The New Jersey Nets decision to name Milton Lee the general manager of their NBA D-League team, the Springfield Armor, typically wouldn't warrant a post on this wonderful website you are currently visiting. Lee seems like an interesting guy, however, so let's take a minute to talk about him.
Lee's duties with the Armor will include selection of the team's head coach and coaching staff, according to a press release issued by the team, as well as assembling the Armor roster for the upcoming 2011-12 season.
The latter part, regarding the Armor's roster, is where it might get interesting because as far as I'm aware, Lee will be the first D-League front office member with an extensive background in statistical analysis.
In an interview he did with the Wall Street Journal last year, the former Wall Street trader's explained that his specialty is in numbers.
There are hundreds of different ways to analyze if a player is adding value, just as there are many different ways to make money. There is a technical investing, fundamental investing and macro-investing. A very trendy phrase right now is using "eyes, ears and numbers" to evaluate a player. But while he may look like a great shooter, the numbers tell us something different. You try to paint a full picture. It's like trying to decide whether to buy or sell IBM stock at a certain moment. There are so many different data points that go into making that decision.
In basketball, there are so many plays that lead to plays. Coaches may assign a certain value to an assist that leads to the assist or offensive versus defensive rebounds. How you value them make up the secret sauce.
It'll be interesting to see if Lee is able to cook up any sort of formula that is able to translate D-League success to NBA production for the Nets.