Smart vs. Burke Debate = Smart Wins, But We Should Still Trade Down If We Can...

Hey all, I deleted the last version of this post and am re-posting it, because the last version was lumped as one big paragraph, and was way too verbose. So I am going to try to distill my old post to get to the point quicker, and to break it all into paragraphs for easier reading...

Part I: Smart Vs. Burke = Smart Wins:

  • I am a big fan of Burke, but Tranzformer posted Smart's current freshman statistics vs. Burke's freshman statistics from last year, and the comparison decisively convinced me that Smart would be the better prospect. From Tranzformer:
    • "Burke per game average:
      • 14.8pts, 4.6 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 0.9 stls,
      • 53.8% TS, 50.2% eFG, PER 19.4, 16.7% TOV, 28.7% AST, 1.7% STL, 6.2% TRB, 26.4% USG, 107.4 / 102.3 (O/D rating)
    • Smart per game average:
      • 14.7pts, 4.4 assists, 5.6 rebounds, 2.9 stls,
      • 53.5% TS, 45.7% eFG, PER 24.4, 19.0% TOV, 27.7% AST, 5.2% STL, 9.8% TRB, 26.5% USG, 106.9 / 83.7 (O/D rating)"
  • Main 2 takeaways from this data:

  1. Regardless of shooting percentages, both Smart and Burke roughly produced the same rate of offense (see their TS% and ORtg).
  2. Smart give up almost 20 points less per 100 possessions (see DRtg). The guy is an animal on defense, which more than makes up for his slightly higher TO rate.

  • Therefore, by this logic, Smart is the better PG prospect.
  • Burke shoots the 3 better, but Smart gets to the free throw line more, which is why their TS% is nearly identical. We need an aggressive playmaker like Smart who can draw fouls. We have enough jump shooters.
  • (Side Note: Does anyone know of a statistic that measures how much one player makes his teammates better? This would be helpful when comparing point guards.)
  • If we assume (key word: assume) that Smart will statistically improve like Burke did immediately after his freshman year, then we can expect Smart's eFG%, assists, and A/TO ratio to drastically improve. After all, Burke, who we all herald for his excellent A/TO ratio, had a meager 1.64 A/TO last year which is only slightly better than Smart's paltry 1.40 this year. Furthermore, Smart is currently averaging more assists per minute than Burke did his freshman year.
  • Smart is 4 inches taller, one year younger, has a much stronger body, and (according to is a "willing" and "lockdown" defender, and has "leadership" and "intangibles" whatever that means.

Part II: However, Current Value of Noel + Burke > Current Value of Smart:

  • In 2013 draft, IMO, Noel + Burke > Smart
  • Nerlens Noel is injured, thus hurting his draft stock, so we may be able to snag him at the 4-6 range.
  • Burke is a decent shooter, and an excellent playmaker, and an OK defender. Noel, when and if healthy, can erase Burke's defensive mistakes, much like Dwight did for Jameer all those years. Noel might also be able to erase alot of our interior defensive mistakes as well.
  • Regardless of how Burke stacks up against Smart, Burke is still no slouch, and he covers a long-term need for a PG, and he rarely turns the ball over.
  • While Noel rehabs, we continue to lose games. A whole bunch of them. Which may (or may not) land us Wiggins, but at least gets us in the ballpark to get him. Noel likely will not be fully effective and rehabbed until the 2014 season anyways.
  • Salary Savings and less risk per dollar: For a frame of reference, the combined salary of Phoenix's #5 and #14 pick roughly equals the singular salary of the #1 pick. In my opinion, we get more value per dollar by acquiring Noel and Burke. And we can easily trade away one or both if they under-perform, since they are both on cheap contracts. If we get stuck with a Kwame Brown at the first pick, not only do we become a laughingstock, but it will also be harder to move him for anything resembling value.
  • Ideally, while we stink, Andrew Nicholson eats raw meat for breakfast every day and gets much stronger and develops a mean streak on the defensive end. He starts shooting threes like he was back at Bonny. Maurice Harkless starts hitting 3 of 4 on three point shots per game on a regular basis (like tonight), and starts looking like a baby TMac on the floor. His twin, Kobias the Lemonface starts looking like Kobe. KOQ grows into a big that everyone wants. E'T gets even more efficient shooting the three, averages 7 assists per game, and makes us slowly forget about JJ.
  • Nerlens Noel has a sweet flattop = +1 for any team that drafts him.
  • If we can't land Noel, Oladipo is a great consolation prize. Oladipo is a highly efficient shooter and scorer and he defends very well. Great guy for our team.
  • Adrian Peterson gives us hope that Noel's torn ACL is curable. Blake Griffin has had a broken kneecap and a torn meniscus in his left knee, and yet he still jumps over most people in the NBA. We may be able to buy low on Noel in the 4 to 6 pick range, and score a second pick to get Burke in the process, and receive more value in the long run.
  • An alternate option is to keep our pick, and trade for Burke using one of our existing assets.
  • If we don't land Burke, I'm sure Hennigan has his eyes set on some obscure but promising young prospect playing point guard at a YMCA somewhere in Antarctica, who will wow us all and makes us all say, "Well Hennigan did it again." Our GM tends to see opportunity where most don't, and we are lucky for that :)
  • If Burke, Noel, and/or Oladipo don't pan out, we will still have future lottery picks and tons of cap room from 2014 and beyond to sign some impact free agents.

Any thoughts?

This FanPost was made by a member of the Orlando Pinstriped Post community, and is to be treated as the opinions and views of its author, not that of the blogger or blog community as a whole.

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