That lack of depth contributes to the flatly wrong perception that Brandan Wright is the 19th most efficient player in the NBA this season. Furthermore, Andray Blatche is the 15th most efficient player in the game, Javale McGee at 17, Nate Robinson the best player on the Bulls... the list goes on and on.
It's an incredibly flawed statistic. There are way too many variables in a basketball game to mathematically compute one tell all/end all statistic that grades the best players to the worst.
Not every point is created equal. Steals can be subjective. Assists are based on the talent and skill level of your teammates / whether or not the player you choose to pass the ball to makes the shot they take.
A players situation also plays an integral role in the production he will have. Because he only plays 25 minutes and so much weight is put into what you do in a short amount of time, you can expect Manu Ginobli to be ranked high in these rankings annually, which is true. He's a great player and deserves to be ranked there but he's probably a bit overrated by this metric based on the role he's played as a sixth man over the course of his career.
Another example being Andray Blatche this season who is a "Bona fide All-Star" according to Hollinger's rankings - due in large part to the fact that he plays 19 minutes on a below average bench that allows him to score around the rim (high percentage shots) and be the primary rebounder.
I just don't buy into that statistic at all. ESPN did the same thing with Total QBR.
With that said, I like Jose Calderon as a player. A lot actually. So much so that I would be comfortable starting him on a Championship caliber roster with the right supporting cast - and I don't just mean distributing to Bosh, James, and Wade.as the point guard in Miami. He's a good player but there's also a reason why he was available for essentially nothing the last couple of seasons and nobody bit until he became an asset in and of itself as an expiring contract.
I've always been a Rudy Gay apologist so perhaps I'm slightly bias in this instance but I think it's a good get for Toronto. He's better than DeRozan and as a team so far away from being Championship contenders who would never be able to draw a player as talented as Gay via free agency, I think it's in your best interest to acquire pieces and he is certainly one. For example, I think he's a superior number two option to Rose than Luol Deng is.
I do not know what Colangelo is trying to build in Toronto or if he's even a part of the long term plans but they have a piece to the puzzle, DeRozan who is a tradeable commodity, Bargnani who will likely be moved before the 21st of February, etc.
With that said, he will always be a schmuck for signing John Lucas 3 to a multiyear deal.
First, this post is the definition of a straw man. I cited PER in my explanation as to why this trade is bad for Toronto, and instead of making an effort to explain why you think PER is "meaningless and irrelevant" in the cases of the players we're currently discussing, you bring up Brandon Wright, Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee, and Nate Robinson. I agree that PER has its flaws and I've never stated otherwise. But I disagree that it's a useless tool. Frankly, I just think you're interpreting it wrong. It's not a metric that's designed to grade the best players to the worst. It's an offense-only metric that is designed to measure per minute efficiency. In cases like Andray Blatche you're perfectly right that PER can be artificially inflated and misleading due to a variety of factors, but in a case like Rudy Gay, a guy who's playing 35+ minutes per game it can tell you a lot about his productivity.
And Rudy Gay's productivity has been slightly below league average at his position this season, as his PER suggests. But since you hate PER so much, I'll use other statistics to illustrate how bad he's been.
Gay's True Shooting Percentage is 48% which aligns him with sharpshooters like Josh Smith, Evan Turner, and Alonzo Gee and makes him a less efficient scorer than the guy you think he's better than (Loul Deng) and "arguably the worst forward in basketball over the last couple of years" in Tayshaun Prince. His assist rate is 5th worst among 3's who play 25+ minutes/game, he's a middle of the pack rebounder, ranks below "arguably the worst forward in basketball" Tayshaun Prince in win shares, and also trails guys like Martell Webster and Matt Barnes. Among 3's who play 25+ minutes, he takes more long 2s than all but 5 players despite the fact that he shoots 35% on those shots. He's taken 112 3's this season despite an eFG% of 45.6% on those shots. Of SF's who have 70+ attempts from 3, the only one he shoots a better percentage than is Andrei Kirilenko. And while it's possible to be a bad shooter from the field and still score efficiently if you can get to the free throw line at a high rate, Gay doesn't. He gets to the line at the same frequency as Kyle Singler, and is in the bottom half of the league's 3's in that category. And despite all of this, he used 25% of Memphis's offensive possessions.
On defense, he's decent, and his defensive win share numbers have been encouraging, though it's a very safe bet that those numbers will decline significantly when he doesn't have Marc Gasol behind him and Tony Allen next to him to guard the other team's best perimeter scorer and provide help in the lane.
Meanwhile, Toronto just gave too much money to a wing scorer in DeRozan whose ts%, win shares, and free throw rate are all better than Gay's this year. Do I think DeRozan is better than Gay? No, probably not. But the mere fact that you can make a compelling argument that he might be tells you all you need to know about the contract Colangelo just traded for.
As for your point about Toronto being unable to attract a player of Gay's caliber in free agency, I've got to disagree, mainly because he hasn't been a particularly high caliber of player. There's plenty of better SF's that would be more than willing to sign in Toronto for far less than Rudy Gay is being paid.
Edited by Grin&MartyBarret, 31 January 2013 - 11:22 AM.