

The Trade of 0506: Ron Artest for Peja Stojakovic
Ron Artest FOR PEJA STOJAKOVIC TRADE: The recent straight up trade of Indiana Pacer SF Ron Artest to Sacramento for Kings SF Peja Stojakovic was made for two reasons. Reason one from the Pacers perspective was Artest's arduous tenure in Indiana. Reason two from the Kings perspective was Stojakovic's impending free agency, and Sacramento's desire to obtain a good player to replace him. The question is which team got the better player in terms of on court performance. Granted if the player can't stay on the court this is a moot point, but at least a little statistical analysis and computer simulation of NBA games can help determine just who is receiving the better player in terms of which will generate more wins for their new team.... Below are the statistics of the two players: (data for the 0506 season was through 1/30) Ron Artest
Artest's shooting stats
Stojakovic's shooting stats
Some of the above statistics may look untraditional, but are calculated from a player's raw statistics. A player's touches per minute (touch/min) tells you how often a player shot the ball, got fouled, turned the ball over, or passed the ball per minute that he played, since in general once a player gets the ball in his hands while on offense he can do only one of these four things (dribbling simply leads to one of these occurring)... The parameters %shoot, %fouled, %TO, and %pass simply tell you how often per 100 touches on offense the player shot, got fouled, committed a turnover, or passed the ball. So for example to date in this current 0506 season Ron Artest has averaged taking 37 shots, getting fouled 17 times, committing 7 turnovers, and throwing 36 passes for every 100 touches on offense.... reb/48min = rebounds per 48 minutes played %PF, %ST = fouls committed and steals gotten per 100 minutes played %BS = shots the player blocks while he plays per 100 opponent team FGA
ScFG% (Scoring FG%) = (2pters + 1.5 x 3pters + FTM/2) / (FGA + FTA/2)
ZeroPtPoss  this is zero point possessions, or how many times a player missed a shot that was rebounded by the defense, missed a FT that was rebounded by the defense, or committed a turnover, i.e. how many times a player was personally responsible for his team not scoring on a team possession... A player's points scored per zero point team possessions is an attempt to determine a player's scoring efficiency. The logic here is relating a player's points scored to how many times he himself is personally responsible for his team not scoring on a team possesion  i.e. the ratio of a player's points scored to how often the team does not score due to something he personally did (miss a FGA or FT rebounded by the defense, or committing a turnover)... At the start of the 0506 season, Peja Stojakovic was 28 years of age and Ron Artest was just 25, so the advantage there goes to the Kings for receiving the younger player. looking at the last two seasons (since Artest missed almost all of the 0405 due to suspension), Stojakovic averaged 22.4 pts/g playing 39 min/g, Artest 18.8 pts/g playing 38 min/g. again advantage Kings.... Stojakovic has the far better Scoring FG% the past two seasons, 60% to Artest's 51%, the better ratio of points scored to zero point team possessions, and their rebounding the past two seasons has been nearly identical (6.9rebs/48min for Artest vs. 6.6 rebs/48min for Stojakovic). However Artest is the better defender (one of the best in the league) who also gets significantly more steals and blocks... So how does one make sense of all this? this is where the computer simulation of NBA games can help. Since we can calculate each player’s touches per minute, and also what each player did per touch and how often, we can program the computer to play basketball because it will know how often each player should handle the ball on offense and what each player should do once they get the ball. All relevant stats are used (FG%s, rebounding, steal, and shot blocking rates, etc.), as well as a way to rate players defensively for how much they increase or decrease the FG%s of the players they guard (thanks to data provided by 82games.com)... To compare the two players we can simulate thousands of games against each team's actual 0506 schedule with Artest on the 0506 Pacers at SF and then on the 0506 Kings, and then repeat this with Stojakovic on both teams at SF and compare the results. Since Artest has averaged playing 38 min/g for Indiana this season and the past two, and Stojakovic 39 min/g for Sacramento over that same time, we'll play each for 40 min/g at SF. For each simulation the substitution patterns of the Kings and the Pacers are identical, with the exception of either Artest or Stojakovic at SF for those 40 min/g. For comparison purposes not only can we simulate Artest and Stojakovic from 0506 on the 0506 Pacers and Kings, but also their stats from previous seasons on those teams, plus others SFs in the league. Here are the results: [0506 player stats based on games through 1/30]
Simulation shows that based solely on their 0506 statistics, Ron Artest generates significantly more wins playing 40 min/g and 82 games than does Peja Stojakovic, about 5 more with each playing 40 min/g and 82 games. This is because in 0506 Stojakovic is shooting overall the worst he has since his rookie season, and is getting steals and blocks at the lowest rates of his career, while committing the most fouls per minute of his career. On the other hand Artest is shooting overall almost as well as Stojakovic, but is one of the league leaders in steals, blocks more shots, and is a better defender... Currently in 0506 Artest is generating wins at a pace just 34 games worse per average 82 game season than what some of the best starting SFs in the league are doing (such as LeBron James and Andrei Kirilenko), while generating 1112 more wins than what some of the worst starting SFs are (quentin richardson, desmond mason). Stojakovic is generating only about 6 more wins than what some of the worst starting SFs are, while generating about 89 less than what the best starting SFs are generating... So in terms of generating wins per minute played, Ron Artest is currently generating more than Peja Stojakovic. Stojakovic has generated more than Artest in the past, in particular the 0304 season, which was the finest offensive season by a SF in recent times...



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