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Warrick vs Baby: The Numbers

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ESPN’s Chris Sheriden just reported that Hakim Warrick is now a free agent. The Memphis Griz rescinded their qualifying offer to him. Sheriden….

Suddenly, another power forward has become available on the unrestricted free-agent landscape — and it could impact Allen Iverson‘s chances of possibly playing for the Memphis Grizzlies next season.

That power forward is Hakim Warrick, who was taken by surprise Thursday night when the Grizzlies rescinded their $3 million qualifying offer to him to give themselves more flexibility on the free-agent market.

This will no doubt stoke the fires for rumors where this valuable journeyman power forward might end up. I’ve already seen my long suffering CelticsStuffLive cohorts Justin Poulin and Jon Duke tweeting about the possibility of a sign and trade of Glen Davis for him.  As if.

The biggest misnomer is that some people think he mostly plays small forward. According to 82games, he played zero minutes at the three. Over 90%  of his minutes were at power forward last season. The rest were at center. He’s a four. Apparently, he’s never a three.

I definitely like Warrick and was hoping that he would have been a possibility for the Cs somewhere along the line this summer. He’s an energy guy, blocks shots and plays inside and adds length. Could that now be possible?

Warrick has apparently been shopping for a better deal. Otherwise he would have taken the qualifying offer of $3 million. Sheriden reports 5 teams have already contacted Bill Duffy, Hakim’s agent (Rondo’s, too). Warrick is in play now that they know that Memphis won’t match and they can deal with a clean slate and no 7 day waiting period for a response from Memphis.

Would he sign for less with the Celtics? Doubtful. Or would a sign & trade with Memphis be possible? That might depend on who for. Memphis was rumored to like Davis early on, but it could be that Boston scared them away with public pronouncements of matching all reasonable offers. Would Danny prefer Warrick to Davis?

Here is why Memphis may have released him according to Sheriden…

Warrick will remain on Memphis’ cap for the time being at $6.2 million — 300 percent of his salary last season — but the Grizzlies could move about $9 million below the cap if they formally renounce their rights to him or move him in a sign-and-trade deal.

It remained to be seen whether the move meant the Grizzlies were ready to resume discussions with Iverson, who was offered a one-year contract by Memphis earlier this summer and whose box-office appeal is said to be a selling point with owner Michael Heisley.

And this…

Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace told ESPN.com. “We like Hakim and felt he contributed, but we wanted a little more flexibility going forward in free agency.”

They left the door open to Warrick possibly returning, but it appears that Micheal Heisley is going to try to sign someone for bigger money….like Allen Iverson? That assumes that Iverson would start, as AI said he would rather retire than come off the bench. Like Don Sterling, the Clippers owner, he’s looking for star power to put fannies in the seats.

I haven’t seen the ruling come down from the league office that allows three basketballs on the court (Mayo, Gay, and Iverson) at the same time. But I’ll check twitter as often as I can.

Warrick’s definitely a better scorer, shot blocker, and rebounder than Davis, right?

Let’s look the numbers first:

Basketball Reference says…

Warrick has been a better scorer over his career, averaging  16.9 over 36 minutes

Davis averages just 11.8 over 36 minutes.

Shooting/Scoring

They are identical in fg% at 49% last season. But in 3 minutes more per game, Warrick got to the line twice as much with 4.6 attempts vs. 2.3 attempts. They make foul shots at about the same clip (slightly over 70%). That would make some sense as Warrick plays inside more and Davis plays outside more. There in lies the biggest difference in their games. Some say that’s what a power forward should be doing. I don’t disagree.

Warrick is the better inside scorer with a very healthy adjusted inside FG% rate of .638. Davis is at .559 inside. Warrick’s athleticism definitely works for him here. (By comparison, Kevin Garnett’s at a ridiculous .745%) Warrick takes 46% of his shots inside with 16% as dunks. Davis takes 40% inside with just 3% as dunks.

So, at this point, it’s safe to say that Warrick’s a somewhat better scorer, even though their FG pcts. are exactly the same for the season. Part of Warrick’s problem is that he is a poor jump shooter, and probably takes too many jumpers for his own good. 54% of his shots are jump shots, but Hakim hits them at just .372%. That probably would be stopped on the Celtics. Warrick’s numbers should rise, IMO.

Davis hit jumpers at just .369% but got much better as the year went on, so his season number is deceiving.

Rebounding

Here is a surprise. Over their careers, they both rebound at almost exactly the same rate. Glen is at 7.1 per 36 minutes. Hakim is at 7.2 over 36 minutes. Who would have thought? Glen did take a slight dip (6.6) this past season. But I would expect that he improves this season and that it was partially due to his responsibility to create outside ‘spacing’.

Glen is a slightly better offensive rebounder (8.2 % vs 6.8%). Hakim is a slightly better defensive rebounder (15.2% vs. 12.2%).

Maybe Warrick isn’t as good of a rebounder as I thought he was.

Shot Blocking

Here Hakim has it all over earthbound Davis, right? Hmmm…another minor surprise. Davis blocks .3 over 21 minutes. Warrick blocks .6 over 24.4 minutes. That’s better than Davis, but hardly what you would consider a ‘shot blocker.’ Warrick blocks 1.2% of all shots and Davis blocks  .8%. Davis did block 2 dunks, while Warrick blocked none. Warrick averages .6 blocks over 36 minutes over his career. Meh.

Warrick is 6′ 9″ and listed at 219 lbs. Davis is 6′ 9″ and listed at 289, but we now know that he played at about 310-320. They have opposite challenges.

That might be why a better leaper like Warrick doesn’t rebound that well. He mght be getting pushed around. There is something to be said for holding your position.

Defensively, Warrick hasn’t been known to be that good either. In his ‘defense’, Memphis hasn’t exactly been defensive minded over recent years (giving up 99 points LY – in the middle of the pack). Forgetting Mikki Moore, he would probably improve with the Cs.

So there you have it. You decide.

Me? Anyone who reads my stuff regularly probably knows who I would choose, if I had to choose between the two. I’d keep Davis. He is 3.5 years younger. I’m a believer that Davis has upside and will get better. Hakim will get marginally better playing with the Celtics.

Not that that’s a bad thing. He’s a solid role player for sure. But I’d like to have him and Davis, not instead of.

The Sheed as ‘A Long Distance Shooter’ Myth

Many say that with Rasheed Wallace on board, we don’t need outside shooting like last season, rendering Davis useless. My take is exactly the opposite. Do you really want Sheed standing at the three point line for half the game? What did we get him for then? That is useless. Three point shooters are a dime a dozen.

Ther was nothing I liked better than seeing Wallace heading to the arc, when the Cs played Detroit in the playoffs two years ago. It took him out of the play.

Sheed needs to mostly be around the hoop at both ends of the court. Occasionally, he can drift out to keep defenses honest. He’s better and more effective around the hoop. My point is that Davis has a role here.

Not that Warrick couldn’t be a solid addition here. He absolutely could. We need an inside player off the bench, too. Unless everyone’s forgotten how important Leon Powe was.

So, would Memphis take someone other Davis? I’d try that strategy. Scal? Walker?

Thomas Halzack

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