Today’s post is devoted to questions about the Memphis Grizzlies. I would emphasize, all I have here are questions. For the answers you have to go someplace else.
Let me explain. Shades of Blue is a site devoted to this team. Although this site is quite new, I think it is already one of the better team sites around. This past week Chip Crain – one of the contributors at Shades of Blue – asked me the following questions about his team.
1. You wrote a book called the ‘Wages of Wins’ a few years back in which you attempt to use statistics to determine a player’s value and how many wins he actually produces for his team. Would you give us a Cliff Notes version of how this works?
2. You wrote on your website that this trade makes the Lakers the favorites to win the West of they can get Bynum back. You went so far as to say that Gasol’s presence puts the Lakers among the elite in the West even without Bynum. From someone who remembers the Grizzlies 0-12 playoff record with Gasol, is this actually a playoff prediction you are making or just a regular season record assumption?
3. What does this leave the Grizzlies with this year, according to your math? Is it possible the Grizzlies can surprise this year with unproven young players getting a real chance to perform?
4. Memphis is definitely suffering this season but I seem to remember something you wrote that implied a player’s best performance years don’t begin until their 3rd season in the league. That means Lowry, Conley, Gay, Hakim and even Darko if you eliminate his wasted two years in Detroit (he is only 22 after all) lie ahead of them. Throwing in some decent drafts and the team can progress in the future can’t it or am I just wishing on stars now?
5. Along those lines how long do most NBA players maintain their level of performance? Is there a general rule that says after a certain age most players start to decline in performance?
6. Chris Wallace has a lot of cap space available to him now. What upcoming free agents do you believe produce the most wins and who produces the least? What about college players?
For my answers, you have to read Chip’s column: