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The Boxscore Geeks Show: The Luol Deng Trade


We also have the show in audio form (some call that a podcast!)

Shout outs!

We give a few shout outs on this podcast. Thanks to:

  • Polar. Want to make snazzy polls for your site? They have a simple interface and are the reason why I know that most of you think that Chicago won the trade.
  • Ben Noah. He did great work getting data for the race piece about NBA coaches.
  • Joe Price. He kindly passed along his race data about NBA players.
  • My brother Daniel. He gave me the snazzy new intro video to the show for Christmas.

Who won the Luol Deng trade?

I say as much in our piece on the subject! The key second part is Luol Deng had already turned down a three year, thirty million dollar extension!

We said it on the most recent podcast too. Paying "fair value" for wins gets you a mediocre team!

We like Chicago because they still have Jimmy Butler, Mike Dunleavy, and Joakim Noah. And oh yeah, the East is terrible!

What is Deng's value to Cleveland?

Based on his current production, we think Deng is only worth a few wins this season, which may not be enough to get Cleveland into the playoffs. In fact, the only way I like this trade for the Cavs is if they make the playoffs because of Deng.

Deng is also a timebomb; if the Cavs don't re-sign him, they may get mocked. As I mention, yes, peer-pressure works on NBA front offices. At over $10 million a season, Deng will not be helping the Cavaliers.

What's a bad rental? What's a good one?

A rental is what happens when you give up assets to obtain a player who's only guaranteed to be on your roster for a short period of time. Bad ones include the Deng rental, the Melo rental, and the Kenyon Martin rental. Good ones include the Dwight Howard rental (yes, it was a good move) and the Andre Iguodala rental.

I will say that second round picks are tremendously good values for NBA teams (for rotation players).

Are the Bulls tanking?

As I say, I think the Bulls are still very much in it, and would be unwise for them to tank. Part of the reason that tanking gets even worse is the odds you'll wind up with a bust. As Patrick points out, in the last 10 drafts we've seen through to fruition, there's been at least one bust a draft. In fact, even if you have a top 5 pick, your odds of landing a star player are a lowly 17% and those players may take a while to develop.

Also, to clarify my definition of tanking: Tanking is intentionally making yourself worse just to improve your draft stock when you still have a shot at the playoffs. As such, any wise trade doesn't count!

Nuggets fans will never forget!

How hard is it to draft a great player?

The answer is it's difficult! Yes, most great players were top draft picks, but most top draft picks don't become top players. On a historical note, the Warriors are a fun team to mock, as they essentially created the 1980s Celtics dynasty by failing to draft Bird and trading away McHale and Parish.

It's hard to find the star in a draft. Arturo can identify good players, but finding the great players is difficult. Most people foolishly go for the old Spurs "tank model", while ignoring their much smarter, more recent strategies.

I'll just leave The Chicago Tribune making a fool of themselves right here:

"Now that’s the way to tank a season.

Beep, beep, make way for the Bulls’ 'We’re Not Going to Tank' bandwagon as it screams down the lottery express lanes.

....

And thanks to the Cavaliers, the Bulls have made the perfect trade for a team trying to tank, even if they said they weren’t trying to. They traded a starter for nobody who could help now."

Since the Deng trade, the Bulls are 7-2.

As we pointed out at the time, Deng is a decent player, sure, but man, that Jimmy Butler guy can play, and Dunleavy is no slouch.

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