Tuesday, March 30, 2010

PER and the Triple Trade

The biggest thing in WNBA news is a three-team trade centered around the Phoenix Mercury's Cappie Pondexter. With Phoenix struggling with cap space, they send Pondexter and Kelly Mazzante to the New York Liberty. The Libs send Shameka Christon and Cathrine Kraayeveld to the Chicago Sky, and the Sky's Candice Dupree finds herself in a Mercury uniform.

I decided to look at the weighted Player Efficiency Ratings (PER) of all parties involved in the trade. The parenthesis indicate the minutes played by the given player - the resulting career PER is weighted by minutes.

Weighted Career PER

Dupree: 19.85
Pondexter/Mazzante: 21.63 (4110)/12.24(2852) : 17.78
Christon/Kraayeveld: 15.19 (5382)/13.24(3915) : 14.37

It look like at least in the short term, the winners are going to be the New York Liberty. If they can figure out a way to not play Kelly Mazzante - the weakest player involved in the trade - it's an even bigger win, but I suspect that the Libs need all the players they can get. Pondexter is entering the peak years of her career and as they say, "Pondexter can move product" - she's popular and fun. New York seems to have an affinity for players that have names that others find hard to spell, but I think that Pondexter is less likely to be misspelled than Cathrine Kraayeveld.

In the long term, the winner might be the Phoenix Mercury. Dupree isn't as good as Pondexter, but she's two years younger and there's more upside. Dupree is already a three-time All-Star and playing for a WNBA champion can't hurt her pedigree.

I suspect the losers are going to be the Chicago Sky. They lose their franchise player and Christon is two years away from the red light going off in her palm. However, Christon's last two years have been better than the previous years. Kraayeveld will just be glad to play.

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