My fundamental belief in evaluating the game of basketball is to narrow it down to the efficiency of a single possession. The value of players should be based on how they impact each of those possessions. Defensively this is very difficult. Offensively, I believe this takes a huge stride in showing the value of a player inside of a game.
I have created Players Points Above Average Created (PAAC). PAAC (this stat needs a new acronym) shows what players have the largest offensive impact on every game. PAAC evaluates how each player uses a scoring opportunity (FGA or trip to the free throw line) in comparison to the average in the NBA. Therefore, by the end of a game PAAC shows how many points his team has gained or lost compared to an average player in the NBA using those scoring opportunities.
Kevin Durant leads the NBA at 3.9 PAAC (pts per game above average). Steph Curry (3.5) and James Harden (3.3) are next. If a team increases their offensive efficiency (pts per 100 possessions) by one point over the course of a season it translates to roughly 2.7 wins.
Last year, Kevin Durant and LeBron James had historic offensive seasons. Durant lead the NBA with a PAAC of 4.8 and LeBron James was a 4.5. The next closest was James Harden at 3.2 PAAC.
Lance Stephenson does the most damage to his team leaving the Hornets -2.9 pts below league average in his scoring opportunities each night. Michael Carter Williams and Kobe Bryant (-2.7) have the next highest negative impact on their team.
Last year, the 3 players with the worst impact on their team, who played at least 40 games were Josh Smith -2.7 PAAC, Michael Carter Williams -2.1 and Trey Burke -1.8.
Fundamentally, if a player is scoring 23 points a game but using an excessive amount of scoring opportunities he is not helping his team win even if he is scoring 23 points a game. On the flip side it is possible the player using just 10 scoring points a game is doing it with such an amazing efficiency that he is putting the team further above the average than players who score at a higher volume.
The most interesting finding with PAAC is the value of dunkers and 3 point shooters. Dallas is +2.6 above the league average on the few scoring opportunities used by Tyson Chandler. Chandler ranks the 6th best PAC in the NBA. Despite only using 7.5 scoring opportunities a night Tyson Chandler has the 6th biggest positive impact of an offensive player. Other dunkers, DeAndre Jordan is 8th, Hassan Whiteside is 11th and Brandan Wright is 14th.
Kyle Korver only uses 9 scoring opportunities a night, but is the 4th highest impact player in the NBA. Korver is +3.1 pts per game above average on his scoring opportunities. Only Durant, Curry and Harden move their team further above average on a nightly basis. Other high volume three point shooters are also on the top of the list, JJ Redick is 10th and Wesley Matthews is 17thin PAAC.
TOP 10 PAAC
Durant 3.9 PAAC
Anthony Davis 2.7
Tyson Chandler 2.6
Klay Thompson 2.2
DeAndre Jordan 2.0
LeBron James 1.9
J.J. Redick 1.8