Eyebrows furrow and mouths fall agape when the topic of adding Stephon Marbury to the average NBA roster is broached. Why would any team want to invite the kind of chaos, discord, and most importantly, losing, that have followed Marbury everywhere he's been during his 12-year NBA career?
The Knicks, who need all the help they can get, are so allergic to Marbury at this point that they've decided to pay him $21 million (or whatever amount they have to fork over in a buyout) to stay away. I'm on record agreeing 100 percent with that decision, so we don't need to rehash it here.
But the NBA is a results business, and any other team considering adding Marbury -- either through a farfetched trade or by signing him to the veteran's minimum once the Knicks buy him out -- has to take an unbiased look at what Marbury would bring to the table.
Fortunately, Alan Hahn -- author, bloghost, and capable leader of the Knix Fix -- has done the math. Based on the Knicks' win-differential with and without Marbury during his four seasons with the team, Hahn computed (on his way to the airport) that Stephon-a-non-grata raised the Knicks' winning percentage by a measley .072. Seems like nothing, but over 82 games, Marbury is worth 5.9 victories.
Over the 50 or so games most teams have left, Marbury would be good for 3.6 wins. Such a number would be irrelevant to the Knicks, who are focused on the future -- not the playoffs. But do any borderline playoff teams out there need three or four more victories to get them over the hump? Miami, Milwaukee, Toronto, Philadelphia, and Dallas come to mind. (That's not to say any of those teams has interest, but they would appear to benefit the most from chalking up a few random Ws.) The Knicks would be in the same boat if they were looking to squeeze out a few more wins, grab the eighth seed, and get swept by Boston. That is not the plan. So all of the aforementioned teams have to take this with a grain of salt -- or maybe a few grains of Goody's headache powder -- before deciding whether Marbury's off-the-court baggage is worth the price of admission to the playoffs.
Oh, and they should consider that Marbury has never won a playoff series, either.