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Inside The Trade Deadline: Does Your Team Improve Their Playoff Chances?

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Follow updating playoff and championship odds with the biggest deadline deals, here at numberFire!

Well, that was NBA Deadline Day. Excited? No? Well, I understand, I was completely underwhelmed too. But there were still some deals that gave the playoff race a tiny ripple.

I haven't included deals that wouldn't make the playoff odds budge at all. Ronnie Brewer to OKC? Neither the Thunder nor the Knicks are moving off their 100 percent playoff chances. Hakim Warrick to Orlando? Neither the Bobcats or the Magic are getting a sniff of the playoffs with that deal. They're moot points.

The rest of the teams involved in deals, though? Read on, my friends.

Deal 1: Thomas Robinson to Houston

Houston Rockets
Old Playoff Odds: 87.4%
New Playoff Odds: 83.3%
Old Championship Odds: 0.82%
New Championship Odds: 0.44%

Sacramento Kings
Old Playoff Odds: 0.0%
New Playoff Odds: 0.0%
Old Championship Odds: 0.0%
New Championship Odds: 0.0%

If Houston's making this deal for the future, then good on them; they received the No. 5 overall pick in this past year's draft. If they're making this move to bolster their chances of making the playoffs this season, then I have no idea what Geek God Daryl Morey is looking at with Thomas Robinson.

The Kings are a fairly poor offensive team, sitting at 20th in offensive rating. But out of all the Kings players, Robinson was the worst; his 90 offensive rating is one of the worst marks in the NBA, especially among players who have played in at least 50 games (Robinson has played in 51). Francisco Garcia, meanwhile, isn't much better with a 101 offensive rating. And keeping in line with Sacramento's dead-last defensive efficiency, both Robinson and Garcia have a 109 defensive rating or higher. Let's put it this way: of everybody in Houston's current rotation, Omer Asik has the team's worst offensive rating at 104. Sure, Robinson and Garcia will be helped with Harden spreading the floor. But will they be helped that much? I'm skeptical.

Patrick Patterson and Toney Douglas may not have the defensive prowess that can cure Seattle's, err, Sacramento's ills (too soon?), and the Kings aren't magically turning into a playoff team by getting better this season. That ship has sailed. But with Patterson's 114 offensive rating, they're getting at least some value back. Just don't expect much else other than scoring - Patterson's true rebound percentage is six points lower than Robinson's, and Toney Douglas has both a lower assist percentage and offensive rating than both Isaiah Thomas and Jimmer Fridette.

Deal 2: Marcus Morris to Phoenix

Houston Rockets
Old Playoff Odds: 83.3%
New Playoff Odds: 84.3%
Old Championship Odds: 0.44%
New Championship Odds: 0.46%

Old Playoff Odds: 0.0%
New Playoff Odds: 0.0%
Old Championship Odds: 0.0%
New Championship Odds: 0.0%

Let's be real here; Marcus Morris may turn into a decent player at some point for the Phoenix Suns. But unless Jermaine O'Neal is moving at the deadline, there's a better chance that the Suns Gorilla will make more of a dent in Phoenix's chances this season.

Morris's 10.8 percent true rebound rate sits a full percentage point below everybody currently in Phoenix's frontcourt (brother Markieff Morris is at 12.0 percent). Only Markieff's 110 defensive rating is higher than Marcus's 109 DRtg. And while Marcus Morris's 106 offensive rating would be slightly higher than the rest of the group, especially Markieff's current 95 ORtg, part of that can be attributed to the rest of the Houston offense allowing Morris to spread the floor.

On the Houston side, though, I find it interesting that their playoff odds actually increase by a full percent by getting rid of Marcus Morris. This scenario likely means more playing time for Houston's small lineup of Lin-Harden-Delfino-Parsons-Asik, which saw the floor for the majority of the Rockets' game last night. Houston's third-most used unit, those five have an offensive rating of 117 and a defensive rating of 107 while on the floor, much better than Houston's 110-107 split as a whole this season.

Deal 3: Jordan Crawford to Boston

Boston Celtics
Old Playoff Odds: 92.9%
New Playoff Odds: 91.5%
Old Championship Odds: 0.46%
New Championship Odds: 0.24%

Washington Wizards
Old Playoff Odds: 0.0%
New Playoff Odds: 0.0%
Old Championship Odds: 0.0%
New Championship Odds: 0.0%

With Rondo already gone and new Wizard Leandro Barbosa recently fallen to injury as well, it was safe to assume that the Celtics wanted some immediate depth in the backcourt. What wasn't assumed, however, was that they would sacrifice a bit of their recent defensive mindset to get there.

For Boston, this deal may decreases their playoff odds slightly this season, although that decrease is in fact small and falls within the margin of error. The more pressing issue here comes with Jordan Crawford's lack of emphasis on defense. His 105 defensive rating this season may look good on paper; the fact that his 105 DRtg was tied for the worst on the Washington team does not. While Barbosa may have had the same 105 DRtg, his mark is actually better than the 107 DRtg posted by Jason Terry and only slightly worse than Avery Bradley's 104 DRtg. As strange as this may be to say, Washington is a better defensive team than Boston overall this season, and Crawford's defensive miscues may be more exposed while wearing green.

Another, albeit Nate Robinson-small, issue comes with Crawford's offensive efficiency this season. Barbosa's 103 offensive rating and .477 eFG% weren't great, but it was at least enough to prop up Bradley's .439 eFG% when they were together on the floor. Crawford's .473 eFG% at least comes close to replicating Barbosa, but his 98 points scored per 100 possessions does not. Barbosa's 38.3 percent 3P% is tough for anybody to replicate, although Crawford is only about four percentage points behind. Crawford's main contribution should be replacing some of Rondo's assists: his 26.1 percent assist rate in Washington is about six percentage points higher than Barbosa's rate in Washington.

Deal 4: Sebastian Telfair to Toronto

Toronto Raptors
Old Playoff Odds: 8.8%
New Playoff Odds: 7.5%
Old Championship Odds: 0.02%
New Championship Odds: 0.00%

Phoenix Suns
Old Playoff Odds: 0.0%
New Playoff Odds: 0.0%
Old Championship Odds: 0.0%
New Championship Odds: 0.0%

I fully realize that I am about the anger the great province of Ontario, and I simply don't care: the Toronto Raptors never had much of a playoff chance anyway.

Yes, I know that they have won six of their last nine. Yes, I know that the East is weak, and the Bucks are losing ground as I type this. Yes, I know that Rudy Gay is now the best player in franchise history or something to that effect (taking the title from Vince Carter?). But the fact remains that the Raptors have simply lost too much ground, and a backup point guard isn't going to be the Great Canadian Savior. Especially if he's Sebastian Telfair.

It surely doesn't help that Toronto's main weakness - letting their opponents score - isn't going to be helped by Telfair. Their 107.8 points allowed per 100 possessions puts them 24th in the league, and their .498 defensive eFG% sits in 18th. Their recent big acquisition has the team's best defensive rating... at 104 (and a 93 offensive rating). So what's going to help stop the bleeding? Why, a guard with a 110 defensive rating and a 100 offensive rating, of course! In eight NBA seasons, Telfair has never had a defensive rating lower than 107; he only once has gone lower than 111 (and that was last year). Despite playing 60 games in six seasons, he has never posted more than 1.1 win shares in a season. And his turnover percentage is a high, in-line-with-his-average 16.3 percent this season.

This is who's going to save your team, Toronto? I'd say not. It's likely off the lottery with the Raptors once again.

Deal 5: Eric Maynor to Portland

Portland Trail Blazers
Old Playoff Odds: 3.3%
New Playoff Odds: 2.4%
Old Championship Odds: 0.0%
New Championship Odds: 0.0%

Oklahoma City Thunder
Old Playoff Odds: 100.0%
New Playoff Odds: 100.0%
Old Championship Odds: 21.4%
New Championship Odds: 21.7%

Ah, Eric Maynor. I remember my days of rooting for him on the Utah Jazz. All, what, about 30 of them?

Maynor used a key reserve for the Thunder, especially in his first two seasons since coming over from Utah. Since then, however, his game has gone off a cliff: an ACL tear in January limited him to nine games played last season, and this year, he's only been on the court for 37 games at about 10 minutes per game. With Russell Westbrook, Kevin Martin, and Reggie Jackson, Maynor quickly became expendable. Know why else he because expendable? His odds of actually hitting a basket are worse than the odds of Oklahoma not having a tornado this year.

Maynor's .378 eFG% this season is not only the worst of his career, but only beats Perry Jones among players on the Thunder. Maynor's 20.0 percent turnover rate is also 2.3 percent higher than his last full season, and his assist rate is 3.1 percent lower than that 2010-2011 season as well. At this point, Maynor is a reclamation project.

He'll fight with Ronnie Price for minutes in Portland, and he'll probably get some, but they won't be efficient minutes. That's why Portland's playoff odds decrease slightly (although still within the margin of error) and Oklahoma City's championship odds take a slight bounce as well.

Deal 6: J.J. Redick to Milwaukee

Milwaukee Bucks
Old Playoff Odds: 82.8%
New Playoff Odds: 83.6%
Old Championship Odds: 0.26%
New Championship Odds: 0.30%

Orlando Magic
Old Playoff Odds: 0.0%
New Playoff Odds: 0.0%
Old Championship Odds: 0.0%
New Championship Odds: 0.0%

Here's a secret that those who don't follow the NBA closely might not realize: J.J. Redick has the third-best effective field goal percentage among NBA guards this season. It's right there in the numbers: he's after Jose Calderon and Kevin Martin and right before Tony Parker. He's just not one of those players that you hear about, considering that he plays for a team that is about 3000 times more likely to be spending late April in Disney World than the hardwood.

Getting excited, Milwaukee fans? Well, here's the rub: that eFG% is about all he has going for him. With a pedestrian nERD of 0.6, numberFire's analytics have him as a mediocre player this season. The advanced numbers back us up as well, as his staggeringly high 112 defensive rating is equal to his uplifting 112 offensive rating. In simpler terms: dude scores a lot, but also gives up a lot too. His career-high 14.1 percent turnover rate inspires very little confidence as well, and although his 22.8 percent assist rate is a career-high as well, those numbers are inflated by his time at point guard this season (over one-third of his minutes on the Magic). He won't get that opportunity with Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis in Milwaukee.

The Bucks may be losing ground in the playoff race - their numberFire odds have dropped about five percent in the past week - and Redick isn't going to help much. Sure, he's an upgrade over Beno Udrih's 104/109 ORtg/DRtg split, but off the bench, his contributions will be muted. It's still a collision course to the eight seed for the Bucks.

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In This Article

Marcus Morris
PF, Phoenix Suns

Patrick Patterson
FC, Toronto Raptors

Francisco Garcia
GF, Houston Rockets

Toney Douglas
G, Miami Heat

Thomas Robinson
PF, Portland Trail Blazers

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