NBA Players Attrition
If you haven't heard, former NBA Players Association executive director Billy Hunter has been deposed due to revelations of extensive nepotism in the awarding of jobs and contracts during Hunter's reign. His ouster could become official on Saturday, when player representatives from all 30 teams will meet to vote about whether to fire him. Hunter has reportedly been barred from attending the meeting. Whether or not he has committed any illegal acts, it's unlikely he'll regain a prominent role after a thorough smear campaign over the past year which was headed by none other than Derek Fisher. Fisher was recently criticized by Maurice Evans, former NBA player and NBAPA executive vice president, who claims he was "excommunicated" as Fisher and his cohort pulled off a coup to seize control of the union. "D. Fish was only on the Mavericks this year so they could pull this stunt off, so they could get Billy Hunter out of office," said Evans. "I give [Fisher] a round of applause for being able to pull off this stunt and pull the wool over everyone’s eyes ... If he wants the union that bad — let him and Ron Klempner and Jamie Wior — they can have it." It's a soapy sub-plot to the All-Star weekend, but it's not fantasy-relevant and the next CBA negotiations mercifully won't happen until at least 2016-17, so I'll stop here.
Non sequitur: Read this story about Julian Newman, an 11-year-old varsity basketball player with crazy skills, or be lazy and just watch this clip of him slicing up defenses.
Josh Smith continues to dominate trade rumors, linked to the 76ers, Bucks, Celtics and Nets, though Hawks GM Danny Ferry has vowed to keep him if the right offer doesn't come along. As we noted on Rotoworld on Saturday, here is a rough outline of the *rumored* offers:
Sixers - Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes
Bucks - Unknown (but as mentioned elsewhere in this column, the Bucks have plenty of moveable pieces and Monta Ellis and Samuel Dalembert are foremost among them)
Celtics - Jeff Green and Brandon Bass
Nets - Kris Humphries and MarShon Brooks
Ferry is a savvy GM, as he quickly proved when he unloaded Joe Johnson for a mess of below-the-radar players and draft picks, and I wouldn't be shocked if he patiently lets the deadline pass without a deal. On the other hand, this may be the ideal moment to trade Smith, who has labeled himself a max-contract player and could walk as an unrestricted FA this summer. The Hawks' only leverage at that point would be Smoove's Bird rights, which allow them to pay him more money, over more years, than any other team. They could then either opt to build around him (which seems doubtful) or attempt to sign-and-trade him, though the latter option is trickier under the new CBA thanks to restrictions in which teams may acquire players via sign-and-trades (e.g. they cannot have used the mid-level exception).
If you haven't checked out the NBA's new stats database, do yourself a favor and click here. Which five players have the highest usage rates in the final five minutes of games? In ascending order that would be Jrue Holiday, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving (at a whopping 52 percent). Among that elite group, Irving also has the highest effective FG percentage in the clutch (54.1 percent).
Among players averaging at least 15 minutes per game, who scores the highest percentage of their points at the free throw line? Here are the eight players most dependent upon the FT line, listed in descending order:
Steve Novak scores 96.5 percent of his baskets off assists, which leads the NBA, but Kyle Korver (95.5 percent) and Shane Battier (94.3 percent) aren't far behind. I didn't blink an eye when I saw Novak and Battier up top, as they spend their time waiting in the corner to knock down 3-pointers, but given Korver's increased role this season (11.5 points in 31 minutes per game) I figured he'd be creating more than 4.5 percent of his own shots. One assumption based on this tidbit -- if Jeff Teague ever goes down with a substantial injury, Korver's value may tank overnight.
Dig around for way, way more information. Similar to Basketball-Reference.com, you can use a variety of filters to slice up the data any way you choose, and even 'advanced stats' are available back until 1996. For fantasy information, though, there's still nothing that beats Rotoworld's very own Season Pass, which features customized rankings based upon your league's settings, the roster 'oracle' which automatically searches and emails you updates on your team(s), Dr. A's "Schedule Breakdown" column which becomes more valuable by the day...and much, much more. Check it out.