Greg Steele Grades the NBA's Southeast Division's Offseason

Editor's Note: Greg Steele graded every team's moves this offseason and kindly let us host it. Today's theme? The Southeast Division. Greg has his own win variant, so check out his site (link below) for his methodology. Also, if you notice any many transactions, let us know!

The Methodology (Again)

I have already outlined a method to accurately grade offseason moves based on an analysis of the cost of wins in the NBA, the relationship between performance and salary, and a rubric to help the grades make sense. Now, I'm presenting the first annual NBA Offseason Data Crunch, in which I evaluate every move made by every team this summer. Before you dig in, there are two caveats:

  • In what follows, I will evaluate all acquisitions in terms of the player's value relative to the value of his contract. This means that for trades, we are not interested (right now) in figuring out which team won or lost the trade. There is a time for evaluating trades in that manner, but today's analysis will consider moves purely in terms of cost-efficiency.
  • The data crunch will deal only with players who are likely to impact winning or losing NBA games this year, and players whose impact we are able to reliably estimate. Rookies and future draft picks, as they do not have any NBA data, are difficult to forecast with the same accuracy as existing NBA players, so I will leave them aside for now.

Atlanta Hawks

Editor's Note: We already went over Greg's Hawks grades in an earlier post, check it out here. That said since we waited to publish Greg's post, one more move happened. So I'll review Vince Carter's signing, send all complaints Dre's way!

Vince Carter signs with Atlanta Hawks for 1 year / $3 million (minimum)

Not a fantastic deal, in my opinion. Vince Carter inexplicably remains a decent “replacement level” player despite being the oldest player in the NBA. That said, I give this deal an “A” as I don’t want to deal with an NBA without a Vince Carter in it.

Name Season Greg Wins Greg Wins per G Greg Wins per 48
Vince Carter 2018-19 1.7 0.022 0.061
Vince Carter 2017-18 1.3 0.023 0.063
Vince Carter 2016-17 3.2 0.044 0.085
Vince Carter 2015-16 3.1 0.051 0.147

Charlotte Hornets

Editor's Note:Greg let me take this one. Pass all complaints to Dre!

Charlotte Hornets trade BOS for Terry Rozier and a 2020 2nd round pick for Kemba Walker

Both Greg and Wins Produced agree that Rozier is a mediocre player. He’s set to make a little under $20 million a season, and if he ages normally, he might be worth that. I’d lean towards a C grade for that. However, they were able to let Kemba Walker on a $30+ million contract out the door. So they saved a little money for a player not much worse. It won’t move the dial in terms of wins but helps the salary cap.

Name Season Greg Wins Greg Wins per G Greg Wins per 48
Terry Rozier 2018-19 3.7 0.046 0.098
Terry Rozier 2017-18 5.4 0.068 0.126
Terry Rozier 2016-17 2.4 0.032 0.091
Terry Rozier 2015-16 0.3 0.008 0.05

Miami Heat

Miami Heat trade POR for Meyers Leonard

Miami had to take in Meyers Leonard in the massive final form of the Jimmy Butler trade. This season will be the final one on his contract, but he will probably fall $7.7 million worth short of living up to his contract. Miami needed a backup big after shipping out Hassan Whiteside, but Leonard is an inferior value for the dollar.


Miami Heat trade PHI for Jimmy Butler

Butler has racked up 8 wins per season since ’15-’16, which I calculate to be worth $26.7 million per season. With his new contract paying slightly over $35 million a year, the price is steep at first glance. In his best season (2016-17), though, Butler was worth $59.9 million. His disjointed and dysfunctional campaign last year severely undersells Butler’s value. As such, I would consider his contract to be a much better deal than might appear at first glance.


Name Season Greg Wins Greg Wins per G Greg Wins per 48
Meyers Leonard 2018-19 1.7 0.027 0.091
Meyers Leonard 2017-18 0.7 0.021 0.133
Meyers Leonard 2016-17 2.2 0.03 0.087
Meyers Leonard 2015-16 2.5 0.041 0.09
Jimmy Butler 2018-19 5 0.077 0.109
Jimmy Butler 2017-18 7.6 0.129 0.168
Jimmy Butler 2016-17 10.5 0.138 0.179
Jimmy Butler 2015-16 8.7 0.129 0.168

Orlando Magic

Terrence Ross signs with Orlando Magic for 4 years/$54 million

Ross has contributed 4.1 wins per season in his last three healthy seasons, though his performance has fluctuated significantly from season to season. Last year was his best season, with Ross accounting for six wins. Ross’ average level of production would be worth $7.5 million per season, which is far less than the annual salary on his new deal ($13.5 mil/yr), though his performance last year in Orlando is more than his new contract. If he can maintain his performance level from last year (6.0 wins, $14.0 million), he could provide the Magic with up a little surplus value. I think this is at least a break-even deal for Orlando, but there is some risk involved.


Al-Farouq Aminu signs with Orlando Magic for 3 years/$29 million

With Portland revamping their roster in the wake of their Conference Finals run, both starting wings moved on to new homes. The first to resign was Aminu, who has been worth 4.4 wins per season. In terms of production, Aminu is worth $8.3 million a year; unfortunately, for Orlando, he has been above average in efficiency only once in the last four seasons.


Michael Carter-Williams signs with Orlando Magic for 1 year/$2 million

MCW will have no trouble being worth a mere $2 million salary, but I consider it unlikely that he moves the needle significantly for the Magic. Suffice it to say that my method is as high on MCW’s defense as most other defensive metrics, but his broken jumper puts a severe drag on his value.


Khem Birch signs with Orlando Magic for 2 years/$6 million

Birch earned his place this year, and Orlando rewarded him with a job. His 2019 performance was worth $3.7 million, and Birch is young enough to see him potentially improving. Even at his current performance level, though, Birch is a good deal for the Magic.


Name Season Greg Wins Greg Wins per G Greg Wins per 48
Terrence Ross 2018-19 6 0.074 0.134
Terrence Ross 2017-18 0.8 0.034 0.066
Terrence Ross 2016-17 2.5 0.032 0.06
Terrence Ross 2015-16 3.8 0.052 0.104
Al-Farouq Aminu 2018-19 4.2 0.051 0.087
Al-Farouq Aminu 2017-18 4.9 0.071 0.114
Al-Farouq Aminu 2016-17 3.7 0.061 0.101
Al-Farouq Aminu 2015-16 4.8 0.058 0.098
Michael Carter-Williams 2018-19 1 0.034 0.124
Michael Carter-Williams 2017-18 1.4 0.028 0.083
Michael Carter-Williams 2016-17 2 0.045 0.116
Michael Carter-Williams 2015-16 3.8 0.07 0.11
Khem Birch 2018-19 1.9 0.037 0.139
Khem Birch 2017-18 1 0.023 0.08

Washington Wizards

Bradley Beal signs with Washington Wizards for 2 years/$72 million

Editor's Note: One more grade from Dre!

Bradley Beal is a player both Greg and us think is above average but a far far cry from a max contract. The only benefit the Wizards have is they “only” gave him two years instead of four or five. A C+ grade from me since signing above-average players is required to win, but they still gave far too much money.

Ish Smith signs with Washington Wizards for 2 years/$12 million

Smith has notched 11.8 wins across the last four campaigns and dropped significantly last season. On average, Ish Smith is worth $5.2 million per year, but his 2019 campaign did not inspire confidence as he finished with 2.0 wins and 39% Total Efficiency. This was a poor use of money by the Wizards.


Washington Wizards trade MEM for C.J. Miles

Washington took on C.J. Miles for the final year of his contract to rid their locker room of Dwight Howard (according to the front office that signed Dwight Howard). If Miles were healthy, the Wizards would have expected approximately a $3.3 million overage. It now appears that Miles will be injured for at least part of the coming campaign.


Washington Wizards trade with PHI for Jonathon Simmons and a second-round pick

Jonathon Simmons clawed his way into the NBA the hard way and earned a three-year contract with Orlando after a playoff run with the Spurs. His performance has been up and down, and last season’s down year brought his career averages to 2.1 wins and just under $4 million per year. If Washington does indeed retain Simmons until his contract becomes fully guaranteed, he will need to match his best performance to be close to the value of his salary. Since this is the final season on his contract, the outcome will not hurt the Wizards much in any event.


Washington Wizards trade SAS for Davis Bertans

In his three seasons, Bertans has been worth an average of $4.8 million with the Spurs. He will be paid $7.0 million this season in the final year of his contract. With the Wizards initiating a rebuild, Bertans is a low-cost flyer.


Washington Wizards trade LAL for Mo Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones

Washington received the Laker’s three other movable contracts to create another max salary slot. Since all three were rookies and did not play much, it is probably too early to grade this deal. Mo Wagner looks as though he will provide surplus value.


Thomas Bryant signs with Washington Wizards for 3 years/$25 million

Emerging as an NBA rotation player in the wake of Dwight Howard’s injury last season, Thomas Bryant put up 3.5 wins at 66% efficiency. His performance last year would have been worth $6.2 million, so it is a safe bet that he will need to get more minutes or play better to earn $8 million/year.


Isaiah Thomas signs with Washington Wizards for 1 year/$2 million

Whew, who knows? IT has played so little in the last two seasons that it’s tough to make an informed guess as to what his level will be next season. It sounds as if he will be healthier than he was in either his aborted team-up with LeBron in Cleveland or his presumptive rehab contract last year with Denver. Given his stature and the nature of his injuries, it is difficult to see Thomas returning to his Celtics form. Still, there is nothing that more characterizes IT than overcoming and overachieving, so … who knows? With Wall on the shelf and Satoransky moving on in free agency, giving Thomas a shot on a minimum contract was probably about the best the Wizards could have done.


Name Season Greg Wins Greg Wins per G Greg Wins per 48
Bradley Beal 2018-19 7.8 0.095 0.124
Bradley Beal 2017-18 7.9 0.096 0.127
Bradley Beal 2016-17 7.4 0.096 0.133
Bradley Beal 2015-16 3.4 0.062 0.096
Ish Smith 2018-19 2 0.036 0.077
Ish Smith 2017-18 3.4 0.041 0.079
Ish Smith 2016-17 3.4 0.043 0.085
Ish Smith 2015-16 3 0.039 0.065
CJ Miles 2018-19 1.1 0.021 0.063
CJ Miles 2017-18 4.1 0.058 0.146
CJ Miles 2016-17 3.4 0.044 0.091
CJ Miles 2015-16 3.7 0.058 0.122
Jonathon Simmons 2018-19 1.6 0.028 0.072
Jonathon Simmons 2017-18 2.6 0.037 0.061
Jonathon Simmons 2016-17 3 0.039 0.104
Jonathon Simmons 2015-16 1.3 0.024 0.078
Davis Bertans 2018-19 3.4 0.045 0.099
Davis Bertans 2017-18 2.5 0.032 0.109
Davis Bertans 2016-17 2.3 0.034 0.136
Moritz Wagner 2018-19 0.8 0.018 0.084
Isaac Bonga 2018-19 0.2 0.008 0.072
Jemerrio Jones 2018-19 0.2 0.041 0.083
Thomas Bryant 2018-19 3.5 0.049 0.113
Thomas Bryant 2017-18 0.1 0.008 0.083
Isaiah Thomas 2018-19 0.6 0.048 0.152
Isaiah Thomas 2017-18 2.1 0.065 0.117
Isaiah Thomas 2016-17 12.7 0.167 0.236
Isaiah Thomas 2015-16 10.5 0.128 0.191

For more information and analysis, visit and follow Greg on Twitter @greekgodofstats, then be sure to check out The Basketball Bible.