GM of the year? These four transactions may give them a leg up
- By Andrew Seitz, Day 166, 2022
I wanted to highlight some of my favorite moves this offseason (and one bonus trade deadline deal) and the effect they have had on their teams.
Jevon Novak, Denver Dragons
“The Skyhawks traded Jevon Novak to the Dragons for Mirko Blazevic, the 2022 Lumberjacks 2nd Round pick and the 2023 Dragons 1st Round pick.”
The Dragons will be the first expansion team in the playoffs, and a big part of it is the play of Novak, who is named after my favorite settlement in Fallout:NV. I was interested in getting Novak but didn’t want to pay the price. Turns out that he was cheap. He alone will end up with almost 9 WS and 19 EWA. Last year the Dragons’ production from the PG position from all players was an unimpressive 2.2 WS and 4.5 EWA. The move also allowed OB1 to go back to his natural SG positions, where his production increased from 0.5 WS and 3.7 EWA to 2.9 WS and 7.6 EWA. Overall this trade helped the Dragons tremendously. Knowing he would lead the expansion Dragons to the playoffs, would the Skyhawks have done anything differently? “No regrets at all, he wasn’t going to get me there,” according to GM w7, “He’s not a winner.”
Wesley Sherman, Scorpions
“Scorpions signed Wesley Sherman to a two-year contract at $10,000,000 per year.”
After a ho-hum start to his career, “The Tank” has really taken off after being traded by the Mustangs to the Bullets prior to the 2021 season. His WS/48 the past three years has gone from .115 to .169 to .194. I was surprised he got so little money in free agency, and he signed fairly late in the process too. Sherman wasn’t the Scorpions’ first choice: “I first bid on my current PF Quadree Ratliff,” says GM RGK, “but once I realized Baltimore was in the bidding, I knew I would likely be out of the running.” After being priced out of Ratliff, he went searching for another PF and found Sherman. “I think it was a target that slipped through the cracks.” There was some thought that Sherman wouldn’t fit in the fast-pace offense but he seems to have adapted well. His injury at the end of the season has proven to be a big loss for the Scorpions. The only negative I can see to this contract is the short two-year length, but RKG sees this position as a “revolving door” on the team.
Reggie Coleman, Warriors
“The Warriors traded Reggie Coleman to the Drones for the 2024 Drones 1st Round pick.”
Coleman was an impending free agent who had been in a multi-year decline, and it didn’t stop with a change in scenery. Surely, his teammates don’t help, but his .012 WS/48 this season is among the worst in the league. He hasn’t been able to start for even the woeful Drones. We don’t know where the 2024 pick will land up, but it looks like the Warriors picked up a likely lottery pick for a 0.5 WS season. Coleman should be on a JBL roster next season, but only as a flier for a reclamation project, not as someone that should be counted on to share the load on a playoff team.
Pace LaGarde and Marcus Wright, Jailbirds
“The Jailbirds traded Dameon Clarke, along with the 2023 Jailbirds 2nd Round pick to the Mustangs for Pace LaGarde.”
“The Skyhawks traded Marcus Wright to the Jailbirds for Justin Rooks, Kyle Vanderpool and Lucas White, the 2023 Jailbirds 1st Round pick and the 2024 Jailbirds 2nd Round pick.”
These deals have to be seen I think as one deal. There was a glut of PF’s on the market near the trade deadline, and the Jailbirds took advantage of this by swapping one of their PF’s for 6-time All-Star SF LaGarde, and then picking up PF Wright. The JBirds are 18-5 since the trade. Wright has been a defensive upgrade over Clarke, and Cheaney and Carter have flourished with the increased touches and playmaking ability of LaGarde. It’s not all positive, however: the JBirds have gotten older with the trade. “Yeah a go-for-it move,” says GM Austin, “I think Cheaney and Carter are in their prime and saw this as a good move to not only improve my chances this year but keep flexibility in the future.” They’ve also reduced their future depth by trading those draft picks, and are probably the East’s version of the Lightning. “One injury would likely ruin our team.” The real test of this trade though will be in the playoffs.