In Depth Analysis On Spurs Bucks Trade From Jon Lee at AccuScore

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Project Spurs thanks Jon Lee for providing us this forecast on the impact of Jefferson to the Spurs.  You can expect more from Jon Lee and Accuscore here at Project Spurs during the 2009-2010 Spurs season. You can check out more about Accuscore, The Leader in Sports Forecasting by clicking HERE

By Jonathan Lee
AccuScore Analyst

Instead of waiting until the summer of 2010 to rebuild the team the Spurs made a big move for the present trading away Kurt Thomas, Fabricio Oberto, and Bruce Bowen to the Bucks for Richard Jefferson.
 

The move is a pure salary dump for the Bucks as the contracts for Oberto and Bowen are not guaranteed.  Both are likely to be waived, and one or both could end up back in a Spurs uniform.  Thomas is a nice player to have, but he is already 36 years old and is merely a back-up at this point in his career.
 

The Spurs are the big winner here adding another player that can score with the ability to create his own offense.  Jefferson’s sizable contract will put the Spurs into luxury tax territory, but the move makes sense on the basketball court and will likely propel the team back towards the top of the Western Conference. 

SPURS

BASELINE

JEFFERSON

LAL

45.9%

48.6%

@LAL

22.1%

27.1%

DEN

59.8%

64.2%

@DEN

43.9%

46.9%

POR

70.1%

69.7%

@POR

43.1%

44.1%

HOU

65.6%

72.9%

@HOU

43.7%

46.8%

DAL

66.6%

70.0%

@DAL

40.3%

41.0%

NO

55.9%

61.7%

@NO

44.1%

47.4%

UT

76.0%

80.5%

@UT

41.3%

44.9%

AVG

51.3%

54.7%

Jefferson will now be the third or fourth option for the Spurs depending on the health of the other key members on the roster.  Simulations show that this move improves the winning percentage for San Antonio by 3.4 percentage points against its primary competition in the West.  That improvement extrapolated over a full 82 game season could net the Spurs as much as 3 wins.

The assumption with this simulation is that Jefferson will become a better rebounder (about 6 boards per game) with Tim Duncan drawing plenty of attention in the post as he was in his good years in New Jersey.  Jefferson had become much more perimeter oriented with the Bucks, and that could change now that he is in San Antonio.  Jefferson did shoot a career high from three last season (39.7%) which bodes well because of the type of drive-and-kick game played by Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and the Spurs. 

Overall, the trade is a win for the Spurs on the basketball court.  Jefferson provides another wing player with the ability to score, and adds some (relative) youth to the team.  The simulation assumes typical injuries to both Duncan and Ginobili so if either or both players stay healthy the improvement for the Spurs could be even larger.  Whether or not this move is by itself enough for San Antonio to compete with the Lakers in the West remains to be seen, but the Spurs are a better basketball team today than they were this past season.

 

 

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