The Celtics front office is known for valuing metrics, so it should be no surprise to learn that two of the big moves they made this offseason were lauded by those in the analytics crowd.
Amir Johnson in particular is a stat-geek's dream:
Most notably, Boston signed big man Amir Johnson -- a perennial RPM darling -- to a two-year, $24 million contract after Toronto decided they could live without his elite offensive efficiency (60.3 true shooting percentage) and cagey interior defense. On the strength of his sterling +3.90 Predictive RPM, Johnson is expected to generate nearly $16 million in surplus value for the Celts over the next two seasons.
Our friend Kevin O'Connor goes on:
Johnson is an excellent pick-and-roll weapon, which could make him a devastating weapon when maestro Isaiah Thomas is the ball handler. Johnson was one of most efficient scorers in 2014-15, ranking 11th in field goal percentage. He also ranked ninth in points per possession as the pick-and-roll screener among players with at least 100 chances, according to Synergy Sports per NBA.com.
Another guy that ESPN loves is Jae Crowder.
He's just the sort of player that coaches love -- Brad Stevens gave him a huge role in the Celts' first-round playoff matchup with the Cavs in April -- and his +2 Predictive RPM reflects Crowder's undeniable "no-numbers" impact. In fact, it suggests he may be worth nearly double his salary over the life of his new contract.
Crowder's contract even has a team-friendly dip in year 2 that will allow Danny Ainge to have even more cap flexibility in next year's free agency period.
So the numbers all add up to the front office doing some quietly solid work this offseason, ...at least on paper. Now we just have to see how it will all work out on the floor.