With all the hype surrounding this year’s NBA Finals, there is the inevitable talk of the trades both the Celtics and the Lakers made earlier in the season. The biggest trade the Celtics made was for Kevin Garnett, not to mention Ray Allen as well. The Lakers, on the other hand, traded for Pau Gasol. The question is, which trade was better for which team? It’s an interesting question with a lot of perspectives. I took a quick look at the statistics, and based on points alone, it looks like both trades were equally beneficial to each team.
Just a note, these are not scientific analyses I’m putting forward. They’re just quick comparisons to get an idea of who did better. I compared the two on points alone. Taking their average points per game, I looked at each team’s win margins. Comparing the PPG to the win margins, you can get the idea of how responsible one person is for a win. Since KG averaged 18.8 points per game (rounded to 19), I can see how many games the Celtics might have lost if they didn’t have Garnett. It turns out that the Celtics won 44 games by 19 or less. That adds up to 2/3 of the Celtics wins this season. I do realize KG didn’t play in all the games, but again this is rough.
With Pau Gasol, I had to factor in that he only played 28 games for the Lakers over a 37 game stretch. The Lakers won 15 games by 19 points or less, again this is about half.
So neither team benefitted any more than the other with this trade. But, it’s obvious which team gained more from the trades they made, that would be the Celtics. Remember, they were 24-58 last year. This year, they were 66-16. I’m not sure there’s much to argue with that.