When the Phoenix Suns acquired Marcin Gortat via trade with the Orlando Magic on Saturday, they gained a bona-fide big man to help shoulder the load alongside Robin Lopez.
As with many moves in the NBA, the addition also meant there was a need for subtraction. The Suns made that subtraction Tuesday, announcing the release of center Earl Barron.
The seven-footer appeared in just 12 games for the Suns after being signed while Robin Lopez was out injured. The Memphis product started six games in which he gave the team a much-needed defensive element.
Barron went back to the bench when Lopez returned and has played just 13 minutes since. In his time as a Sun, Barron averaged three points and 3.3 rebounds per game. His best game came against the Washington Wizards on Dec. 5, as he tallied seven points and eight rebounds.
In his Monday analysis of the Suns-Magic trade, Wages of Wins author David Berri made note of the true impact Barron had on the Suns in his brief stay:
In fact, if just Earl Barron maintained what he did last year, this team would be on pace to win 43 games. Yes, Barron – in just 183 minutes of playing time – has significantly hurt the Suns this year.
Why is Barron such a problem? He is currently hitting only 23.5% of his field goal attempts and he is below average with respect to every statistic except steals. Consequently, his ADJ P48 is currently in the negative range. It is not very uncommon for a player’s WP48 to be below zero. But to post a negative ADJ P48 – when an average center posted a 0.433 mark last year – is quite an accomplishment.