defense on the ball has been nice and he does a good job of bodying up on guys and forcing them to take contested shots when they attack him off the dribble. He does a very good job of chasing loose balls, getting defletions and getting in the passing lanes.
Ofensively Lee has struggled with his outside shot, something he has historically been quite consistent with. On the other hand he's very good job of driving to the basket. He also finishes well on drives, often scoring on off-ballance layups and tightly contested shots around the basket. His midrange game has been excellent this season, and he is currently shooting 49% from that range.
In terms of trade value I'd say Lee is about average, maybe slightly above average. His positive attitude and reputation helps his trade value, as does his willingness to come off the bench and the fact that his play is steady improving as of late. His value held back by the fact that he's a jack-of-all-trades player who doesn't really specialise in any one skill, along with the fact that his ceiling is already established and he has minimal potential to improve beyond what we have from him in the past few years.
Lee's main value to us is that he has decent size at the SG spot, and he's one of the few guards on our team who is skilled at scoring off drives to the basket. He's not as good as Bradley defensively and he's not as good as Terry offensively, so he's replacable in both areas. He's a nice player that I like to have, but his trade value is solid for any team, and he might be useful in bringing us a solid upgrade up front.
Willingness to trade - 3/5
2. Jason Terry
As a person Terry's advantages are his passion (see: the Boston Tattoo), his work ethic, his championship experience and his veteran leadership. Though he's struggled with his shot at times this season, his effort level is consistetly high.
Defensively Terry is not elite individually, but he does plays good team defense. He does a nice job of reading and reacting and he does a good job of closing out on shooters early and being in the right positions at the right times. He's also not afraid to take the occasional charge.
Offensively Terry's greatest assets is his shooting ability, and more importantly his ability to score in the clutch. He's been in a bit of a funk lately but for his career Terry has been one of the NBA's all-time great 3 point shooters, while he's also a good shooter from midrange. He's very good at pulling up off the dribble and can occasioanlly score off drives to the basket as well. Terry is valuable to us because with the Rondo's lack of range, Bradley's recovery from injury and the inconsistent shooting of Lee and Barbosa, Terry is really the only legit outside shooting threat we have in our backcourt. As long as he is here the defense must respect his shot, but if we lose him in a trade the defense can afford to collapse into a zone to stop penetration and we have no real threat to make them pay for it.
The other great value with Terry is that he is one of the games' elite clutch scorers. As we saw today Terry is the type of guy who could shoot 1-10 in the first three quarters, but then go 3-4 in the closing minutes to either win (or bring us back in to) the game. It's easy to find scorers/shooters, but it's hard to find scorers/shooters that LIVE for the big moments and that's why Terry is more valuable to us then we have yet had a chance to realise. his true value will come out if/when we get to the playoffs, where he has a tendancy to really come alive.
Terry has low trade value to a young and rebuilding team, but he has very high trade value to a contender because of his leadership, his championship experience and his proven ability to take over a game in clutch situations. his trade value is further strengthened by the fact that he is master at coming off the bench, and he would be a major asset to almost any team's second unit.
Jason Terry has good value to us right now, but he isn't the difference between a lottery team and a playoff team. He's not a game changer, at least not in the regular season. However, if we plan on getting to the playoffs, Jason Terry will most likely be one of the top 5 most valuable players on this team. After Pierce Terry is the only guy on our roster who is know for his clutch shooting, and along with Rondo/Pierce/KG he's the only other player on the team with championship experience. Also important is the fact that Terry is really the only consistent double figure scorer off our bench - Jeff Green, Courtney Lee, Barbosa, Sullinger and Bass have all been inconsistent on the offensive end while Terry can generally be depended on to give us double figure scoring every night off the bench. If we go into rebuilding mode then Terry is more useful as trade bait, but if we make it to the playoffs and make a run at a title he's going to be a critical piece. The fact that he's our only consistent perimeter threat also makes him an important player to us. If we did consider trading him we would NEED to get a proven outside shooter back in the deal, and Terry probably doesn't have the trade value to bring back a proven shooter AND a quality big man. Overall I think he's more valuable on our roster then he is on the market - I'd rather keep him, but if the return was right you'd have to consider it.
Willingness to trade - 2/5
4. Avery Bradley
As a person Bradley is exactly the kind of guy most teams would love to have. He is young and enthusiastic, he's a respectful and willing learner, he has a positive attitude. Physically he is strong and exceptionally athletic. He work ethic strong to the point of contagious - the effort level of other pays often increases when Bradley is around.
Defensively Bradley's impact is undeniable. He is arguably the best on-ball defender in the league and there is no argument that he is at least top 5 in that regard. He excels at getting right into the personal space of opposing players to the point where they get so concerned about Bradley that they stop paying attention to what they're doing, often leading to bad passes and sloppy turnovers. His ability to apply full court pressure can strongly delay opposing teams from bringing the ball across half court, often forcing them to start their offense with only 12-14 seconds on the clock. He's rotates very well on defense and closes out well on shooters, and often gets into passing lanes for steals and deflections. His physical strength allows him to effectively defend players who are significantly larger than he is.
Offensively Bradley is an exceptionally good cutter who moves very well without the ball, and he often gets easy layups off back door cuts. He's a decent shooter from midrange and from outside, but hasn't seen enough court time to earn the respect of opposing teams in that regard. He's an average passer and ballhandler for a guard, and these are areas that need improvement.
Bradley's trade value is very high. First of all his trade value is given a big boost by his personality, with his modesty and work ethic being traits that any team would love to have in their locker room. Secondly his distruptive defense is dominant to the point where he can change the tide of a game with his ball pressure. Physically he is strong, quick, a good leaper and is very fast in transition. Given his age (22), his physical gifts and his work ethic he has an very high potential to improve and his ceiling is as yet undetermined. Combine all of the above with his very affordable rookie contract and you have probably the strongest trade asset on this team.
The only thing to bring his value down is the fact that he
has had two significant injuries in his first two seasons, and he's only just returned from a double shoulder surgery. His value is still high, but would probably be significantly higher in a months time once he has proven his shoulders can hold up.
To us Bradley's value is huge. He's an exceptional defensive player on a team that's sorely lacking defense. He's a high effort guy on a team that's sorely lacking effort. He's a guy who's good at getting easy baskets off cuts on a team that's full of low percentage jumpshooters. He's a different maker on a team hoping to win a champtionship. He's a high potential player on a team who will be rebuilding in 2 years time. He is one of the most important players ont he team to us, and I'd only let him go if it's a part of a trade that gets us a future franchise player in return.
Willingness to trade - 1/5
5. Rajon Rondo
Personality wise Rondo is a mixed bag. His reputation around the league is that of a player who is arrogant, cocky, blunt and who has limited respect for others. On the plus side he is an incredibly passionate person will do anything to win, even if it means playing through major injuries. He's a very high 'hustle' player who has no hessitation diving for loose balls or fighting for rebounds. His work ethic ranges from questionable (in less meaningful games) to off-the-charts (in playoff and other meaningful games). He has an incredibly high IQ to the point where he's capable of being a coach on the floor, but his decision making can at times be questionable.
Offensively Rondo's greatest talent is his abliity as a pure PG. His combination of court vision, IQ, ball handling, quickness and passing ability allow him to pull off seemingly impossible passes. His high IQ allows him to learn his teamates tendancies and make them better by getting them the ball where they are most capable of scoring. His midrange jumper is at the point where it's now very consistent (currently shooting 50% from midrange) but his outside shot is still poor. He is very good at scoring and creating off the drive, but hessitates to do so because he is a very poor free throw shooter for a guard.
Defensively Rondo has the IQ and all of the physical gifts to be an "All-Defense" calibre player. In the past he has shown the ability to press with elite on-ball pressure while his length and big hands allows him to get deflections and steals with alarming ease. He's stronger than he looks and is a surprisingly capable low post defender for his size as well. Rondo's only question mark on defense is his effort. These days he seems to put minimal effort into his ball-pressure and instead seems to prefer to let a defender get past an then reach in for an attempt at deflections and steals. It's uncertain whether this is a result of him simply not caring, or if it's simply because he uses up so much energy on the offensive end of the floor that he simply doesn't have enough fuel in the tank to apply strong defensive pressure. Rondo is one of the best rebounding PGs in the league, and his versatile skill set makes him a triple-double threat on a nightly basis.
Rondo's trade value is extremely high. While his personality and lack of scoring ablity hold his value back a little, his IQ and his reputation as a winner and the best floor general in the league means his value will always be high. He is still fairly young (26) and he's on a very reasonably priced contract given that he is a regular All-Star and one of the top 5 PGs in the NBA.
Rondo has very high value to us. He is very close to Paul and KG emotionally and who knows what effect it would have on them if he were traded. He's our only legit PG and playmaker. He is critical to our championship aspirations because of the way he elevates his game come playoff time. When he's at his best he is a mistmatch for almost every team out there. Unfortuantely he's not a franchise player on his own, because his lack of scoring ability and his part-time effort mean he's better as a VERY good complementary player then he is as the focal point of a team. He's more Amare Stoudemire then he is Carmello Anthony. I'd hate to trade him, and I'd only do it if it could bring back a certain future franchise player.
Willingness to trade - 1/5
So that's my feedback - thoughts?