DISSECTING SIMMONS’ TRADE IDEA

After the manner in which the 76ers absolutely destroyed the hapless Washington Wizards (Who were without Nick Young.) on Friday, many of you may be thinking that we are crazy to be publishing a post about a potential trade by the 7-6.
 
But last Friday Bill Simmons posted a lengthy NBA piece in which he proposed a trade between the Lakers and the 7-6 that raised a few eyebrows here at the Philadunkia offices.  In his post, Simmons suggested that the Lakers send big man Andrew Bynum as well as Metta World Peace and Luke Walton to Philadunkia’s home team in exchange for Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand.
 
Even though the trade was proposed by Simmons as a way to improve the Lakers as they try to regroup from their Chris Paul trade that went south, we thought the idea was interesting enough that it should be given some attention here at Philadunkia.
 
After the jump we present arguments “Against” and “For” the concept of shipping AI9 and EB to the hated Lakers for Bynum, the player formerly known as Ron Artest and Luke Walton.
 
 
 
Nabeel Ahmadieh is “Against” the Bynum Deal :
 
First off, when assessing this deal, you have to eliminate Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest) and Luke Walton from having a positive influence on our win/loss total for the upcoming season.  Since winning a ring, World Peace has hardly been motivated to compete and was inexplicably underwhelming last season.  He looks lost on offense and is nowhere near the elite defender he once was.  Walton on the other hand, would be a serviceable role player and team guy but is injury-prone.  I can’t imagine living in a world where you trade for Luke Walton and all of a sudden increase your win total by 5-10 games (FYI…According to the ESPN.com NBA Trade Machine the Sixers end of this trade would produce -2 wins.).  In this deal, we would strictly be taking on their contracts to receive the services of Andrew Bynum. 
 
Bynum is a talented center.  His length/height, ability to score around the rim and youth make him a very attractive player.  Strictly based on talent, Bynum is arguably the second best center in the NBA behind Dwight Howard.  However, there is a major concern, he has terrible knee issues.  In the last four years, Bynum has played in more than 60 games during the regular season only once.  I know the Sixers are tied up into horrendous contracts with Elton Brand and Andre Iguodala, but are we sure we want to cough ‘em up for a player who constantly is missing games?  Is it worth the risk?
 
Whether you like to admit it or not, AI9 and Elton Brand are currently the best two players on the team.  You can make a case that it’ll soon be Jrue, you can make an argument for Thad, but realistically, the two veterans are backbone of this franchise.  Both of them, along with their respective talents, provide consistency and leadership in the locker room.  AI9 is an elite perimeter defender and great in transition; while Brand led the team in rebounding and scoring last season.  Yes, they’re not superstars, but both were highly effective last season.  And we want to part ways for two bad contracts (Metta: 3 yrs left @ $6.7 mil, $7.2 and $7.7; Walton: 2 yrs left @ $5.6 mil and $6.1) and a highly paid ($15-16 mil per), injury-prone center with terrible knees? 
 
I think we need to steer clear of this deal.  When he is on the court, Bynum is great, don’t get me wrong, but this is a very risky transaction.  Building your franchise around a 23 year old seven footer with shaky knees would be a dangerous venture.  Besides, we did draft center Nikola Vuvecic in the 1st round this past draft.  Do I think he’ll be as good as Bynum one day?  No, but we should at least give him a chance to succeed in this League.  Andrew Bynum looks the part, but his health concerns and thus this proposed trade should terrify every Sixers fan. 
 
 
Tom Sunnergren is “For” the Bynum Deal :

First things first: I’m a staunch Andre Iguodala supporter.  He’s an above average rebounder, an efficient scorer (if a poor shooter), an able passer, and is tremendously consistent from season-to-season. (In his last five campaigns, the split in total wins produced between his most productive season, ’09, and his least productive season, ’08, is 1.31 wins.  You can set your watch to this guy). 

He’s also possibly the best wing defender in the NBA – a fact that is difficult to prove empirically, but is pretty broadly agreed upon in League circles – and is, talk radio railing aside, on a team-friendly contract.

(In the last five years, Iguodala has produced $91 million worth of wins–54.85 total wins x an average value of a win that has oscillated between $1.57 and $1.76 million from ’07-’11. In this period he’s been paid $43.9 million by the team. So, as far as Iguodala being overpaid…he isn’t.)

All this said…if the Lakers call tomorrow and offer Andrew Bynum, Metta World Peace and Luke Walton for Andre and Elton Brand, the Sixers had better say yes.

In a first blush analysis, the deal doesn’t look like an outstanding one for the 7-6.  Iguodala and Brand produced, combined, 44.98 wins since ’08-’09 while Bynum and World Peace coupled for 36.5.  If you confine the analysis to last season, the deal looks even worse: the Lakers duo contributed 13.9 wins while the Sixers pair chipped in 19.85.

So while the trade, in the most narrow statistical analysis, looks like a loser for the Sixers, my support boils down to three things:

1.) Elton Brands success from last season is probably not sustainable.

The primary reason the trade looks imbalanced is the fact that Brand, a formerly outstanding player who due to injury and just general ineffectiveness produced barely two wins in the three seasons between ’07-08 and ’09-’10, bounced back in a big way last year – leading the team in points and rebounds and generally kicking ass to the tune of just shy of 9 wins.  The bet here is that the oft-injured 32-year-old can’t sustain that.

2.) Andrew Bynum might, just might, become a legitimate NBA center

While Bynum’s total production doesn’t look great, he has, when he’s managed to stay healthy, been very, very good.  He’s an extraordinarily efficient scorer; on a per-minute basis, a great rebounder; and, despite the general consensus that he’s had his chance to become great and blown it, he’s 24.  When you have a chance to land a 24-year-old center who’s shown flashes of greatness, you take it.

3.) Andre Iguodala, for all his greatness (not a typo) is a redundant piece on the Sixers

Iggy, for all the reasons I mentioned above, is a very valuable basketball player.  Problem is, he’s blocking the development of another one.  Evan Turner, simply put, did very well when Iguodala was out of the lineup last season, and struggled mightily when he was in it.  There’s reason to believe that the two are just to similar to play well together.

In the medium term, if not the short one, a lineup of Holiday, Turner, World Peace, Young, and Bynum is better than Holiday, Meeks, Iguodala, Brand, and Hawes.  If the offer comes across your desk Thorn, take it.

 
 

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