It’s been a busy week of trades, highlighted by a blockbuster on Thursday afternoon. Here are some notes on the players and teams involved in the deals that went down at (and before) the deadline …
Note 1: There were future draft picks involved in a lot of these trades. For this notebook, we’re just looking at the active players involved, and we’re combining trades when a team has made more than one.
Note 2: All stats are through Wednesday, Feb. 9.
1. Nets make the most of a bad situation
In: Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, Ben Simmons
Out: James Harden, Paul Millsap
Quick take: The Nets might now have the league’s best perimeter scorer and its best perimeter defender. Kyrie Irving’s status for home games obviously remains critical.
Notes on the Nets …
- There have been 56 players who have attempted at least 100 mid-range shots. The three best mid-range shooters in that group — LaMarcus Aldridge (56.0%), Kevin Durant (55.1%) and Seth Curry (54.5%) — all play for the Nets. Brooklyn rookie Cam Thomas — 46-for-94 (48.9%) — also ranks in the top 10 among 80 players with at least 75 mid-range attempts.
- The Nets also have two of the top five in all-time 3-point percentage: Joe Harris (43.9) and Curry (43.7%). Curry and Patty Mills are two of the five players who’ve shot 40% or better on at least 100 catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts in each of the last four seasons (including this one).
- Drummond leads the league in rebounding percentage, having grabbed 23.3% of available rebounds while he’s been on the floor. He’s ranked in the top five in all 10 of his seasons, and this is the sixth time he’s led the league. He’s also the only player who ranks in the top five in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage.
- Drummond has averaged 4.5 deflections per 36 minutes, fifth most among 322 players who’ve played at least 500 total minutes. Simmons’ 3.9 deflections per 36 minutes ranked eighth (minimum 750 minutes) last season. The Nets rank 15th at 14.1 deflections per game as a team.
- Last season, Simmons ranked second with 6.8 pass-ahead passes per game, according to Second Spectrum tracking.
- Simmons‘ 25-for-73 (34.2%) from the free throw line in last year’s playoffs was the second worst mark for any player with at least 50 attempts in a single postseason (1,351 total instances).
The final numbers on the Durant-Harden-Irving trio …
- From the time they acquired Harden to the time they traded him, the Nets played 125 games (including playoffs). All three stars were available for only 16 (13%) of those 125 games. The Nets were 13-3 in those 16 games.
- Really, it was only 14 1/2 games, because in one of the 16 (a loss to Toronto last February), Durant was removed early in the third quarter for health and safety protocols, and in another (their Game 1 win vs. Milwaukee), Harden re-injured his hamstring on the very first possession.
- In 365 total minutes with the three on the floor together, the Nets outscored their opponents by 13.7 points per 100 possessions, scoring an amazing 126.1 per 100 on offense.
2. So do the Sixers …
In: Harden, Millsap
Out: Curry, Drummond, Simmons
Quick take: Harden and Joel Embiid aren’t the perfect fit, but they’re a pretty ridiculous inside-and-out scoring combination, and they’re going to shoot all the free throws.
Notes on the Sixers…
- Embiid leads the league in usage rate at 37.3%, which would be the fourth-highest mark in the 26 years for which we have play-by-play data. One of the players who’ve had a higher mark is Harden (39.6% in 2018-19), who ranks only 23rd (27.7%) this season.
Usage rate = The percentage of his team’s possessions a player has used (via field goal attempts, trips to the line and turnovers) while on the floor.
- Harden does lead the league in time of possession, averaging 9.4 minutes of possession per game. (Tyrese Maxey ranks 12th at 6.7 minutes.) Harden also leads the league with 7.6 isolation possessions per game, according to Synergy tracking. He and Embiid are two of the four players — Durant and DeMar DeRozan are the others — who’ve scored better than a point per possession on at least 150 iso possessions.
- Harden ranks fourth in the number of ball-screens that have been set for him (1,800, 54.3 per 100 possessions, according to Second Spectrum tracking. Embiid had some success with Curry and the empty-corner pick-and-roll, but ranks 22nd in the league in regard to total ball screens set (1,174, 43.0 per 100 possessions). In fact, his back-up (Drummond) set almost the same number of ball screens (1,171) in 482 fewer minutes.
- Harden has been assisted on only 24% of his 3-pointers, the lowest rate among 169 players who’ve made at least 50 3s. In 44 games, he’s just 12-for-40 (30%) on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers. That’s the same number of catch-and-shoot 3s that he attempted in 44 games last season (15-for-40).
- Embiid (11.0) and Harden (8.0) rank second and third in free throw attempts per game. Harden’s free throw rate (49.6 attempts per 100 shots from the field) is the fourth-lowest mark of his 13 seasons, but is up from 44.0 last season.
- Harden has shot just 54.4% in the restricted area, the sixth-worst mark among 157 players with at least 100 restricted-area attempts and his lowest mark since his rookie year (down from 63.2% last season).
3. Pacers get a young star
In: Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Jalen Smith, Tristan Thompson
Out: Torrey Craig, Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb, Caris LeVert, Domantas Sabonis
Quick take: In just his second season, Haliburton ranks among both the league’s best shooters and its best passers. With his size, he could be a special player.
Notes on the new Pacers …
- Haliburton has shot 57-for-142 (40.1%) on pull-up 3-pointers, the second-best mark among 51 players who’ve attempted at least 100. He’s one of 11 players who’ve shot 40% or better on at least 200 total 3-point attempts in each of the last two seasons.
- Haliburton (7.4, 3.30) is one of three players — All-Stars Dejounte Murray and Chris Paul are the others — who’ve averaged at least seven assists per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 3.0 or better.
- Haliburton is one of five players who’ve played at least 500 minutes and have more steals (86) than personal fouls (71). Only Memphis’ Tyus Jones (44, 21) has a bigger differential.
- Hield ranks second in total 3-point attempts (495). His 36.8% from 3-point range is the worst mark of his career.
- Haliburton has 46 assists on Hield‘s 3-pointers. That’s tied for the second-most assists from a player on a single teammate’s 3-pointers.
- Hield has shot just 59-for-136 (43.4%) in the paint, the ninth-worst mark among 252 players with at least 100 field goal attempts in the paint.
- Thompson has grabbed 14.2% of available offensive rebounds while he’s been on the floor. That’s the fifth-highest rate among 301 players who’ve averaged at least 15 minutes in 25 games or more.
- The Pacers were 8.3 points per 100 possessions better with Sabonis on the floor alongside Myles Turner (+3.5) than they were with Turner on the floor without Sabonis (-4.8).
4. Kings go big
In: Donte DiVincenzo, Justin Holiday, Josh Jackson, Lamb, Trey Lyles, Sabonis
Out: Marvin Bagley III, Haliburton, Hield, Thompson
Quick take: The Kings got a steal when they drafted Haliburton with the 12th pick in 2020. But they’ve added an All-Star-caliber big man (on a reasonable contract) and now have less overlap with their two best players. Of course, neither of their two best players (Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox) shoot particularly well from the perimeter.
Notes on the Kings…
- Sabonis has a field goal percentage of 67.1% in the paint and an effective field goal percentage of 41.4% on shots from outside the paint. That’s the second biggest differential (smaller than only that of Anthony Davis) among 188 players with at least 100 field goal attempts both in and outside the paint.
- Sabonis ranks third in the league with 6.5 elbow touches per game, in the top four for the fourth straight season.
- Sabonis has scored 1.33 points per possession as a roll man with the Pacers. That was tied (with that of new teammate Richaun Holmes) for the fourth-best mark among 26 players with at least 100 roll-man possessions (for a single team).
- DiVincenzo (28.4%), Jackson (26.5%), Lamb (33.6%), Lyles (30.1%) and Sabonis (32.1%) have all shot worse than the league average (34.9%) from 3-point range. Jackson’s is the fifth-worst mark among 221 players with at least 100 3-point attempts. Fox (26.9%) and Chimezie Metu (27.1%) have the seventh and eighth-worst marks, respectively.
- Holiday (37.1%) is the one new addition that’s shot well from beyond the arc, and he’s taken only 16% of his shots in the paint. That’s the sixth-lowest rate among 236 players with at least 250 total field goal attempts. His free throw rate (9.2 attempts per 100 shots from the field) is the 13th lowest among those same 236 players. He’s been assisted on 92% of buckets, the sixth-highest rate among 257 players with at least 100 total field goals.
5. McCollum to New Orleans
In: CJ McCollum, Larry Nance Jr., Tony Snell
Out: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Josh Hart, Didi Louzada, Tomas Satoransky
Quick take: The Pelicans were really hurting in the backcourt, and McCollum is a huge upgrade. How he and Brandon Ingram work together will be interesting to watch while we wait on the return of Zion Williamson.
Notes on the new Pelicans …
- McCollum‘s true shooting percentage of 53.2% is his lowest mark since his rookie season and ranks 34th among 46 players with a usage rate of 25% or higher. His free throw rate (10.2 attempts per 100 shots from the field) is the 13th-lowest mark among 236 players with at least 250 total field goal attempts.
- McCollum scored 1.02 points per possession as a pick-and-roll ball-handler with the Blazers. That mark ranks seventh among 101 players with at least 100 ball-handler possessions (for a single team), according to Synergy tracking.
- But McCollum scored just 0.76 points per possession on isolations, the fifth-worst mark among 51 players with at least 75 isolation possessions (for a single team) and was down from his mark of 1.09 points per possession last season.
- The Blazers scored 12.3 fewer points per 100 possessions with Snell on the floor (98.5) than they did with him off the floor (110.8). Through Tuesday, that was the sixth-worst on-off OffRtg differential among 317 players who had played at least 500 minutes for a single team. He’s shot just 24-for-75 (32.0%) from 3-point range, down from 56.9% (best among players with at least 100 attempts) last season.
6. Powell and Covington to LA
In: Robert Covington, Norman Powell
Out: Eric Bledsoe, Keon Johnson, Justise Winslow
Quick take: When healthy, the Clippers will have one heck of a collection of wings. Powell will complement Paul George and Kawhi Leonard well, and his lack of size will matter less alongside the two stars.
Notes on the Clippers…
- Powell and new teammate Luke Kennard are two of the five players – Seth Curry, Patty Mills and Karl-Anthony Towns are the others – who’ve shot 40% or better on at least 100 catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts in each of the last four seasons (including this one).
- The Blazers allowed 11.8 more points per 100 possessions with Powell on the floor (118.6) than they did with him off the floor (106.8). Through Tuesday, that was the worst such on-off differential among 317 players that have played at least 500 minutes for a single team. New teammates Ivica Zubac (+10.6) and Marcus Morris (+9.8) had the third and fifth biggest differentials, respectively.
- Covington has averaged 4.0 deflections per 36 minutes, 10th most among 322 players who’ve played at least 500 total minutes.
- Covington has taken 89% of his shots from the restricted area (21%) or 3-point range (68%). That’s the ninth-highest rate among 236 players with at least 250 field goal attempts.
- Powell has shot 95-for-177 (53.7%) in the restricted area, the second-worst mark among 158 players with at least 100 restricted-area attempts.
7. More East notes
Some other additions in the Eastern Conference…
Charlotte: Montrezl Harrell
Boston: Daniel Theis, Derrick White
Washington: Kristaps Porzingis
- Harrell has scored 1.26 points per possession as a roll-man. That mark ranks eighth among 26 players with at least 100 roll-man possessions and is down from a league-best 1.43 points per possession last season.
- LeVert ranks 10th in drives per game (16.2) and ninth in points per game scored on drives (9.4). 34% of his shots, the eighth-highest rate among 236 players with at least 250 total field goal attempts, have been non-restricted-area shots in the paint. His 44.0% on those shots ranks 37th among 82 players who’ve attempted at least 100.
- LeVert has shot 38.4% on catch-and-shoot 3s, the best mark of his career (up from 31.6% two seasons ago). He’s shot just 28.8% on pull-up 3s, the worst mark of his career (down from 38.7% two seasons ago).
- The Rockets scored 16.0 fewer points per 100 possessions with Theis on the floor (93.9) than they did with him off the floor (109.9). Through Tuesday, that was the worst on-off OffRtg differential among 317 players who had played at least 500 minutes for a single team.
- White (5.6, 3.15) is one of eight players who’ve averaged at least five assists per game with an assist/turnover ration greater than 3.0.
- White has drawn 19 charges, third-most in the league.
- Porzingis is one of four players who’ve played at least 500 minutes and averaged at least 20 points and two blocks per 36.
- Porzingis is one of three players who’ve shot worse than 30% on at least five 3-point attempts per game.
8. More West notes
Some other additions in the West…
Dallas: Davis Bertans, Spencer Dinwiddie
Portland: Bledsoe, Hart, Winslow and more
Utah: Alexander-Walker, Jauncho Hernangomez
- Dinwiddie (5.8, 3.51) is one of eight players who’ve averaged at least five assists per game with an assist/turnover ration greater than 3.0.
- Dinwiddie has shot just 31.7% from 3-point range over his career. That’s the 11th worst mark among 231 players with at least 1,000 3-point attempts over the last 10 seasons.
- Bledsoe has shot 25-for-80 (31.3%) from mid-range, the worst mark among 83 players with at least 75 mid-range attempts.
- Hart ranks fifth in the league with 3.8 fast break points, and 28% of his points have been fast break points. That’s the second-highest rate among 303 players with at least 200 points total.
- Alexander-Walker has a true shooting percentage of just 47.4%, the second-lowest mark among 52 players with a usage rate of 24% or higher. He’s shot just 95-for-176 (54.0%) in the restricted area, the third-worst mark among 158 players with at least 100 restricted-area attempts.
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