Brandon Jennings was acquired by the Pistons on Tuesday in a sign-and-trade deal that sends Brandon Knight, Viacheslav Kravtsov, and Khris Middleton to Milwaukee. 61-percent of 3,477 voters indicated a couple of weeks ago that the Pistons should try to acquire Jennings and now that they have gone and done it, it seems the majority of the vocal fans do not like it.
ESPN's Kevin Pelton feels differently, though, giving Joe Dumars a B+ for the estranged GM's latest move.
Pelton provided a blind comparison of Jennings with Jrue Holiday, stacking up their usage, true shooting, assist, turnover, and win percentages, and their respective WARP. Jennings, 23, appears to ever-so-slightly come out on top of the little younger Holiday, who will make $44 million over the next four years.
I think we can agree that the two players are statistically similar. Despite a much better field-goal percentage, Holiday is the less efficient scorer because he takes fewer 3-pointers and gets to the free throw line far less often. His superior assist rate is offset by far more turnovers. By my WARP system, their seasons were basically identical. PER gives Holiday the slight edge, while Win Shares dramatically favors Jennings because they give less credit to Holiday for playing a larger role in his team's offense.
After admitting that Holiday is better and discussing some of the potential problems for the Pistons, Pelton went on to add:
On a more positive note, Jennings is hardly a non-shooter; per Synergy Sports his effective field-goal percentage on spot-up attempts (.492) wasn't much worse than Knight's mark (.516). And both Jennings' greatest strength (taking care of the basketball) and weakness (inaccurate shooting, especially in the paint) fit well with the Pistons' big lineup. Detroit has an excellent chance of rebounding those misses, which isn't possible with turnovers.
Joe Dumars has upgraded Detroit's lineup this offseason without getting substantially older. A core of Jennings (23), Monroe (23) and Drummond (who doesn't turn 20 until next month) has plenty of upside, and even Smith is just 27. Dumars is certainly taking a risk that these pieces will fit together, but if nothing else the 2013-14 Pistons will be a fascinating experiment. Compared to the extended run of boring mediocrity since the dissolution of the 2004 champions, I think the effort is worth it.
Now, your thoughts and rebuttal grades.