Monday, February 25, 2008

The Swin Cash Trade

I was out all last week on vacation and had no internet access where I was staying. Blogging from a coffee shop with two screaming kids does not work too well, so I have been entirely offline despite the big trade of the number 4 pick in this year's draft for veteran Swin Cash from the Detroit Shock.

Lambier was smart and cored Cash to ensure that he would get something in return for a player he knew had market value, but that he no longer wanted on his roster. Seattle, on the other hand, apparently wants to win now and not wait for draft picks to mature.

This trade essentially means that Seattle got Roneeka Hodges and Swin Cash for Izi. That isn't too shabby of a deal. I like how Cash has the potential to compliment the Storm leaders like LJ, Sue and JB. She is an athletic cutter who can hit a nice mid-range jumper. As a result of her injury in 2004, she has lost some speed and some explosiveness that she utilized earlier in her career. She is still a lengthy defender who should fit in well with the existing offensive players. I consider her an upgrade to Izi. She doesn't shoot the three point shot, but we still have Bird and Gearlds for that. Betty needed the ball in her hands and Izi was a transition scorer or spot up shooter. Swin works well in a multi-star system and moves well off the ball. She will give Coach Agler different set of options offensively and will improve perimeter defense. Izi had better range and was a better overall shooter, but the benefits to the Storm will come in defense and the different look for the offense.

The numbers back up my initial thoughts.

Izi's three point shooting gave her a better overall Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) in both of the last two seasons, though their actual shooting percentages were fairly identical. Cash offered a significantly better Stop Percentage and Defensive Rating though we have to remember that the weakness of current defensive individual statistics means that Detroit as a team offered significantly better defensive ratings that would swell Swin's individual numbers. Last year was Swin's worst year, and it marked a year where Izi still only just produced as many points per game (with assists weighted into the equation) as did Swin. Swin also seemed to work better with a passer like Riley in the post rather than Ford and Braxton/Feenstra. Here numbers have dropped since Riley was traded. Both LJ and JB have shown the ability to pass from the high post, which is what Riley used to offer for Detroit.

When I look at the numbers for Swin in the past two seasons, however, I also try to look at them with the caveat that she was unhappy playing in a system that has made her less relevant over time. Swin was the centerpiece of the 2003 championship team with a rising Nolan and Ford and a declining Riley. After her 2004 injury, Nolan and Ford became the centerpieces of the franchise and Cash and Riley were slowly pushed out of the picture. I don't think we will see the Cash of 2003 next year, but I don't expect the Cash of 2007 either. I expect to see her play better than we have seen her play over the past few years and fit in well with her new team. There are a lot of things that Cash did that annoyed our players in the past, but thankfully, now she will be inflicting them on our opponents.

Welcome to Seattle, Swin.

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