Word out of camp is Ennis is killing it and may have been a FA steal for us.
With that in mind, let's look at the impact Gordon and Tucker have for us since that is likely what it would take.
Glancing at our top 5-man line ups (net points) from last season (from basketball-reference, of course) both Gordon and Tucker are in the top 3. In fact, both Gordon and Tucker are in 7 of the top ten of our best line ups. For reference, Ariza only made 5 of the top 10 line ups.
When looking at eFG%, both Gordon and Tucker made 6 of the top 10 line ups.
Moving all the way down to 2-man line ups gets interesting.
Check that out! The top 7 is all about Gordon/Tucker except for the Moute-Harden pairing.
Now, this is not to say Butler doesn't improve us, but I think it should be noted exactly what we're putting on the table here. In fact, I think it is interesting that our "star trio" don't slot in until # 8 and #9.
In the playoffs, our top 3 5-man units all had Gordon and Tucker. If you whittle it down to 3 and 2 man pairings Gordon drops off, but Tucker dominates. Is Jimmy Butler gonna get in there and do the things that Tucker does for us? I don't think so.
Not only do those two improve our net points, but they help us to dominate the glass as well--on both ends of the floor. I put rebounding at a premium--particularly in light of how Morey strategizes the game. If we're playing percentages then the more shots we take the more points we'll score--plain and simple. Conversely, the less shots our opponents take--the less they will score. Math!
The problem is trying to squeeze all these numbers into actual game play. No one is arguing Gordon nor Tucker are better than Butler. However, all things considered they might be better for this team.
In order for us to best utilize Butler it means taking the ball out of Harden and Paul's hands. If I'm picking a spot up shooter, even after looking at the numbers, I'm taking Gordon all day. If I need defense to lock down an opponent I'm taking Tucker all day even though Butler isn't bad either.
What do I know? Maybe Butler comes here, doesn't have to play alpha dog and can lock back into his crazy-good defense from a couple years ago, spot up from the corners, rebound, and basically play the Ariza role with better athleticism. Maybe he and Melo can dominate second units while Harden and CP3 rest. It's too bad we can't take a test drive first
Of course, if the rumors are true and Morey is working hard to get a deal done then maybe I'm wrong and I'm over-valuing such things.