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When John Hollinger speaks

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I listen:


one of the more amazing subplots to this summer was New York's continued insistence on trading Sweetney. He was included in nearly every offer (including one for the demonstrably inferior Kwame Brown) despite being one of the Knicks' most productive players a year ago at age 22. His per-game averages don't jump off the page because he's been in a playing-time crunch, but Sweetney is a vastly better player than most NBA followers seem to realize.

While Sweetney didn't score as much as Curry a year ago -- 17.2 points per 40 minutes compared to Curry's 22.3 -- he matched Curry in shooting percentage (53.1 percent) and absolutely destroyed him on the glass. Sweetney yanked down 11.1 rebounds per 40 minutes, compared to Curry's 7.4.

Overall, based on Player Efficiency Rating (PER), my per-minute rating of a player's statistical production, Curry and Sweetney were virtually identical last season. One can argue Curry's size gives him more upside, but it's hardly a home run -- especially considering the two players are the same age.

Read it now before it's put inside the ESPNInsider fortress.

Of course, I'll be getting a lot more Hollinger soon, as my book's in the mail.

Apply the same kind words to friend of BlogABull.com Kevin Pelton, who has a not-as-enthusiastic, but still interesting, take on the comparisons between Curry and Sweetney.

It's important to remember in both of these columns that these are mostly straight-up comparisons between these two players. Considering the disparity of the risk and future salary involved between them, the knowledge that Pax's return is even comparable to what he traded makes this deal pretty impressive.