payitforward wrote:All the same, I see a couple of problems with it.
The first is that if you choose players on fit, you will achieve fit -- but you won't achieve equivalent quality. If you take a less-talented player in the draft because the most-talented player available doesn't fill a position need, then you will have a less talented roster. Period. If you scale that practice, you wind up with an average team. This is not a fact about basketball, it's a fact about life.
The second problem is that "fit" is a more complex, subtle thing to make judgments about than talent is. It's speculative, multi-dimensional & abstract. You are certain to make more mistakes about "fit" than about "talent" (about which, of course, you will also make mistakes; nothing in life is easy).
I think it's the exact opposite. Fit is much easier to see than talent, particularly when we know that two players can only play one position.
If we had Bryant and Allen, one of them would have to come off the bench. It's situations like that (two starting caliber players, one position available) where you inevitably get forced into a trade from a position of weakness. Assuming Bryant comes off the bench, teams would only assign backup value to him in any trade for him. Basically, we'd have two choices. Trade him at 50 cents on the dollar, or keep him and pay him a starter's salary to play 18 minutes a night.
If at all possible, I'd much rather trade Bryant (and stuff) for Allen than trade Rui (and stuff) for Allen. (That's assuming a relatively equivalent trade value for Rui and Bryant.)
Well, first off, there's an obvious sense in which you're right & I'm wrong! It's much easier to see what position a guy plays than how good he is! I didn't express myself very significantly there. Beyond a guy's position, however, I think it's hard to see what players will "fit" with one another -- mostly because that issue involves matters beyond basketball. It is, to some degree, about the players as individuals.
Your point about needing to trade one of the two guys under discussion, b/c otherwise you have a starter-level player coming off the bench, & about being in a position where you'd be forced to take less than the guy's worth... I'm less certain about either of those, nate. & this is less a discussion about basketball than it is about business.
For one thing, every trade occurs because of the needs/desires of two (or more) trade partners. Of course, everyone wants the best deal possible, but if I need a good Center, I'm going into the marketplace to get the best guy I can afford, &, b/c it's a free market, I'll be competing for talent with every other team that is looking to acquire it. I will have to pay the market price -- unless I find a trade partner who doesn't understand the value of what he has (a different issue from the one you raise) or can't keep a guy for some forcing reason (e.g. roster room).
Are there exceptions to this? Of course! For example, some times if you know a guy is good, but you know you can't keep him, you might be motivated to take less for him (or nothing at all) just to get him where you aren't helping an important competitor.
I'm pretty sure that's how Bryant wound up a Wizard, btw. When the Lakers knew they couldn't keep Bryant, they were eager for him to wind up somewhere in the Eastern Conference. I'm guessing that before waiving Bryant, Pelinka called Tommy Sheppard & told him what was going to happen, advising him to grab the kid. Our off season deal with the Lakers -- even our acquisition of Bertans, come to think of it -- are similar cases. If I'm the San Antonio GM, I'm not sending Bertans to Houston for a tpa! I'm sending him to the Wizards!
In the end, though, your point still comes down to who you think is, or will be, the better player: Bryant or Hachimura. &, to an equal degree, your trade partner's thoughts on the same subject!
Remember -- if you don't like the post above: blame Doc not me.