Friday, July 2, 2010

Comparison of two NBA small forwards

Let's take a look at the stats for two players last year.  Which player would you rather have going forward?  Which contract would you rather have, too?

Player A:  17.6 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.0 APG, 46.6%FG, 0.9 SPG, 0.9 BPG, 38.6 3P%, 25 years old (403 career games)

Player B:  18.3 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 3.1 APG, 47.2%FG, 1.2 SPG, 0.4 BPG, 41.4 3P%, 31 years old (884 career games)

Player A:  4 years for $51 million.
Player B:  4 years for $61 million (reportedly).

OK, this comparison is not about their careers but more looking at their futures. 

Player A is Luol Deng.

Player B is Paul Pierce

I am not saying the Celtics are making a horrible deal here.  They have to re-sign their heart and soul, franchise player.  It is also great to see Pierce should end his career with one team, assuming he isn't traded towards the end of this impending deal.  Pierce has had a much better career than Deng as a perennial All-Star, NBA Champion &MVP and will end up as a Hall of Famer.  

However, what I don't get is why everyone is always down on Luol Deng.  Why is his contract considered one of the worst in basketball?  I think it is fairly reasonable looking at his numbers and comparing them with contracts being signed today.  He is not going to be a superstar and is slightly overpaid but it certainly doesn't seem to qualify in the untradeable category.  If you showed those stats to someone, especially including his age, and asked what he was worth, what number would come back?  Especially, given what bench players like Amir Johnson and Darko are getting.


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