Unlike last year, the 2016 NBA trade deadline was a bit of a snoozer. Nineteen players were dealt on Thursday, deadline day itself — the 12th-most since 1987. In the traditionally busy two weeks leading up to the cutoff, however, only seven others were moved, which means the raw activity around this year’s deadline was basically average. Quality wasn’t exactly bursting out over quantity, either. As a group, the traded players averaged almost exactly zero wins above replacement per 82 games this season, the eighth-lowest rate among trade deadlines since ’87. (Of course, it could be worse — sometimes an entire crop of trade targets can average out well below the replacement level, as happened in 1992.)Most of this year’s trades were made by teams jockeying for playoff position (Charlotte’s Courtney Lee pickup comes to mind), collecting future assets (Detroit snagged Tobias Harris and Donatas Motiejunas in separate deals this week) or dumping disgruntled players (Markieff Morris and Lance Stephenson were sent packing by the Suns and Clippers, respectively). These are the kinds of incremental moves that help a franchise in the long run. But nobody would characterize them as blockbusters, and hardly any involved the handful of teams that have a chance to win the 2015-16 NBA championship.If any contender received consensus praise at the deadline, though, it was Cleveland, which snagged Channing Frye for Anderson Varejao, Jared Cunningham and a couple of draft picks. The advanced analytics have always crushed hard on Frye — he currently ranks eighth among power forwards in ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus, ahead of Anthony Davis (!) — with his classic stretch-big mix of long-distance shooting, decent-enough rebounding and surprisingly solid defensive metrics. (To that last point, RPM actually thinks Frye’s defense is a far bigger contributor to his bottom-line impact than his offense.) Let’s face it — nobody will be shocked if Frye ends up hitting a huge shot or two for the Cavs during what’s probably going to be another deep run in the Eastern Conference playoffs.And when it comes to deadline pickups, players like Frye often make a more indelible postseason mark than the types of big-name superstars everyone was hoping to see moved Thursday, anyway.Statistically, the best deadline acquisition of the past 30 years1Including players acquired within two weeks of each season’s deadline. was Clyde Drexler — clearly not a role player, even in his twilight — who produced 5.5 WAR for the Rockets after getting shipped to Houston for Otis Thorpe in 1995. Drexler went on to help Houston capture its second straight NBA title, but that makes him an exception among hyper-productive deadline pickups: W. Williams1996MIA2.2+7.5-1.0Lost first round B. Davis2005GS3.1+11.0-1.9Missed playoffs J. Kidd2008DAL3.9+1.4+1.4Lost first round J. Mashburn1997MIA2.8+2.2-4.3Lost conf. finals D. Mutombo2001PHI2.2-2.2-2.6Lost NBA Finals T. Kukoc2001ATL2.2+5.0-8.9Missed playoffs TEAM EFF. CHANGE L. Nance1988CLE3.3+3.8-3.0Lost first round A. Robertson1993DET2.8+2.5-0.9Missed playoffs PLAYERYEARNEW TEAMPOST-TRADE WAROFFDEFPLAYOFF OUTCOME V. Radmanovic2006LAC2.2+1.1-0.7Lost conf. semis M. Camby2010POR2.6+0.8+1.8Lost first round C. Drexler1995HOU5.5+2.4-5.9Won NBA Finals R. Allen2003SEA5.5+4.6+1.2Missed playoffs B. Miller2002IND2.6+2.3+0.6Lost first round S. Marbury1999NJ2.8+11.6-6.6Missed playoffs G. Wallace2011POR2.6+2.6+0.8Lost first round Historically, productive deadline pickups don’t often go hand in hand with deep playoff runs. They can help their new teams’ bottom lines — since 1987, each additional WAR produced by a newcomer after the deadline has been associated with a 0.9-point improvement to his team’s efficiency differential, compared with the team’s differential before the trade. But oftentimes those players are shipped into situations where no amount of productivity can keep the ship from sinking or drag an average roster to playoff greatness.And even the stars who go to good teams can arrive to mixed results. Drexler, like Jamal Mashburn in 1997 and Dikembe Mutombo in 2001, played well after landing in his new destination, but his team’s net efficiency sank dramatically down the stretch of the regular season before righting itself in the playoffs.Furthermore, because trades involve, uh, trade-offs between teams, sometimes star deals simply re-allocate strengths from one side of the ball to the other. The biggest post-deadline boost in offensive efficiency since 1987 belongs to the 1999 New Jersey Nets, which added offensive dynamo Stephon Marbury and improved their efficiency at that end by 11.6 points per 100 possessions … but also got worse on defense by 6.6 points per 100 possessions. (Marbury didn’t exactly lock opponents down on D.)Likewise, the biggest boost in defensive efficiency belongs to last year’s Jazz, which improved by 10.6 points per 100 possessions on D after jettisoning defensive sieve Enes Kanter and installing Stifle Tower Rudy Gobert as starting center … but also got worse by 2.3 points per 100 possessions on offense. That’s still a clear win for the Jazz, but it shows that blockbuster deadline trades rarely come off perfectly clean, without some downside to go with the benefits.Which brings us back to Frye and the Cavaliers. Frye’s no superstar — his wins added are modest despite his impressive RPM because he logged only 17 minutes a night in Orlando, a number that isn’t likely to increase given Cleveland’s existing frontcourt situation. But he’s in what’s historically been a sweet spot for deadline pickups: He’s coming to an existing title contender at very little cost, where he’ll be asked to fill a specific (yet important) role. There are no guarantees on the NBA trade market, but low-risk/moderate-reward moves like the one the Cavs made to grab Frye are often the deadline deals most associated with solid playoff outcomes. T. Ratliff2004POR3.5-0.8+3.6Missed playoffs M. Thornton2011SAC2.4+1.2-1.1Missed playoffs T. Kukoc2000PHI2.2+2.7-0.5Lost conf. semis T. Gugliotta1995MIN3.3+5.1-1.8Missed playoffs P. Gasol2008LAL3.5+4.1-2.3Lost NBA Finals T. Hardaway1996MIA2.8+7.5-1.0Lost first round J. Hornacek1994UTA2.2+3.3-1.5Lost conf. finals J. Salmons2010MIL2.4+2.7+3.2Lost first round B. Sura2004ATL2.2+8.5-6.7Missed playoffs D. Ainge1989SAC2.6+4.9-0.7Missed playoffs The best trade deadline pickups rarely swing the playoffs R. Jackson2015DET2.2+2.1-0.4Missed playoffs Source: Basketball-Reference.com
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Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Enroll Now for Free Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. It has only been six years since Apple released the first iPhone, but in that time, the device and its applications have transformed how we interact with the world and each other. Those changes are still under way: The app business is growing at a phenomenal pace, with more than 50 billion apps downloaded from Apple’s App Store by May 2013, at a rate of over 2 billion apps per month; a similar number are being installed on Android phones via Google Play. Apple has paid $10 billion to developers since the iPhone’s launch.I don’t usually include a lot of statistics in this column — this isn’t about money, but how you can start your own business with a great idea and a better attitude. My point is that at its core, the app business is no different from any other type of enterprise: entrepreneurs are creating apps out of frustration at a lack of service.One young entrepreneur who made headlines with the sale of his app this year was Nick D’Aloisio, 17, a British high school student who created the news aggregator Summly. When he was preparing for his exams, he found the repetition of information annoying and so he built Trimit, an early version of his service that was downloaded more than 200,000 times. In March Yahoo purchased his invention for a price estimated in the tens of millions of dollars.What I find striking about Nick’s story is that he started building his app at home, probably in his room. A recent study by Freelancer.com found that in Britain, “There has been an increase of 34 percent of businesses setting up in their spare time in the last 12 months, and all of them revealed they did so because starting a business today is easier, saying that costs are lower thanks to being able to start up online.” They also found that of the respondents who started their business in their spare time, 56 percent set up office space in their bedrooms. We can be sure that many of those entrepreneurs are creating apps — you don’t need a store front or office space, just talent and the willingness to work hard.If you have an idea for a “killer app,” here are some tips to help you move your idea off your kitchen table and into the mainstream.1. Be ready to fail — and try again.When you’re developing your idea, be honest with yourself about whether your app, product or service will truly deliver value to customers. Ask potential users for constructive criticism. If you are not delivering something that makes people’s lives easier, it’s time to start over.2. Keep it simple.Remember that your app should do a few things very well, rather than lots of things badly. Simplicity will generate word of mouth.Be very careful about any additional features you add – they must bring value to your core offering.3. Empower your customers through design.Steve Jobs said: “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” Once you’ve decided on what your app does well, focus on what your users are trying to achieve and make it easy for them to get the job done at every step. Never ask them to stop and figure out how your app works.4. Test, test, test.If your app is flimsy or bug-ridden, people will delete it the moment they encounter a problem, and they won’t download it again. In today’s connected world, any badly made product or poor service gets bad reviews, which can bring an end to any startup.5. Plan to get noticed.There are currently more than 900,000 apps available on the App Store alone, so new entrants must work harder to get noticed. To get your app on people’s radar, think about who your potential customers are and how they would prefer to learn about it. Whether they’re looking for high ratings or they make decisions based on TV ads, plan out how you’re going to reach them and then make some noise.6. An entrepreneur’s work is never done.No matter what business you’re in, you should never consider the design of your product or service “finished.” Make improving it part of your everyday work.7. To get ahead, listen.The ability to listen to customers is the most important skill an entrepreneur can have. Don’t just rely on metrics – find ways to connect with the people using your app and learn what they think of your offering and how they’re using it.Remember, your idea doesn’t have to be the next Instagram or Angry Birds – one of our former employees, Lance Stewart, left a few years ago to build his own app business, and has evolved his company Wavana from a developer of travel products such as Tube Exits (which helps you plan journeys on London’s underground) to one that is trying to shake up the way people plan and organize conferences, called Showcase. He created that business because he was frustrated by missing the good stuff at trade shows! (Learn more about his business at showca.se.)Most great business ideas are right under our noses, just waiting to be discovered; you may be developing one right now, under your own roof. 5 min read August 19, 2013 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience.