Metrics 101: Ranking the Biggest NBA Offseason Moves so Far

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Get excited about any additions your favorite NBA team has made during the 2018 offseason. Seriously. Do it, already!

This is the time of year for optimism. All incoming rookies are blank slates. New free-agency signings haven’t yet done anything wrong in new jerseys. Upside reigns supreme, nfl jerseys from china if only because no hard evidence points in other directions.

But after diving into the numbers and using them to inform our subjective order, we can safely say some offseason moves still project as more valuable than others.

As was the case in last year’s edition of this countdown, we’re only interested in the impact on the upcoming season; long-term aid isn’t relevant here, which makes it harder for rookies to rank among the top 10. To be clear, that’s “harder” but not impossible, which you’ll see when two first-year contributors make appearances. official nfl jerseys cheap

These 10 biggest moves are ranked by nfl authentic jerseys cheap the on-court rises or falls expected from their teams as a direct result of the decisions.

Departing from a team isn’t quite as impactful as joining a new one, since the organization left behind is typically either already operating at a low level, able to replace the production with a subsequent acquisition or ready to enter into a rebuilding period.

Plus, remaining positive this time of year is just more fun. nfl jersey wholesale

Nerlens Noel’s brief tenure with the Dallas Mavericks with filled with drama, relative ineffectiveness and plenty of time spent watching the action in warmups or street clothes. But a fresh start with the Oklahoma City Thunder, which comes on nothing more than the veteran’s minimum, per NBA.com’s David Aldridge, should allow him to regain his former luster. nfl jersey for cheap

This big man isn’t going to slot into the starting five. He won’t displace Steven Adams anytime soon (or ever), and his shooting limitations should prevent head coach Billy Donovan from deploying him at the 4 in a dual-center lineup. But the Thunder desperately needed a reliable rim-protector off the pine, and that’s exactly what Noel gives them—along with wide-ranging defensive skills that allowed him to post a career-best 4.5 defensive box plus/minus in 2017-18 even while struggling to find a rhythm in his minimal run.

ESPN.com’s defensive real plus/minus told a similar story.

Noel’s 2.36 DRPM allowed him to slot in at nfl jerseys cheap authentic No. 29 throughout the league, leaving him behind only Andre Roberson (4.34) on the Oklahoma City roster. Up next from last year’s crew? Dakari Johnson (2.1 in minimal time), Nick Collison (1.59 in 75 minutes) and Russell Westbrook (1.2).

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The Baltimore Ravens are apparently tinkering with some sort of two-quarterback, Joe Flacco-and-Lamar Jackson-on-the-same-field, Wildcat-option-gadget-wrinkle-trickeration package for this season.

Sounds exciting! It will baffle some opponents. It will get Jackson on the field quickly. It will make the Ravens offense more interesting, though showing commercials instead of the game would also make the Ravens offense more interesting.

It’s also a terrible mistake. A specialized Jackson package likely will trade a few highlights for clubhouse discord and a wasted opportunity for the rookie to quickly develop into Flacco’s not-too-eventual replacement. It could even slap Jackson with a label the Ravens’ first-round pick may cheap nike jerseys nfl never be able to peel off.

John Harbaugh and his offensive assistants have a long history with package quarterback experiments. So they should know better. Unfortunately, many of their past mistakes have been retconned into successes, making the Ravens eager to try again.

Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was former Philadelphia coach Andy Reid’s assistant in 2009, when the Eagles signed Michael Vick. Fresh from prison and two years removed  cheap nfl jerseys from china nike from the NFL, Vick was used strictly as a trick-play specialist behind Donovan McNabb that year. He then reached the Pro Bowl and earned the Comeback Player of the Year award after McNabb was traded in 2010.

So everyone lived happily ever after, and the Vick package experiment was a great idea, right?

Wrong. The Eagles had groomed Kevin Kolb, not Vick, as McNabb’s replacement. Had Kolb not gotten injured in the 2010 season opener, the Eagles likely would have noodled with him as their starter all year. Vick’s comeback story happened almost by accident.cheap new nike nfl jerseys

That’s one of the biggest problems with the package role. It’s sticky. Once NFL coaches see a package quarterback, they have a hard time seeing a “real” cheap nfl jerseys nike china quarterback, even if Vick is the package guy and someone like Kolb is the traditional guy.

Mornhinweg and Vick reunited with the Jets in 2014, when Vick became a package quarterback behind Geno Smith. Vick typically entered the game for just one play, where he rushed for a few yards, threw an incomplete pass or took a sack. It did nothing for the Jets offense or Smith’s nike jersey nfl cheap forever-battered confidence.

8. Oklahoma City Thunder: 40-1

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Year one of the superteam(ish) Thunder will be remembered as a disappointment. Slotting Paul George and Carmelo Anthony alongside Russell Westbrook only increased OKC’s win total by one and couldn’t prevent another first-round playoff exit.

But there were enough elite women nfl jersey moments before Andre Roberson’s season-ending injury to make one wonder what might be possible if George sticks around.

The Thunder had a 4-3 record against the Western Conference finalists, Golden State and Houston. OKC also posted an eye-popping plus-14.2 net rating in the 539 minutes china nfl jerseys nike George shared with Westbrook, Anthony, Andre Roberson and Steven Adams.

“That definitely changes a lot,” George said in April of Roberson’s injury, per Royce Young. “Andre is a big piece, and him going down, it definitely was a big blow to us. … You’ve got to look at where we can be, imagine what we would be if Andre was here playing with [us] now.”

If the Thunder keep George, they might be closer to contention than most realize.

While Utah finished a perfectly average 15th in offensive efficiency, there were times this attack felt held together by frayed yarn.

Donovan Mitchell was by far the best scorer while also being a 43.7 percent shooting rookie. Rudy Gobert and Ricky Rubio were nominally the second and third point-producers, respectively, but each did his best work on the opposite end.

At full strength, though, this defense is the Association’s most suffocating unit. It finished the season second in efficiency, but it was tops in 2018 and nearly where to get nfl jerseys  five points stingier per 100 possessions than anyone after the All-Star break.

The Jazz are one of the rare teams with both a winning record and spending money for this summer. The key will be shrewd handling of that flexibility. Utah might consider keeping most of its focus in-house, both to retain its most critical free agents (Derrick Favors, Dante Exum) and to potentially realize the value of continuity.nfl jerseys china nike

The Lakers’ success in free agency will determine if these odds are too high or far too low.nfl jersey for sale

LeBron James and Paul George will discuss potentially teaming up on the Lakers, according to ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Brett Dawson of the Oklahoman). Marc Stein of the New York Times mentioned LeBron and Chris Paul as another possible Lakers duo. If the San Antonio Spurs ever field offers on Kawhi Leonard, the Lakers are expected to place a bid, sources told Sporting News’ Sean Deveney.

Even with the Lakers coming off a 47-loss season, there’s too clearance nfl jerseys much superstar smoke to leave them out of the top 10.

James can single-handedly transform teams into contenders. Paul, George or Leonard would all fit the superstar sidekick role that Dwyane Wade and Kyrie Irving filled on previous champions. That might not make L.A. the favorites, but it would get this organization on a short list of realistic championship hopefuls.nike nfl jerseys on sale

There’s also a chance no one comes, and the Lakers load up on one-year contracts again to roll over their cap space to next summer. That’d make 2018-19 a developmental season, during which they wouldn’t sniff the playoff picture.where to buy nfl jersey

Baltimore Ravens: QB Joe Flacco

Coming off one of the worst seasons of his career, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco must hear footsteps. There’s a lot of buzz surrounding the team’s top pick, quarterback Lamar Jackson, and the pressure’s on Flacco to deliver with new possession receiver Michael Crabtree in 2018. nfl jerseys cheap authentic

Sounds like he’s off to a strong start.

Matthew Stevens of Ravens Wire notes that the “offense has been active in the downfield passing game” and that “Flacco’s accuracy has been better thus far,” thanks partly to the dependability that Crabtree has brought to the table.

Meanwhile, ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley tweeted last week that “Flacco is passing the ball at a different level than the other three quarterbacks on the Ravens nfl authentic jerseys  roster right now,” adding that “he has been throwing tight spirals and showing good touch on deep throws into tight coverage.”

Crucially, Flacco already sounds as though he’s established plenty of chemistry with Crabtree, who he called “the guy” last month, per Hensley.

That duo has the experience and ability to help Baltimore bounce back in 2018.

While quarterback Josh Allen is getting the lion’s share of the attention for the Buffalo Bills this offseason, the team’s other first-round pick, linebacker nfl authentic jerseys cheap Tremaine Edmunds, is making a bigger impression on the practice field.

“Up to this point, he’s handled it extremely well,” Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said of Edmunds’ work with first-teamers at OTAs last week, per ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak, “so [I] don’t really see any indication that that won’t continue.”

Bills head coach Sean McDermott has also nfl jersey wholesale  praised the No. 16 overall pick out of Virginia Tech for his maturity, according to WIVB’s Evan Anstey. And Frazier has already compared his progress to that of 2017 rookie sensation Tre’Davious White.

“Tremaine has done a really good job up to this point. There are going to be some rookie mistakes along the way, but his ability to gather information and then transfer it to the field has been very similar to what we saw with Tre’Davious,” Frazier said last week, per Chris Brown of the team’s official website. “best nfl jerseys So, you don’t have some of the concerns that you ordinarily would have with most rookies because of it.”

Many expected Edmunds to be a top-10 pick, which usually means you’re special if you’re an inside linebacker. So nobody should be surprised that he’s settling in quickly.nfl jersey for cheap

LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

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Age: 33

2017-18 Per-Game Stats: 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 9.1 assists, 1.4 steals, 54.2 percent shooting, 36.7 percent three-point shooting

Advanced Stats: 28.6 PER, 593.09 TPA, 4.58 RPM

Contract Details: 1 year, $35.6 million (player option)

Impending free agents typically wouldn’t make an appearance on this list. Superstars aren’t known for deferring long-term windfalls by picking up player options, nfl authentic jerseys while sign-and-trade scenarios have devolved into meaningless pipe dreams reserved for whimsical fanbases prone to irrational exceptionalism or seeking refuge from bleak outlooks.

LeBron James’ situation is different. The usual rules don’t apply to him. He has prioritized control over his own destiny since leaving the Miami Heat in 2014. He’ll do what he wants entering his 16th season.

It just so happens the free-agency landscape aligns with that. James’ player option is worth slightly more than his projected max salary on the open market ($35.35 million), and sign-and-trade proposals carry more weight with around two-thirds of the league projected to operate over the cap.nfl authentic jerseys cheap

Even though they aren’t likely to have meaningful cap space this summer, the Houston Rockets fancied themselves a viable landing spot for James as of December, according to USA Today’s Sam Amick. And they were still around in March when The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor identified four teams James has apparently zeroed in on, along with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers.

Pulling a Chris Paul and opting into the final year of his deal is the most efficient way for James to join the Rockets. They do not have a path to bankroll his max with cap space, and a sign-and-trade would shoehorn them to the hard cap.

The Rockets likely need to find third- and fourth-team facilitators to make the opt-in scenario work. Houston doesn’t have the picks to make absorbing Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon nfl jersey wholesale a worthwhile stomachache for Cleveland. Granted, if James wants to join Paul and James Harden, he has the leverage to will the Cavaliers into action. But his trade candidacy isn’t for the Rockets alone.

The Sixers have a stake in this race. They need to clear around $10.2 million to fund James’ max salary next season. Greasing the wheels of a Jerryd Bayless dump won’t take much, best nfl jerseys but cutting out the middle part of the process and going straight to the supplier has its advantages.

Building an offer around salary filler, picks and any one of their many promising prospects ensures the Cavaliers are adequately compensated for James’ exit. Depending on the package nfl jersey for cheap, it may also keep the Sixers in play for other free agents. And although that doesn’t make an opt-in-and-trade (or sign-and-trade) especially likely, this route is a genuine enough option to warrant discussion.

Shooting Guard: Joe Harris

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Type of Free Agency: Unrestricted

Age: 26

2017-18 Per-Game Stats: 10.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.3 blocks

Player Score: 1.05

Trailing These Free Agents at His Position: Tyreke Evans (4.34), Will Barton (3.77), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (2.93), JJ Redick (2.78), Wayne Ellington (1.18)

Next 5 Free Agents at His Position: Danny Green (0.92), Marcus Smart (minus-0.04), Marco Belinelli (minus-0.1), Austin Rivers (minus-0.27), Devin Harris (minus-0.32)nfl wholesale jerseys

The futility of the lowly Brooklyn Nets prevented Joe Harris from getting much love throughout the 2017-18 campaign, but the 26-year-old quietly emerged as one of the league’s most dangerous shooters. And that’s true whether you look at the totality of his percentages or isolate his work from beyond the arc.

Let’s begin by diving into the former.

Knocking down 49.1 percent of his field-goal attempts, 41.9 percent of his triples and 82.7 percent of his free-throw attempts, Harris finished 2017-18 with a lofty 63.4 true shooting percentage. Only a dozen players who qualified for the scoring crown wound up posting a higher mark, and Kyle Korver and Kevin Durant were the only two to do so while spending the majority of their minutes at a position other than power forward or center. nfl jerseys from china

Looking at this another way, Harris joined Durant, Karl-Anthony Towns, Montrezl Harrell, DeAndre Jordan and Clint Capela as one of only six qualified players to average 10 or more points with a true shooting percentage north of 63. Last year, Korver, Capela, Durant, Jordan, Rudy Gobert and Nikola Jokic were the lone members of that same club. official nfl jerseys cheap

Harris’ three-point shooting might be even more impressive, since his 41.9 percent conversion rate came while he took 4.6 attempts per game and created 5.3 percent of his makes off the bounce. Only Stephen Curry, Durant, Buddy Hield, Joe Ingles and JJ Redick could match or exceed each of those three figures