A hockey trade! The Columbus Blue Jackets and the Winnipeg Jets each bit the bullet this weekend and traded their unhappy forwards to each other. This sort of deal is a rarity in the NHL under normal conditions and pulling it off in the middle of the pandemic is almost unfathomable. Understandably, most of the subsequent chatter has been focused on determining which team came out ahead (see Prashanth Iyer’s grades below) but I instead want to take a look at which player comes out best.
The NBA, more than any other major sport, is built around its players, with their unique skills and personalities driving fan interest and league revenues worldwide. It seems odd then that we only focus on team outcomes when analyzing trades. If it’s the players that really matter, then shouldn’t we also try to determine how their futures are impacted? I’ve decided to make an attempt at filling this gap, digging into the data and projecting who won this winter’s blockbuster trade between John Wall and Russell Westbrook.