A Mid-season Analysis of the Free Agency Performance of the Lebron James Sweepstakes Six

Six team entered the Lebron James sweepstakes during the July Moratorium.  While each had a very different chance of actually scoring the King, to qualify they each needed to achieve certain things.  First and most obviously, they needed the cap space to sign him.  They also needed to be able to put championship contender pieces around him, meaning a core that was in place or enough space to sign a second star, or more.  After the jump, quick data and comments on the returning vets and non-draft additions for each of the six teams' performance in 2010-11, most wins added first.

First up with 32 wins added is the Miami Heat:

Miami Heat

Returning contracts WP/48 Wins Produced
New additions WP/48 Wins Produced
Chalmers 0.071 1.2
James 0.339 11.3

Wade 0.297 9.3

Bosh 0.161 5

Jones 0.109 2.2

Ilgauskas 0.083 1.3

Haslem 0.164 1.2

House 0.102 1

Arroyo 0.031 0.6

Miller 0.112 0.4

Dampier 0.039 0.2

Anthony 0.003 0.1

Magloire 0.042 0

Stackhouse -0.018 0

Howard -0.039 -0.3

1.2 wins

32.3 wins


Obviously the Heat win free agency.  That's not very interesting.  What is interesting is that we aren't seeing diminishing returns on their wins produced.  James, Wade and Bosh are all within career norms.  They have suffered some injuries, most notably to Mike Miller.  They somehow managed to secure some depth and the injuries haven't had a significant effect.  Also important to note, they have managed to avoid negative producers.  If they get healthy and Miller and Haslem start running on all cylinders, they will be even better.


Second place with 14 wins goes the Bulls, aka the Jazz East:


Chicago Bulls

Returning contracts WP/48 Wins Produced
New additions WP/48 Wins Produced
Rose 0.193 6.7
Boozer 0.261 4.7
Noah 0.299 5.5
Brewer 0.206 4.5
Deng 0.096 3.5
Thomas 0.143 1.8
Gibson 0.064 1.3
Korver 0.088 1.7
Johnson -0.058 -0.1
Asik 0.091 1

Bogans 0.043 0.7

Lucas -0.356 -0.1

Scalabrine -0.109 -0.2

Watson -0.023 -0.3

16.9 wins

13.8 wins


The Bulls didn't cut nearly as deep as the Heat to start.  They returned two highly productive players and one average player.  Second place doesn't feel like the first loser here.  (Spoiler alert: its the Cavaliers)  What I am calling the Jazz inFusion has added 11 wins so far this season.  Or maybe it was the coaching change.  Who can possibly tell with these things?  Boozer missed the first 18 games and now Noah is out for two months, and yet they are on pace to win 56 games.  Not bad at all.  They added both top-end producers and depth all around.  A great July for the Bulls.


Bronze with 10 goes to the Knickerbockers of New York:


New York Knicks
Returning contracts WP/48 Wins Produced New additions WP/48 Wins Produced
Gallinari 0.107 2.9 Felton 0.129 4.6
Chandler 0.053 1.7 Stoudemire 0.104 3.5
Douglas 0.051 1 Turiaf 0.053 1.7
Walker 0.043 0.4 Williams 0.07 0.7
Curry DNP-CD (Eddy Curry) Azubuike 0 0
Mason -0.187 -0.3
Randolph -0.121 -0.3
6 wins 9.9 wins


One can't ignore the improvement from the Knicks this year.  After winning just 29 games last year, they are currently sitting pretty at 24-21.  A 20 game swing is not out of the question.  What makes this more amazing is they didn't return any big producers from last year's squad after trading away David Lee for pieces.  Stoudemire seems to be getting the credit, but the Knicks have benefited most from the guard play.  Where Felton goes so go the wins with the Knicks up and the Bobcats down.  They also pulled the most amazing move in the draft and grabbed my 2011 NBA rookie of the year in Landry Fields.  By being selected in June, he was ineligible for this analysis, but you can't talk about the Knicks without talking about his 0.287 WP/48 and 8.3 wins produced so far.  Still, the Knicks have lots of ok players and few great ones.  If Fields misses any time it could spell disaster for their playoff hopes.  The Knicks accomplished this while keeping the expiring Curry contract in their back pocket.  If any team is looking to dump salary you have to like the Knicks and the Nets as the absolute favorites each with an expiring contract in excess of $11M.


Just out of the money with 2.2 wins added are the Cavaliers:


Cleveland Cavaliers
Returning contracts WP/48 Wins Produced New additions WP/48 Wins Produced
Varejao 0.199 4.1 Sessions 0.12 2.6
Gibson 0.065 1.5 Hollins -0.07 -0.7
Jamison 0.021 0.6 Harris 0.058 0.6
Moon 0.045 0.6 Gee 0.076 0.5
Parker 0.022 0.5 Graham -0.057 -0.5
Powe -0.037 -0.1 Eyenga -0.116 -0.3
M. Williams -0.016 -0.3
J. Williams -0.143 -1.2
Hickson -0.064 -1.4
4.3 wins 2.2 wins


Wait, what?  They have been fairly awful this year, but they did make one trade that has paid off:  Ramon Sessions.  No point in lingering on a terrible team but to say that Sessions was available and has been a personal favorite.  With Sessions at the helm, the Clippers are definitely a playoff team.


In fifth with 1.4 wins added is the most flailingest team, the Nets


Brooklyn Nets
Returning contracts WP/48 Wins Produced New additions WP/48 Wins Produced
Humphries 0.357 8.8 Farmar 0.052 1.2
Harris 0.119 3.4 Morrow 0.044 0.9
T. Williams -0.014 -0.1 Vujacic 0.068 0.8
Lopez -0.038 -1.2 Outlaw 0.001 0
Murphy 0 0
Petro -0.017 -0.2
Smith -0.389 -0.2
Ross -0.111 -0.5
Graham -0.042 -0.6
10.9 wins 1.4 wins


The Nets tried.  You have to give them that.  At this point Brook Lopez is just massively overrated.  Still they did ok adding depth at guard with Farmar and Morrow and Vujacic.  Smith and Williams have since departed in exchange for two first round picks, which along with the Murphy contract, have to make great trade bait, for people that value such things.  To complete the picture, they would certainly be even worse without Favors.


Bringing  up the rear with -2.5 (pronounced negative too point five) wins are your Los Angeles Clippers:


Los Angeles Clippers
Returning contracts WP/48 Wins Produced New additions WP/48 Wins Produced
Griffin 0.276 9.7 Smith 0.052 0.4
Jordan 0.198 4.5 Cook 0.009 0.1
Gordon 0.137 4.4 Gomes 0.003 0.1
Davis 0.047 0.8 Diogu -0.036 -0.2
Kaman -0.069 -0.4 Butler -0.052 -0.7
Collins -0.288 -0.9
Foye -0.179 -1.3
19 wins -2.5 wins


Fail.  The Clippers returned the strongest core even if you count Wade, Haslem and Arroyo as returning Heat!  Fortunately for the Clippers, Chris Kaman got hurt after 10 games freeing time for the much more productive Deandre Jordan.  Its not a coincidence that this is when they started putting together some wins.  Don't be in too much of a rush to call for Kaman's return.  You want to be looking for another center entirely.  And really, taking another crack at the whole roster.  Foye is who we knew he was.  Gomes, Cook, and Butler as well for that matter.

All performance stats pulled from the automated wins produced site at

All transaction data pulled from the transactions page

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