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The Trade of 05-06: Ron Artest for Peja Stojakovic

Artest Stojakovic trade Artest Stojakovic trade

by Bob Chaikin


Bob Chaikin is one of the leading NBA statistical analysts, and webmaster of bballsports.com, which features incredible historical stats databases. He is also the creator and developer of the most powerful NBA simulation program available today that allows for large scale simulation of team and player performance under almost any conceivable scenario.


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 05-06 season was through 1/30)

Ron Artest
MIN  min/g  touch/min  %shoot  %fouled  %TO  %pass  reb/48  %PF  %ST  %Blk 
9900 72  2238  31  1.02  33  11  49  6.6  1.0 
0001 76  2363  31  1.07  32  10  52  6.0  11  1.1 
0102 55  1642  30  1.01  39  11  43  7.9  13  1.4 
0203 69  2317  34  1.07  34  13  47  7.5  10  1.3 
0304 73  2714  37  1.22  34  12  48  6.8  1.1 
0405 291  42  1.06  39  14  41  7.4  1.2 
0506 18  674  37  1.01  40  17  36  6.6  1.1 
total 368  12168  33  0.00          6.9  0.0 

Artest's shooting stats
lge avg pts per lge pts per
yr FG%  ScFG%  2FG%  3FG%  FT%  pts/g  ScFG%  ZeroPtPoss  ZeroPtPoss 
9900 72  .407  .482  .438  .314  .674  12.0  .514 1.54 1.87
0001 76  .401  .475  .426  .291  .750  11.9  .510 1.61 1.84
0102 55  .423  .493  .464  .312  .667  13.2  .512 1.67 1.88
0203 69  .428  .518  .458  .336  .736  15.5  .511 1.87 1.86
0304 73  .421  .501  .452  .310  .733  18.3  .508 1.76 1.83
0405 .496  .595  .510  .412  .922  24.6  .521 2.74 1.92
0506 18  .460  .521  .497  .333  .612  19.4  .523 1.79 1.92
total 368  .421  .499  .451  .317  .716  14.6  .514 1.72 1.87


Peja Stojakovic
MIN  min/g  touch/min  %shoot  %fouled  %TO  %pass  reb/48  %PF  %ST  %Blk 
9899 48  1025  21  0.91  40  47  6.7  0.4 
9900 74  1749  24  0.87  47  38  7.6  0.2 
0001 75  2905  39  0.88  47  11  36  7.2  0.3 
0102 71  2649  37  0.96  44  11  40  6.8  0.3 
0203 72  2450  34  0.89  47  11  37  7.8  0.1 
0304 81  3264  40  0.90  47  13  35  7.5  0.3 
0405 66  2534  38  0.85  47  11  37  5.4  0.3 
0506 31  1147  37  0.86  43  43  6.9  0.1 
total 518  17723  34  0.00          7.0  0.0 

Stojakovic's shooting stats
lge avg pts per lge pts per
yr FG%  ScFG%  2FG%  3FG%  FT%  pts/g  ScFG%  ZeroPtPoss  ZeroPtPoss 
9899 48  .378  .490  .431  .320  .851  8.4  .503 1.78 1.77
9900 74  .448  .553  .491  .375  .882  11.9  .514 2.29 1.87
0001 75  .470  .568  .501  .400  .856  20.4  .510 2.43 1.84
0102 71  .484  .583  .510  .416  .876  21.2  .512 2.57 1.88
0203 72  .481  .592  .545  .382  .875  19.2  .511 2.72 1.86
0304 81  .480  .614  .511  .433  .927  24.2  .508 2.85 1.83
0405 66  .444  .576  .475  .402  .920  20.1  .521 2.56 1.92
0506 31  .403  .536  .408  .397  .933  16.5  .523 2.17 1.92
total 368  .461  .577  .498  .398  .893  18.3  .514 2.52 1.87

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 05-06 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)
The Scoring FG% is simply a way of comparing apples to apples, a way to combine all of a player's shooting - 2pters, 3pters, and FTs - to one field goal percentage, to show which players make the most of their scoring opportunities. it is equivalent to a 2pt FG% had the player scored the same number of points as he did on his 2s, 3s, and FTs had he scored them all on just 2s...

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 05-06 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 04-05 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 www.nbatop.com)...

To compare the two players we can simulate thousands of games against each team's actual 05-06 schedule with Artest on the 05-06 Pacers at SF and then on the 05-06 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 05-06 on the 05-06 Pacers and Kings, but also their stats from previous seasons on those teams, plus others SFs in the league. Here are the results:

[05-06 player stats based on games through 1/30]

W-L player
SAC0506 37.5-44.5 Stojakovic 05-06
SAC0506 41-41 Stojakovic 04-05
SAC0506 44.5-37.5 Stojakovic 03-04
SAC0506 44-38 Stojakovic 02-03

SAC0506 43-39 Artest 05-06
SAC0506 47-35 Artest 04-05
SAC0506 42-40 Artest 03-04
SAC0506 43.5-38.5 Artest 02-03

SAC0506 46.5-33.5 LeBron James 05-06, Andrei Kirilenko 05-06
SAC0506 31.5-50.5 Quentin Richardson 05-06, Desmond Mason 05-06

IND0506 42.5-39.5 Stojakovic 05-06
IND0506 46-36 Stojakovic 04-05
IND0506 49.5-32.5 Stojakovic 03-04
IND0506 49-33 Stojakovic 02-03

IND0506 47-35 Artest 05-06
IND0506 51-31 Artest 04-05
IND0506 46.5-35.5 Artest 03-04
IND0506 48-34 Artest 02-03

IND0506 51-31 LeBron James 05-06, Andrei Kirilenko 05-06
IND0506 36.5-45.5 Quentin Richardson 05-06, Desmond Mason 05-06

Simulation shows that based solely on their 05-06 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 05-06 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 05-06 Artest is generating wins at a pace just 3-4 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 11-12 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 8-9 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 03-04 season, which was the finest offensive season by a SF in recent times...


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