Lotto teams making splash in free agency

As the Houston Rockets and other playoff teams look to improve this offseason, there are teams just looking to get back into the playoff fold.

Below is a statistical look at some of the biggest moves made by those teams.


Key Addition: Josh Smith

Last Playoff Appearance: 2008-09

Smith has been a known commodity on defense in his career, but the success of his offensive game has depended on shot selection.

Win shares estimates the number of wins a player contributed to a team based off statistical performance, and can be divided into offensive and defensive win shares.

Most Defensive Win Shares
Since 2006-07

Since 2006-07, he ranks fifth in defensive win shares, trailing three MVPs and three-time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard.

But which Smith will the Pistons get offensively?

In the 2009-10 season, Smith set career highs in field goal percentage (50.5) and offensive win shares (4.2). Smith attempted only seven 3-pointers that season, and as a result his average shot was a career-low 6.8 feet from the basket.

Since what was arguably his best offensive season, Smith has shot 46.7 percent from the field, averaging 2.1 3-pointers per game. His average shot has come 11.7 feet from the basket, and he has a combined 3.5 offensive win shares, including a minus-0.3 rating last season.

The Pistons averaged the second-most points in the paint last season (46.5 PPG) and could be a force inside with Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond.


Key Addition: Al Jefferson

Last Playoff Appearance: 2009-10 (only appearance in franchise history)

With the acquisition of Jefferson, the Bobcats will have a major low post scorer for the first time in franchise history.

In 2008-09, Boris Diaw averaged 15.1 points per game while starting 55 games for the Bobcats at power forward. That’s the highest scoring average for a Bobcats power forward or center in franchise history.

Since leaving the Celtics in 2007, Al Jefferson has averaged 19.3 points per game, never dipping below 17.1 for a full season.

Jefferson does most of his damage inside as he was one of 13 NBA players last season to average at least 10 points in the paint per game.

The Bobcats averaged 38.6 points in the paint per game last season (24th in the NBA), with 6-foot-1 point guard Kemba Walker leading the team (6.6 paint PPG).


Key Addition: Tyreke Evans

Last Playoff Appearance: 2010-11

Evans lost favor in Sacramento after winning the Rookie of the Year award in 2009-10, but he shot a career-high 47.8 percent last season and has the ability to score inside.

Most PPG Inside the Paint
Guards Since 2009-10

Since entering the NBA, Dwyane Wade is the only guard to average more points per game inside the paint than Evans, whose 9.8 points per game in the paint ranks 13th among all NBA players over that time.

If the Pelicans choose to hang onto Eric Gordon and bring Evans off the bench, he’ll help boost a bench unit that averaged only 10.7 points inside the paint last season (23rd) despite logging the eighth-most minutes.