Position Adjustments

When considering a basketball player's quality, you obviously need to consider position. But still, certain kinds of crude position adjustments seem to me to produce perverse results. For example, see Dave Berri's comment on Rashard Lewis:

And all this returns to a point I made last summer when Lewis was signed. At small forward, Lewis can post numbers that might justify his contract. At small forward he is an adequate rebounder and an outstanding scorer. At power forward, though, his inability to rebound is problem.



Lewis is listed at 6'10" and Hedo Turkoglu, the Magic's starting small forward, is listed at the exact same height. What's more, Turkoglu is a somewhat better rebounder than is Lewis. But it can't be right to say that if the Magic were to start calling Turkoglu the power forward and Lewis the small forward that Lewis would suddenly become worth paying more than he is now. The ability to guard multiple positions is an asset. If Lewis couldn't hack it at the four and had to be played strictly as a small forward, he'd be a less valuable player, not a more valuable one.