The Steal of Free Agency: Josh Childress

Thanks to Jbrett for this topic.

By Getty Images

The offseason has been in full swing. Some teams have improved themselves. Others have, well made questionable moves. A surprising name has come on the market – Josh Childress. The Suns decided he wasn’t even worth anything in trade and amnestied him. This means they’ll pick up part of the check for any team interested in Josh Childress. I am very confused why teams are not interested in him frankly.

  • Josh Childress was drafted top ten
  • In his first four seasons Childress averaged over 2000 minutes a season
  • In his first four seasons Childress averaged 11.0 points per game on 60% true shooting
  • In his first four seasons Childress averaged 5.6 rebounds per game
  • In his first four seasons Childress had an absurdly low 1.4 turnovers per game.

Childress could score, was an elite player and in his last season he was on the only team that gave the Boston Celtics — the eventual champions — a problem in the playoffs. Yet in the offseason there was a problem. The Hawks didn’t want to offer Childress a good contract. They held his restricted free agency rights though, so other teams were apprehensive about approaching. Childress found a loophole, he signed in Greece.

When Childress could return stateside the Hawks sent him to Phoenix. Phoenix chose to leave him on the bench. And now, they’ve chosen to let him go for nothing. What’s odd is that other teams aren’t jumping all over this. Childress has been a great player his whole career. Let’s take a look thanks to the NBA Geek.

Josh Childress Career Stats

SEA Min WP48 WP PTS DRB ORB REB AST TO BLK STL PF
11-12 PHO 491 .219 2.2 9.8 6.3 3.0 9.3 3.3 0.9 0.6 1.4 3.7
10-11 PHO 895 .202 3.8 14.6 4.6 3.7 8.3 2.3 2.4 1.2 1.8 3.6
07-08 ATL 2274 .293 13.9 19.0 4.2 3.7 7.9 2.5 2.1 0.9 1.5 2.7
06-07 ATL 2026 .227 9.6 16.9 5.1 2.9 8.1 3.0 1.9 0.9 1.4 2.8
05-06 ATL 2249 .233 10.9 15.8 5.4 2.9 8.3 2.8 2.2 0.8 1.8 3.9
04-05 ATL 2376 .224 11.1 16.3 5.8 3.9 9.7 3.1 2.1 0.7 1.5 3.7
Career Avg 1718 .239 8.6 16.5 5.1 3.4 8.5 2.8 2.0 0.8 1.6 3.4
Average SG 1655 .099 3.4 21.6 4.4 1.2 5.6 4.5 2.7 0.5 1.6 3.5

Josh Childress Career Shooting Stats

FG% 2FG% 3FG% FT% eFG% TS% FGA 3FGA PPS FTA
Childress 11-12 48.5% 58.7% 16.7% 0.0% 50.5% 50.1% 9.7 2.3 1.01 0.2
Childress 10-11 56.5% 60.6% 6.2% 49.2% 56.8% 56.7% 11.5 0.9 1.27 3.2
Childress 07-08 57.1% 59.5% 36.7% 80.7% 59.0% 64.7% 12.1 1.3 1.57 5.8
Childress 06-07 50.4% 53.3% 33.8% 79.5% 52.9% 58.6% 12.3 1.8 1.38 5.0
Childress 05-06 55.2% 56.0% 49.2% 76.6% 58.3% 62.6% 10.8 1.4 1.47 4.3
Childress 04-05 47.0% 49.3% 23.2% 82.3% 48.1% 54.3% 13.0 1.1 1.26 4.7
Childress (career) 52.4% 55.0% 32.9% 77.9% 54.4% 59.3% 11.9 1.4 1.39 4.6
Average SG 43.6% 46.8% 36.6% 80.2% 49.3% 54.0% 17.8 5.5 1.21 5.1

Before he left for Europe, Childress was a monster. In fact, given the progression of the Hawks, had they kept him around, they might have gotten even farther in the playoffs. The one thing Childress seems to have declined at is shooting. Well kind of — let’s take a quick look thanks to Basketball-Reference’s Play Index+

Josh Childress shot charts 2010-2012

Childress is very efficient from two point range and that’s no surprise as he just takes shots close to the hoop. What’s more, he doesn’t take midrange jumpers! He was abysmal from three point range. Of course, the odd thing is that he used to be very good at three point shooting from the place he’s taking them! What’s also odd is his rediculously low foul rate. Given the number of shots close to the hoop that he takes, I’d expect more fouls. Yet last season, in almost 500 minutes of playing time and 34 games last season, he only went to the line once!

Let’s look at what we’re left with. Josh Childress is amazing at rebounding and good at not turning the ball over. He’s also great from two point range and has a good shot selection. If he can either improve his three point shooting or stop taking them, he’ll be even better. He’s no so hot at assists but in every other category he’s close to average. He’s also still under 30. He’s a steal for a short term low wage contract. I don’t know why he doesn’t get more respect. He was snubbed by the Hawks management, the Suns coaching and the refs. However, his pedigree (a top ten pick that can put up over 10 points a game) and stats (he’s a monster at producing wins) says your team should be targetting them. And if they’re like the Suns and instead choose to let him slip through their fingers? Well, you should be sad about that.

-Dre

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