LVP: Stephen Graham, SF, New Jersey Nets
Wait, you mean to say that you’ve never heard of Stephen Graham, small forward for the New Jersey Nets? Why, he’s one of the top twelve players for the best basketball team in New Jersey! He ranked dead last in John Hollinger’s PER rankings this year, and that only tells part of the story. Just reading his PER stats is an exercise in hilarity. His "Value Added," for example, was negative 87.2. A "replacement player," which is a hypothetical, average player of the same position, would technically bring more to the table than Graham. That’s right, an imaginary player would serve the Nets better than Graham does. Beyond his Value Added, Hollinger calculates that Graham’s "Estimated Wins Added" is negative 2.9. Theoretically, the Nets could have won three more games this season if they had simply cut Stephen Graham. But don’t let us tell you about Stephen Graham; here’s what ESPN.com had to say about this small forward out of Oklahoma State:
"Can create own shot in a pinch but has no court vision."
"There was a period of time in January when head coach Avery Johnson temporarily lost his mind and inserted Graham into his starting lineup"
"He can score and rebound just enough to prove useful in spots as a fringe rotation player, with his ideal role being as a fifth wing who can fill in at either shooting guard or small forward in the case of injury or fouls."
Well, we’re sold. When your ideal role is as a fifth wing, yet you’ve started games for an NBA team, you officially win the Least Valuable Player Award. Congratulations, Stephen Graham!