Sports Reference Blog

Trading Partners & Executives Database

Posted by Neil on March 14, 2012

The NBA trade deadline is tomorrow, and that means it's a good time to look up what your team's General Manager has been up to recently. To that end, you can consult the BBR Executives Database, wherein we list the player-personnel decision-maker for every team-season in NBA & ABA history, complete with their career transactions. For example (and a good laugh), here are the moves Isiah Thomas made in his distinguished career as an executive:

Isiah Thomas NBA & ABA Basketball Executive Record

Don't feel bad, Isiah... Even the GOAT has a pretty questionable resume.

In addition to the Executives Database, we also have a matrix of all-time trades between any two franchises. For instance, here is every trade between the Hawks and Pistons, the two most active trading partners in league history with 16 all-time trades. Notice that for each transaction we show a "balance sheet" with outgoing and incoming Win Shares in the deal.

Enjoy these features, and be sure to use them as ammunition if your team's GM makes a boneheaded move today or tomorrow.

6 Responses to “Trading Partners & Executives Database”

  1. Luke Says:

    This is awesome. Have you looked into incorporating some sort of numerical grade for each transaction? For example, net WS/WP/EWA/pick your favorite stat for each trade. I have lots of other ideas on this but I'll stop there for now.

  2. mick Says:

    i am only interested in the last 5- 10 years of data. would be nice to have a limiter for that.

  3. Neil Says:

    #1 - We've thought about it, but it's ultimately difficult to put a number on non-player considerations like draft picks, cap room, expiring contracts, etc. There's a lot of value in a trade that's unmeasurable, or at least we don't have any way to measure it ourselves right now.

    #2 - Unfortunately, we don't have a limiter by years, but we did err on the side of "more data".

  4. Jay Says:


    September 1, 1995: Traded Pat Riley (coach) to the Miami Heat for a 1996 1st round draft pick (Walter McCarty).

    I knew this was possible, but didn't recall it actually happening as a knicks fan.

  5. Luke Says:

    Neil: Thanks for the response. I agree any attempt to score transactions would be an oversimplification of the reality. But I still think in most cases it would be a nice approximation of the real loss/gain. For example, the Pau Gasol trade: at the time, considered a disaster for Memphis. But now that all the draft picks have been made, I'd be interested to see how lopsided it really was in terms of WS, EWA or some other similar stat.

    If you were then able to look at a GM's score over multiple seasons, the non-player considerations would probably even out and be less of a factor. Would provide an interesting tool to compare/contrast GM performance.

    You could also score draft picks by the aggregate value of the player they picked vs. the value of the best player that they left on the board.

    Free agency is obviously the toughest to score. If you just gave each signing a score representing the value of the player during the time they were on the team, that at least would give us an rough sense over time of who had done the best/worst in terms of free agency.

  6. Chuck Says:

    Hey Neil,

    Love the execs database! When will it be updated? I see a lot of active GMs with no moves listed after 2010.