First, let me qualify the rest of this review by disclosing that not much was expected from Haddadi. Hamed was a throw in for a trade that sent Sebastian Telfair to the Toronto Raptors for a second round draft pick. The only reason he played as many minutes as he did, which wasn't many, was due to injuries and leaves of absence to players above him on the depth chart.
I just felt it was somewhat obligatory to preface the rest of this scathing analysis by offering that Hamed's bar was pretty low. Somehow he still managed to crawl under it.
Judging Haddadi based on improvement
As the chart depicts, Haddadi regressed quite declivitously from the 2011-12 season. As I mentioned previously, Hamed just turned 28... which made him 27 during the recently concluded
bloodbath campaign. The fact that a player at that age bottomed out in that fashion is... unsettling. Is it possible that Haddadi could regain his previous form? Quite possible. Does it suggest that scenario is the best possible case moving forward? Quite possibly.
Just because his numbers were worse nearly across the board isn't completely condemning in and of itself, though. Haddadi could have been coming off a
less futile career year. Or not.
While Hamed's numbers in 2011-12 were gaudy compared to other seasons, his performance last season was well below his career averages. Also note that many of those career numbers were drug down by his miserable "contribution" in 2012-13. For instance, Haddadi's career points per 36 for his first four seasons was 12.5, but after five years it has dipped to 11.6. His recent numbers were detrimental to his career averages in many ways.
It is basically unarguable that Haddadi showed significant decline, not improvement.
Judging Haddadi compared to the Suns' other centers
This comparison is probably unfair considering that both of the other two players have significantly better pedigree than Hamed. One is a former multiple time all-star selection and the other is a solid starting center. Hamed, on the other hand, is a career
bench warmer backup.
Obviously those two preponderate Haddadi's less than stellar numbers. To further illustrate this dynamic, he wouldn't even have seen the limited minutes he did if it weren't for unfortunate circumstances. Ironically, I can vaguely remember some whispers that the Suns wouldn't even miss Gortat when he went down to injury. Then Haddadi made a solid contribution in two straight games, including being a major cog in a win against the Rockets. That game was the highlight of Hamed's time as a Sun. Pretty much the only highlight.
The Suns finished the season 4-17 after Gortat's injury. Even worse, they went 2-14 in games Haddadi appeared in.
Judging Haddadi re: Memphis vs. Phoenix
Finally an area where Hamed
is less putrid shines... and by shines I mean is still well below most of his career averages. It's kind of like going from living in a tent to sleeping in a box to taking refuge under a bridge. Sure the bridge looks good compared to the box, and Hamed is a serviceable troll, but the whole situation kind of sucks. Do I come off as being too captious? Well, that's how I roll.
Still, he did increase his production, so give credit where credit is due (just not too much).
Overall Grade: D-
I was going to give Haddadi another grade based on physical appearance, but that just seemed cruel. Haddadi falls somewhere between journeyman and bench towel in terms of his NBA career. He will most likely bounce around for a couple years because of his size despite his glaring lack of basketball skills. I just hope it isn't for the Suns. Even if Channing Frye doesn't come back, Jermaine O'Neal leaves in free agency and Marcin Gortat is traded I still wouldn't want Haddadi as a third string center behind two rookies. His full potential has already been realized, and it makes Markieff Morris look like a gamechanger.
I would rather take a 22 year old big from the D-League on the Powerball-like chance he actually turns into a legitimate NBA player than keep Haddadi around. Buy out his $200,000 and send him on his way. The Suns don't need anymore middle-aged (in terms of NBA years) players with no futures. We've already had enough of that.