HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — Fans of the Milwaukee Bucks are probably pretty happy with Tuesday’s trade after their team’s 120-98 win in Golden State on Friday. Monta Ellis helped his new team score 120 points on his old team and keep pace with the New York Knicks for the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Ellis is the biggest name from the five-player deal that got the trade season started. Andrew Bogut, if healthy, is the best player. But the other guy the Bucks got (not the expiring contract of Kwame Brown) in the deal was the one with the best numbers.
No, I’m not talking about points, rebounds or assists.
Ekpe Udoh averaged just 4.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 96 games for Golden State. But the Warriors, who were 45-51 in games Udoh played, outscored their opponents by an incredible 255 points in Udoh’s 1,856 minutes, and were outscored by 512 in his 3,944 minutes on the bench.
The advanced numbers show that Golden State was much better on both ends of the floor when Udoh was in the game.
Warriors efficiency with Udoh on and off the floor, last two seasons (prior to trade)
|Udoh on/off floor||MIN||Pace||OffRtg||DefRtg||NetRtg||+/-|
Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions
Ellis was the Warrior teammate who shared the floor most with Udoh. The two were a plus-179 in 1,270 minutes together. Without Udoh, Ellis was a minus-465 in 3,322 minutes with the Warriors over the last two seasons.
What’s funny is that Udoh was the No. 6 pick of the draft less than two years ago. His box-score numbers didn’t stand out, but the most important numbers in basketball are the ones on the scoreboard. And you have to wonder why the Warriors gave up on a young and athletic big man, who has more than two years left on his rookie contract and who made such a difference when he played.
Compare Udoh to Andris Biedrins, who is a minus-301 over the last two seasons for the Warriors and is owed $9 million each of the next two seasons. No team is taking that burdensome contract in a trade and the Warriors could have used the amnesty clause to waive Biedrins back in December. Instead, they chose to use it on Charlie Bell, who had a $4.1 million contract this season. Three months later, they traded Udoh.
Check out our offseason stats review of the Warriors for more on Biedrins’ negative impact (under Compatibility in the backcourt?).
Ultimately, how we view the Bucks-Warriors trade might depend on Bogut’s effectiveness when he returns from his broken ankle. But no matter how well Bogut recovers from his injury, the Warriors will probably regret giving up on a young difference-maker like Udoh.
Oh yeah, in his first game with the Bucks, Udoh was 0-for-2 from the field with four rebounds … and was a plus-10.