What is Gilbert Arenas' trade value?

It is always difficult to value a superstar player who has been hit by injuries, and Gilbert Arenas is no exception.  In 2006 Arenas was a potential top-5 pick in fantasy drafts, but after missing 147 games to injury over the last two seasons he slid in most drafts this year.  Now, five games in, how do you value him?

At first blush, Arenas' numbers thus far this season look a lot like his peak numbers.  But look a little closer:

2005-06: 29.3 points, 44.7% FG, 6.0 assists, 2.5 treys, 3.5 boards, 2.0 steals
2006-07: 28.4 points, 41.8% FG, 6.0 assists, 2.8 treys, 4.5 boards, 1.9 steals

2009-10: 27.6 points, 43.6% FG, 5.6 assists, 2.0 treys, 2.6 boards, 1.0 steals

Arenas' points, shooting percentages and assists are all similar.  But what really put his value over the top a few years ago  were his treys and steals.  Thus far Arenas is down almost a full trey and almost a full steal from what he produced at his peak.  When you factor in that he is also down a couple of rebounds from where he was, his value takes a solid hit even from his on-court production.  If he continues as is he will still be great, definitely more valuable than his 30.8 Yahoo! ADP, but not quite what he was before.

Then, you have to factor in the injury history.  Arenas is playing at a much higher level this season than he did at any point in the last two years, but it is still worrying that he had to miss so much time and kept re-aggravating that injury.  The injury risk was not enough to discourage me from taking him in the second or third round of a few drafts, but it would give me pause from making him my best player.

Bottom line, I currently rank Gilbert in the 10 - 20 range.  I wouldn't trade Deron Williams or Chris Bosh to get him, but I wouldn't trade Arenas for Al Jefferson, Chauncey Billups or even Steve Nash.  While I pay attention to injury risk, I am more concerned with what I see on the court.  And if Arenas starts adding that third trey and second steal it is possible that he moves further up my list.  For now, I love the idea of him as my second best player but I still worry a bit if he is the main guy.


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