BCRT’s Fantasy Basketball Impact of Traded Players

Jan 25, 2010

Written by Alex Woods
BleacherCreatureRotoTalk.com

As we creep closer to the February 18th NBA trade deadline you will begin to hear more and more players rumored to be on the verge of getting traded.  Often a trade will have a significant impact on the player that has been moved.  It is very common for a player to become super productive or vice-versa in his new home.  This article will explore if it is possible at all to predict what type of shift in production we can expect as the result of a trade.

Lets take a hypothetical, yet highly likely situation: The news is in Tyrus Thomas has been traded.  The question now is do you rush out and look to acquire him at all costs? This article will explore using a number of advanced statistics from hoopdata.com to evaluate how a player will fit in to his new home.

We have worked out a very simple methodology that will allow you to quickly evaluate the potential impact from the player in questions move.   Hoopdata.com calculates a number of statistics around most of the major statistical categories.  The metrics we recommend for evaluating player potential are highlighted in the table below:

Table 1. – Describes Advanced Basketball Statistics For Evaluating Trade Impact

Category

Metric

Name

Description

Player/Team Statistic

Scoring

EFG%

Effective field goal percentage

Measures if player is taking good or bad shots

Player

Rebounding

TRR

Total rebounding rate

Measures percent of available rebounds a player is snagging

Player

Assists

AR

Assists rate

Measures percentage of possessions a player is involved in an assist

Player

Steals

DEFR

Defensive plays rate

Measure total defensive plays made by a team (blocks, steals, charges)

Team

Blocks

DEFR

Defensive plays rate

Measure total defensive plays made by a team (blocks, steals, charges)

Team

 

 

 

 

 

Once a trade has been announced the methodology for evaluating potential is fairly simple.  Essentially take a look at the team the player of interest is headed to and see if there are any players who dominate any of the statistics listed in the table above.

For example, if Tyrus Thomas is traded to the Washington Wizards we would immediately see if any of the remaining Wizards dominate one of the metrics above. For example, is there a player who is grabbing the majority of the teams rebounds when he is on the court as evidenced by the TRR metric? If so, this would be a negative on Tyrus Thomas’s potential future output.

Next, we would take a look at Ty Thomas’s strengths.  His TRR is about 16, which is significantly higher than the league average of 9.9.  That means Ty Thomas grabs 16% of all rebounds in play when he is on the court.  If there was not a remaining player on the Wizards with a high TRR we would make the conclusion that Ty Thomas could step right in and see some upside to his rebounding numbers.

For scoring upside we recommend using the effective field goal percentage metric.  This will tell you if the player is taking (and making) a lot of bad shots or not.  (See recent BCRT fantasy basketball strategy series article: Fantasy Basketball Metrics: Effective Field Goal Percentage – A Tool to Identify Breakout/Underperformers)   This metric can be highly useful to identify players who are taking good shots and have the potential to see an increase in scoring with a change to the right environment.  It is probably useful to check the team EFG% and see if the team as a whole is disciplined and good at getting good shots.  A player traded to a wild west offensive with a low EFG% may fall into bad habits and actually see his scoring numbers and percentages decrease.

Thus far the methodology presented is pretty straightforward for most of the offensive statistics.  However for defensive statistics there is a twist.  Since a player’s defensive statistics are largely influenced by the atmosphere of the team he is playing on we suggest going to the team metrics and using the DEFR rating.  Essentially, this metric will tell you how many defensive plays a team is making on average per game.  If the number is high, you can assume the team is committed to playing defense and your player will see a boost across his defensive statistics as well.

This article has introduced a number of new fantasy basketball metrics.  While there are a number of different applications, we have focused specifically on using them to evaluate player upside after a trade has taken place.  Good luck and get ready for some big transactions!

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