BREAKDOWN – Stats Mo Williams for Devin Harris did Jazz improve?

The Lakers and Nuggets were involved in the blockbuster trade of the off-season and on Locked on Jazz we statistically broke down the trades to see how the teams improved. The Lakers improved nearly 7 wins and the Nuggets stayed about the same

For a moment let’s assume the Jazz just made two trades Devin Harris for Mo Williams and Raja Bell, CJ Miles and Josh Howard for Marvin Williams and Randy Foye. Here is how those would be statistically broken down if they had been made.

Devin Harris for Mo Williams
In Los Angeles Mo Williams used 14 possessions a game. In Utah Devin Harris used 12 possessions a game. Mo Williams averaged .94 pts per possession whereas Harris averaged a bit better at .95 pts per possession.

In the previous season both Harris and Williams were traded mid-season and that de-railed their effectiveness so we will keep the research one last year alone.

Offensively, the Jazz slipped about .14 pts per game with the move from Harris to Williams.

On the defensive end, Utah was very poor with Harris on the floor allowing 107.7 pts per 100 possessions and when he was on the bench they were a notch better at 106.8, but still not good. According to 82 opposing pt guards had a 16.6 PER, a notch below average.

Mo Williams does not seem to be a defensive upgrade. With Mo on the floor the Clippers allowed 110 pts per 100 possessions and when he was off the floor they allowed 105.0. However, Williams played 80% of his minutes at the shooting guard where he is terribly undersized. In his limited time at point guard the opposing point guards had a 15.0 PER, average and better than Harris.

To discover if Williams is a better defensive point guard I went back to his two previous season. In 10-11 with the Clippers he was the point guard and allowed opponents just 13.7 PER. That is fairly strong. However, the defense still allowed 109.9 pts per 100 possessions when he was on the floor. That is better than the 110.7 they allowed when he was on the bench.

His Cleveland defensive numbers told a similar story, better at point than at shooting guard but not super at point guard.

Neither of these guys have great defensive numbers. The difference between the two seems to be immaterial.

In conclusion, looking statistically the Jazz are virtually the same on the offensive end and a slight upgraded defensively but not enough to account for wins. I would call the Jazz even statistically on this hypothetical deal.

The coaching staff can give you numerous reasons why the Jazz are improved on non numbers issues. Time will tell.