Thursday, June 18, 2009
Given my affinity for Big Al, I figured I'd talk about the rumor being tossed out that the Timberwolves were going to be jettisoning him and the #6 pick for Amar'e Stoudemire. Simply put it makes no sense. Before we discuss, let me just display their 08-09 stats.
First off let's just put it out their simply, Big Al had better stats than Stoudemire did. Now you can qualify it two ways, Stoudemire had Shaq and Big Al didn't so obviously his rebounds and shot totals are going to be down from what the Timberwolves leaned on Big Al to do. But you can also say that Amar'e's percentages are greatly enhanced by the easy buckets that having an elite point guard like Steve Nash can get you. Both suck at defense so really, it looks like Big Al probably had a better season.
Now to the off the court matters. Big Al is signed to a long term deal through 12/13 while Stoudemire can opt out of his deal following next year. Given that Minnesota isn't exactly the big time hot spot to attract free agents, why exactly would they want someone off the books next year when they have a building block currently in place.
Next is the age factor. Big Al is 2 years plus change younger than Amar'e. Neither is out of their prime or anything, but this is just another factor in Big Al's advantage especially given the fact that he's improved his scoring in each of his 5 years.
Health is currently in Amar'e's favor given that Big Al is recovering from a torn ACL, but in reality Stoudemire has been plagued by injuries his entire career and did have the microfracture surgery a few years back. This can't be that major of a factor, especially given the fact that the Timberwolves wouldn't exactly morph into a title contender if they picked up Amar'e for next season.
Lastly and most importantly, this entire post has been debating whether trading Big Al for Amar'e straight up makes any sense. Why the hell would the Timberwolves give up on their best player and the #6 draft pick for a guy that's set to be a free agent after this season? This makes absolutely positively no sense.