In this particular instance, I believe I was justified in trading Nash (#6 overall on Yahoo) for the incredible upside potential in Iverson, (#34 overall on Yahoo). Over the years I have found that, in a head-to-head league, it is okay to trade away a “better” player for a slightly poorer overall player if the player you are trading for brings you production in categories you have historically been weak in.
Here is how they compare stats-wise (as of December 24th, 2007):
Category– Nash, Iverson
FG%– 51.6, 45.7
FT%– 93.3, 83.1
3PTM– 1.9, 0.9
PTS– 17.3, 26.4
REB– 3.8, 3.0
AST– 12.4, 7.3
ST– 0.6, 2.4
BLK– 0.0, 0.2
TO– 3.7, 3.7
By looking at the comparison, it’s very easy to see why Nash is ranked as high as he is. There is no disputing his strong stats. But at the same time, when your team is weaker in certain categories and changes need to be made, a great overall player is especially lucrative as trade bait. I should note that I proposed this trade and it was accepted after 3 days.
What attracted me to a deal of this sort, and Iverson in particular?
- Change Needed.
At 40-31-1 (tied for 4th) and 8 games back from the leader, I realized I needed to make a change. I noticed that the only three categories that I was underperforming in were PTS (3-5-0), ST (3-5-0) and TO’s (3-4-1). Categories that I was strong in included 3PM (6-2-0), AST (6-2-0), FG% (5-3-0) and FT% (5-3-0).
- Nash is great in categories I already perform well in.
Nash is known for his crazy assist numbers, his three-balls and his percentages. I get production in these categories from many players on my team. I do realize Nash is supplying much of the strength in these categories (especially assists), but at the same time he would be a great candidate for trade if I wanted to make a change.
- Iverson is exceptional in categories I need.
I need points and Iverson has been on a scoring hot streak. Last time I checked, he was averaging over 33 across an eight game stretch. I also need steals and Iverson is always among the league leaders in that category.
- Iverson v. Nash.
The good thing about this trade from my perspective is that Iverson has been scorching hot and Nash hasn’t been on such a tear as of late (in the last month, Iverson ranked 11th in the Yahoo game, Nash ranked 30th). That will definitely even out in the long-run, but there’s no denying that Iverson scores around 9 more points-per-game and gets around 2 more steals per-game than Nash (categories I need). At the same time Iverson doesn’t really give up too much on the boards or with turnovers. Nash only has distinct advantages in percentages, threes and assists, and even in those categories, Iverson performs above-average overall (i.e. Iverson’s 7 assists a game is very respectable and shouldn’t impact my commanding lead in assists).
- Intangibles and future production.
I also like the fact that Iverson is very durable and can still average 7 more minutes per game than Nash (41 v. 34). This has been the case for many in stating that Iverson will wear down, but out of all the players in the NBA, Iverson has shown the most passion and has the ability to play-through and overcome minor injuries. In addition, Iverson has emerged as Denver’s leading threat on the offense side as Melo has done a better job of getting him the ball. With the Nuggets continually improving and Iverson anchoring the ship, I like the chances of him moving up in the rankings better than I do Nash and his multi-dimensional, streaky offense.
Therefore, trades of this sort can be beneficial to your team if you net out the costs and benefits. In my particular situation the benefits are enormous if A.I. plays at a level even close to what he’s been playing at the last month and the costs are minimal because A.I. has been shooting better, his FT% is strong and his assists are ever-increasing. I’ll give this trade a few weeks to have its effects and then I’ll update on how it’s impacted my team. I am off to a good start, though, I took out the number 2 team last week 6-2-1!