Who is the best sidekick for LeBron?

John Hollinger examines the rumored big-name sidekicks that LeBron may find himself playing with next season and tries to figure out who’s the best fit. This article requires an Insider subscription, so I don’t want to excerpt too much, but it’s an interesting read if you are a numbers guy (or gal).

The four criteria Hollinger used were: 1) he will not hog the ball (low Usage Rate, relatively speaking), 2) he will space the floor (Long 2 %), 3) he will be offensively efficient (True Shooting %) and 4) he will crash the boards (Offensive Rebound Rate).

Hollinger combined those factors in the following way.

Using this data, I created a “LeBron Rating” for each player by taking three-fourths of the player’s true shooting percentage, subtracting half his usage rate, adding his offensive rebound rate and subtracting twice his turnover rate.

I don’t really like it when stats guys start arbitrarily adjusting numbers by “taking 3/4,” “subtracting half,” “adding” and “subtracting twice” to adjust the numbers. I would probably adjust each stat from a level of 1 to 100, or maybe pull in the league average to come up with a factor for each stat.

But this isn’t my exercise. Here’s what Hollinger found:

The perfect companion: Chris Bosh
Bosh hits every check mark on the list above. He’s an outstanding midrange shooter who would provide a fearsome weapon on the pick-and-pop, something James has never really had in Cleveland. His offensive rebound rate (9.9 percent) was in the top third of power forwards, which is amazing considering how often he played outside. His turnover rate was in the bottom third and his TS% (59.2) was outstanding.

I don’t think this should come as too big of a surprise. Even though Bosh has said he thinks he’s a player that a team can build around, his game is ideal for a sidekick role with another really, really good player. A LeBron/Bosh pick-and-pop would be devastating, and he’s good enough on the block that LeBron can take a breather on offense every so often.

Click here to see the rest of the list. A few names at the bottom are Baron Davis, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade and Devin Harris, who are all guards who dominate the ball.

If I were building around LeBron, I’d want to add Bosh (or Stoudemire) to give him a good pick-and-roll/pop guy. At the other three positions, I’d have two guards who are good defenders that can shoot the three (and take it to the hole occasionally) and another big who can crash the boards and hit 15-footers from the baseline.

So how do LeBron and Bosh hook up? The Knicks would be the easiest, because the franchise has the cap space to sign two big-name free agents outright. Miami would also have room to sign two max players if they are able to move Michael Beasley in a salary dump. The two could also meet in Chicago if the Raptors or Cavs would want to take on Luol Deng and another player.

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