Saturday, November 30, 2013

Rookie Report: 1/8th Edition

The month of November is all but in the book and we've gotten a look at the latest crop of rooks taking their first lumps in the Association. Limiting this to players who have given a reasonably good sized sample (200 minutes as of 11/29) we'll take a look at how our ratings are bearing out thus far.
*As always, thanks to the newly revamped for the WP data. Love the new site, guys.

Player                                           DI score                       WP48
Michael Carter-Williams                    2.18                             .127
Victor Oladipo                                  0.62                             .002
Nate Wolters                                    0.29                              .096           
Ben McLemore                                 1.12                             .041
Kelly Olynyk                                     0.50                           -.093
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope                0.64                             -.036
Steven Adams                                   0.35                             .137
Mason Plumlee                                 0.65                              .148
Hollis Thompson                               0.16                              .140
Tim Hardaway Jr.                             0.45                              .049

Notes: Michael Carter-Williams was far and away our highest rated player and we noted that we would have no compunction taking him as early as second overall, so his early success is very encouraging. We do see a dip in his field goal percentage coming, which may impact his WP going forward, but his defensive skills (three steals a game?!), rebounding, and playmaking ability are quite good and here to stay.
Victor Oladipo, despite a somewhat middling DI score was still our pick to win the Rookie of the Year and to make one of the largest positive contributions of this rookie class, and he has kind of validated us on both counts. The turnover and occasional defensive lapses that held down his DI score at Indiana have followed him to Orlando (hence the lousy WP), but anyone that has seen him play can see that he still has a very high ceiling and a game well-tailored to the NBA. Much like D-Wade, to whom Vic is so often compared, Oladipo needs to play at the 2, and never at PG- that alone would help to move him forward and to cut the massive turnover numbers. 
McLemore has been running hot and cold as a shooter and looks like he's trying to do too much when he's in there, but doesn't look overwhelmed and should find his stride once he's put in the starting lineup and left there. 
Olynyk has been a disappointment- we knew he'd struggle defensively, but he really hasn't shot the ball well at all for the C's.
This season's big man who is a considerably better pro than he was a college player appears to be Steven Adams. He's been getting up and down the floor and working hard under the glass, which is just what the Thunder were hoping for. So far, he looks like the answer in the middle for them.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

We're Back Baby: 13-14 Season Preview

The basketball offseason is a relatively painless one. A solid month of draft and free agent talk, summer league, then camp is only a few weeks off and we get to do the whole deal over again.

It's been a restful hiatus for the Index and now we're back with a few thoughts prior to the opening tip. Patrick Minton of the NBA Geek wrote an excellent piece not long ago about how little he thinks of prediction making, and demonstrated, when it comes to accuracy, the analytics community doesn't vastly outperform the mainstream media, if they do at all. Why should this be? 

Well, injuries, rookies, aging, personal problems, trades, dumb coaches, smart coaches, new coaches ect ect. The number of variables are so great and the relationships between them so complex, and frankly so arbitrary, that even with sophisticated tools at our disposal, an 82 game season is going to hold quite a few surprises. 

So, don't take these as predictions per se- but rather a few places where you and I probably differ and some reasons I have for thinking what I do. 

Eastern Conference:

Team I like to outperform expectations: Orlando Magic

I'm not sure how interested the Magic are in making major strides this season, but I don't think they're going to be one of the leagues worst teams, as most seem to believe. I'm not one to care about Rookie of the Year, much less to figure out who's going to win it, but to my eye, Victor Oladipo is the rookie most ready to come in and make a significant contribution to an NBA team this season. His presence adds desperately needed defensive support and puts Nelson and Afflalo in more of a supportive role. The front court has improved as well: Jason Maxiell provides more defensive help and has been an underrated player for years, while Harkless, Harris, and Vucevic all enter their second season in Orlando and could very easily make incremental improvements to their games. 
I don't think the Magic quite make the playoffs, but I think they establish themselves as a team on the rise and could easily stay around the .500 mark. 

Team I think falls short of expectations: New York Knicks

Analytics guys killed the Knicks for trading a productive player and multiple draft picks for arguably the league's least productive player, Andrea Bargnani. It's not a trade I would have made, but this isn't even totally about that- actually I'm kind of interested to see how playing next to an elite defensive center effects Bargs. Rather, this is a cumulative assessment. Losing Jason Kidd is bad, moving Carmelo back to the three is bad, swapping Novak for Bargs is bad, replacing him with World Peace is bad...and they weren't all that great to begin with. 
Others have alluded to the general volatility of the Knicks situation this year: Carmelo can opt out, Amare is back (maybe) which begins the coexistence argument again, J.R Smith and MWP are there, the Nets are going to be contenders...
What we're saying is this could get ugly. It wouldn't amaze us if the Knicks miss the playoffs or barely sneak in this season. 

Eastern Conference Champion: Miami Heat 
*This is a straight forward pick and we won't get into it, but very quickly, Pat Riley deserves a lot of credit for the way he's built the supporting parts on this team. Chris Anderson was a saavy addition and does things that this team needed prior to his arrival, Michael Beasley is one of the highest ranked players in DI history and bringing him in for pennies and trying to get him to focus and stay under the basket is a worthy roll of the dice. Last, and hopefully not least, Greg Oden could make this team historically great if he can manage to get and stay on the floor. Bottom line, Pat is one of those guys that just gets it.

Western Conference 

Team I like to exceed expectations: New Orleans Pelicans

I don't love what the Pelicans did in the offseason (that's not necessarily a dig at the name change) but I think the stars more or less line up for them this season. First of all, Anthony Davis is probably going to be one of the 10-15 best players in the game this season, which just makes everything else that much easier. Though they gave up too much to get him, Jrue Holiday is an upgrade over Vasquez, and Evans a general upgrade however they choose to use him, again, price tag not withstanding. 
After good complimentary pieces like Aminu, Anderson, and Morrow, things get a little rough, and the determining factor for the Pelicans this year might be how much good stuff they can get from the other guys, or if they can manage to get some different guys as things progress.
I'm looking for N.O to return to the playoffs as the 7th or 8th seed this season. 

Team I think falls short of expectations: Golden State Warriors

This is somewhat murky territory, as I pretty much love what the Warriors did this offseason, but I think they'll have a tough time taking the next step in a treacherous Western Conference. First of all, defensively they are merely OK, which they addressed with the addition of Andre Igoudala. It's a great signing, but fundamentally they are still an up-tempo team that relies upon outshooting opponents, which is a tough way to make a living in the postseason. 
I am also concerned about the injury histories of the very pivotal Andrew Bogut and David Lee, and to a lesser degree Steph Curry. There aren't obvious replacements for any of those guys on that roster, and losing one or more could be really difficult to overcome. 
If you're thinking this sounds like nitpicking, you're probably right, but I think the Warriors don't end up with much more than a 6th or 7th seed and a quick exit from the postseason. 

Western Conference Champion: Houston Rockets
Call me crazy, but they've got the big man, they've got the guy who can take the big shot, they've got guys who can spot up around the arc and make defenses pay, they have depth and roster flexibility. A strong case can be made for half a dozen teams, but strictly on paper, I like what Morey and Co. are bringing the table. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Draft According to Draftability

Opinions typically are in no short supply on draft night- everybody has biases and crushes and are more than happy to let you know about them. Technically speaking, we do too, but we do have some numbers to back up our biases. The Index sees some pretty clear winners and losers from Thursday night...


76ers                                     DI Score  
Michael Carter-Williams   -        2.16
Nerlens Noel  (via trade)  -       Inc. 
Arsalan Kazemi                -        0.35

I didn't lay out clear cut rankings prior to the draft but if I did I'm pretty sure Noel and Carter-Williams would have been 2 of the top 3 prospects on our board. There was no finer maneuver on Thursday than first year GM Sam Hinkie turning the 11th pick in the draft and the not particularly effective Jrue Holliday into Noel, MCW, and about 9M in available funds. 
The Sixers aren't a finished product by any means and they are probably content to tank in pursuit of a high pick next summer, however they've positioned themselves well to move on from the Andrew Bynum fiasco. If however, Hinkie remains active, I'd love to see them continue the rebuild by adding a Millsap or J.J Hickson type to the front court to pair with Noel. 

Pistons                                  DI Score
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope         0.64
Tony Mitchell                             0.43
Peyton Siva                                1.12

The Pistons helped themselves quite a bit on draft night, adding three athletic, efficient prospects. I was glad Dumars didn't pander to the Michigan faithful with a Trey Burke selection and instead addressed the team's glaring need at the two. Pope wasn't our favorite prospect but if he can improve his shot selection he appears to have the rest of the tools in place to be a starting caliber player.
Mitchell is an ideal second rounder- an inconsistent performer who has flashed big time potential. He has a chance to play right away at both forward spots. We like Siva's quickness, defensive hands, and passing ability and he should be able to step in behind Brandon Knight immediately.
Three picks and three good looking prospects- we can't argue with that.

Grizzlies                                DI Score
Jamaal Franklin                         1.05
Janis Timma                          International
Kosta Koufos                        Via Trade

The Wallace/Hollinger Grizzlies front office team have been absolutely killing it in Memphis, and I love what they did on draft night. Franklin was dropping on mock draft boards in the weeks leading up to the draft, but nothing was more surprising to me than seeing him fall all the way into the mid-second round. If the Griz are financially incapable of bringing Tony Allen back next year, I really think Franklin can step in and replace a lot of that production from Day 1.
What puts Memphis' night over the top was the fleecing of the Nuggets in the Koufos-Arthur trade. Joerger will likely give Koufos and Ed Davis good run, making the Grizzlies frontline arguably the best, and certainly the deepest in the game. That's just good work.


Cavs                                      DI Score
Anthony Bennett                        0.55
Sergey Karasev                    International
Carrick Felix                              0.34

This is the second straight year the Cavs had a top five pick and went completely off the map to reach for an inefficient player. Bennett isn't the right size for a power forward, he isn't that great of a rebounder, he can't handle the ball like Larry Johnson- to whom he's often compared. I don't get it- but then again I still don't get Waiters...
Karasev seemingly fills a need, though officially we don't have much to offer on the European contingent that you couldn't get on DraftExpress. Felix might be OK, he's a good athlete but he just didn't produce much at ASU. He's a project type.
Bill Simmons put it well on Thursday when he talked about how, with four picks and a bunch of cap room, this was supposed to be a huge signature night for Cleveland and they just didn't come away with much. They're still lousy.

Nets                                      DI Score
Mason Plumlee                         0.67
Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett,      via trade
Jason Terry

We give Billy King plenty of grief on here, but COME ON! Granted, I understand Pierce, KG, and Jet are still above-average players and luxury tax dollars are of no object to ownership, but this was still wildly reckless. Evans was arguably their best player last year, Hump is good, this means Blatche is gone- how much better are they, even? This is worse than Isiah's Knicks, the Nets franchise is DOA-Dead from a financial standpoint beginning as early as a year from now- all in order to make slight cosmetic upgrades to a flawed roster. Don't even get me started on the three firsts...
Plumlee is a decent rotational big and a good fit for what the Nets do. Big Whoop.

Thunder                                DI Score
Stephen Adams                        0.35
Andre Roberson                       0.77
Alex Abrines                        International
Grant Jerrett                             0.08

Give Sam Presti four picks and typically you're going to like the results, but I just don't see the logic behind his selections. The Thunder had clear needs- a sharp shooter off the bench, a scorer from the block, and depth on the wings. Roberson and Abrines are long, rangy and probably can slot in behind KD and Sefolosha, but Adams and Jerrett feel like whiffs.
Seemingly, OKC was seduced by Adams' athleticism, but I would have rather seen them with a Tony Mitchell, or even Olynyk- somebody who could score around the basket and suck defenders toward the paint. If Adams becomes that guy, they're set, but I don't see it. Jerrett is a stringy power forward who can shoot a little, similar to an Austin Daye, however his defense was nonexistant in college. I wonder if he even makes the club. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Draft Night!

This is pretty much Christmas morning for the Index, the day we spend so much time talking about and running numbers on. The final numbers are in- the drafts are mocked (however this year looks like one of those drafts that blasts all the mocks to smithereens with trades, in short order) and for me, it's an occasion to sit back and watch the next chapter unfold.

I don't talk about the Bucks a lot, but this is an important  night for my hometown squad- blowing it would put them one big step closer to having to find a new town. I'm hoping now that Ellis, Redick, and quite possibly Jennings are off the roster, that they forget this pipe dream about running a track meet offense and settle on a physical, defensively capable player to complement Sanders and Henson.

There's a million ways things could break, and if you believe twitter, they have no intention of sticking at 15, but assuming they would, I would really like to see Milwaukee land Jamaal Franklin of San Diego State. His length and toughness are really special- the shot selection and ball protection are poor and will keep him out of the lottery and perhaps rightly so. However, if Franklin were utilized correctly, I have a lot of faith that his DI score does indeed portend good things ahead.

As always, thanks for reading and enjoy tonight...


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

DI Study: The Breakdown

If you follow the Index regularly, we recently posted a ten year study, with the draftability index score of every Division I college prospect selected in the NBA Draft from 2000-2009. What follows are the results of that study and some comments on the application and methodology.

                           GREEN LEVEL (1.00 and above - almost universally recommended)

Players selected in Round One scoring                            Players selected in Round Two scoring Green
Green that have compiled a .100 WP48                                 that have compiled a .100 WP48 
                     or higher                                                                                or higher
                (23/38) -  60.5%                                                                     (5/9) - 55.5 %

                                                         Overall (28/47) - 59.6%

As I was working out the kinks with the formula, the numbers I was getting were between 60-70%, so I'm pretty satisfied that this is roughly where the total number is going to sit. 

Before I go further, I just wanted to address the choice to use WP48 as the measuring stick here. WP48 works well here because it is an average, and therefore isn't heavily influenced by how many minutes the player gets or what team he's on.

If you don't find WP48 or similar methodology compelling, that would be another argument altogether, and more to the point, you would likely find this entire study invalid, as it is built upon the supposition that win-based metrics are useful representational models and describe outcomes accurately. I'd be interested to know how the same player selections perform using other metrics and methods of analysis and am pretty confident DI would still generate good prospect rankings in most cases. 

One last note specific to green, It's been mentioned to me that many of the recommended choices are lottery picks, and perhaps that negates some of the power of hitting on roughly 60% of them. In answer, I would cite a couple points we all to be true: that 'lottery pick' does not, by any stretch of the imagination equal 'productive' and as any draft observer can plainly see- there are very few productive players to be had outside of the top 15 picks. If our method were recommending large numbers of players outside of the top 15 picks, it would be a condemnation of the approach, not a cause for endorsement. 

         GOLD LEVEL (0.50 - 0.99 -  preferable to red and gray - not categorically recommended)

Players selected in Round One scoring                            Players selected in Round Two scoring Gold
Gold that have compiled a .100 WP48                                 that have compiled a .100 WP48 
                     or higher                                                                                or higher
                (25/72) - 34.7%                                                                    (13/53) - 24.5%

                                                         Overall (38/125) - 30.4%

In the development process I was getting roughly 1/3 of gold grades hitting on productive players and again we see the 10-year study yields results just slightly below those figures. 

To clarify, gold prospects are not recommended, I am not a mathematician per se but even I realize that when you can throw a dart and get a good player 26.4 percent of the time (the total number of players .100+ from 2000-2009) that by bringing it up to 30% or even 35% it has not been demonstrated that you've necessarily done anything at all. So why even make the categorization? I did consider lumping the gold and red categories together at one point, however, I've run quite a few different sets of numbers and the gold players are consistently outperforming the reds 8-16%. (This time it's 8.) It's a pretty hard and fast line and I don't find the distinction insignificant. 

One note on the discrepancy between the numbers by round: my theory is that enough guys scoring gold and being taken in the second round are either cut outright or shuffled around without being played or developed, so as to artificially create a bit of a chasm. Were they all given the rope a first rounder is, I think you'd see that number come back up somewhat.

The big takeaways from DI are grab the greens and avoid the grays- and the gold and red grades are basically descriptions of middling prospects' proximity to one or the other pole. There are almost certainly other ways of honing and refining the way we talk about these players and it will be an ongoing challenge to discover just what those are. 

                           RED LEVEL (0.25 to 0,50  - very inconsistently productive)

Players selected in Round One scoring                            Players selected in Round Two scoring Red
Red that have compiled a .100 WP48                                 that have compiled a .100 WP48 
                     or higher                                                                                or higher
                 (15/68) 22.1%                                                                     (16/70) - 22.9%
                                                        Overall (31/138) - 22.5%

In my previous work, I've seen this reds coming in anywhere from 16-24% so certainly this is right at the upper crest of that range. While I am curious that there is no 'second round depression' as we saw in the gold category, I am encouraged by the consistently between the first and second rounds. Continuity suggests we may be tapping into the 'real' potential of the players and not just arbitrarily assigning values. 
Although this study suggests the gap between red and gold may be less than initially suspected, as long as they come in on either end of the line of random chance (26.4) I'll continue to use them as described. 

                                 GRAY LEVEL (0.25 and below - seldom productive)

Players selected in Round One scoring                            Players selected in Round Two scoring Green
Gray that have compiled a .100 WP48                                 that have compiled a .100 WP48 
                     or higher                                                                                or higher
                (6/36) -  16.7%                                                                      (5/63) - 7.9%

                                                         Overall (11/99) - 11.1%

My first calculations of the gray level yielded about 10% of players hitting and so these findings are very much in line. In all cases the numbers are not so large as to read everything in the percentages yielded, and I do encourage anyone reading this to go through the study, see which players fall into what categories, and  decide whether you find the predictions DI makes compelling. 

We'll be back in short order with some more study analysis and some final thoughts on next week's draft- thanks for reading and enjoy game seven, kids.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

DI Review: The 2009 Draft

The following is the final in a ten part series in which we'll review the past 10 NBA drafts, provide the Draftability Index Score for every American college prospect, and analyze the findings. One note before we dive in, all of the data is being pulled from Basketball Reference and the NBA Geek and the win share numbers are the players' career average per 48 minutes to date. If you're new to that measurement, a league average score is .100 and 'star' level production correlates to .200 and above. 

The rating system is as follows: Green level prospects are the strongest and will be notated with an E, Gold level prospects are reasonably desirable prospects and are notated with a G, Red level prospects are suspect prospects and are notated with an R, and Gray level prospects are highly suspect and are notated with a Y.

Round One
                                             DI Score           Rating           WP per 48
1) Blake Griffin                         0.63                    G                     .174
2) Hasheem Thabeet              1.13                     E                     .099
3) James Harden                     0.48                    G                      .198
4) Tyreke Evans                      3.26                     E                     .098
6) Jonny Flynn                         0.27                     R                     -.015
7) Steph Curry                         1.60                     E                     .147
8) Jordan Hill                            0.32                     R                     .134
9) Demar Derozan                  0.34                      R                     .027
11) Terrence Williams             1.16                     E                      .017
12) Gerald Henderson             0.55                      G                     .062
13) Tyler Hansbrough              0.60                     G                      .071
14) Earl Clark                           0.74                     G                      .010
15) Austin Daye                        0.71                    G                       .021
16) James Johnson                 0.55                      G                      .023
17) Jrue Holiday                       0.64                      G                      .084
18) Ty Lawson                         0.84                      G                      .164
19) Jeff Teague                        0.47                      R                     .101
20) Eric Maynor                        0.82                      G                     .025
21) Darren Collison                  0.67                      G                     .115
24) Byron Mullens                    0.07                      Y                       -.073
26) Taj Gibson                         0.76                       G                     .136
27) Demarre Carroll                0.58                       G                      .093
28) Wayne Ellington                0.35                       R                      .043
29) Toney Douglas                  0.20                       Y                      .067

Notes: An ugly one of four from the green level, though Steph Curry is an emphatic hit and Evans and Thabeet have flirted with the .100 line. Williams is one of those famous Louisville enigmas and has been atrociously inefficient throughout his short career. The lower level are a mixed bag as well, some of the drafts weaker players are isolated (Flynn, Derozan) however low scores to perennial all-stars Griffin and Harden render those calls significantly less exciting.

Round Two
                                             DI Score           Rating           WP per 48
31) Jeff Pendergraph              0.32                    R                     .136
32) Jermaine Taylor                0.18                    Y                      .014
33) Dante Cunningham          0.50                     G                     .050
35) DaJuan Summers            0.33                     R                    -.008
36) Sam Young                       0.82                     G                     .067
37) Dejuan Blair                      1.36                      E                     .150
38) Jon Brockman                  0.26                      R                     .172
40) Derrick Brown                   0.66                     G                     .085
41) Jodie Meeks                      0.11                     Y                      .106
42) Patrick Beverley                0.68                     G                     .210
43) Marcus Thornton               0.43                     R                      .091
44) Chase Budinger                0.14                     Y                       .102
46) Danny Green                     0.81                     G                      .180
48) Taylor Griffin                      0.25                     R                      -.004
50) Goran Suton                      0.46                     R                       .000
51) Jack McClinton                  0.15                     Y                       .000
52) A.J Price                            0.55                     G                      .045
54) Robert Vaden                    0.29                      R                      .000
55) Patrick Mills                       0.52                      G                       .026
56) Ahmad Nivins                    0.31                      R                      .000
58) Lester Hudson                   0.88                     G                        .003
59) Chinemelu Elonu               0.12                     Y                        .000
60) Robert Dozier                    0.96                      G                       .000

 Notes: Dejuan Blair went from potential lottery choice to second rounder due to health concerns; concerns that were not unfounded but have not prevented him from being a good rebounder and scorer for the Spurs when he's been able to suit up. Speaking of San Antonio, Danny Green scores a gold rating, as do solid players Patrick Beverley and Sam Young. DI did miss some decent prospects in Brockman, Budinger, and Pendergraph, however. 

DI Review: The 2008 Draft

The following is the ninth in a ten part series in which we'll review the past 10 NBA drafts, provide the Draftability Index Score for every American college prospect, and analyze the findings. One note before we dive in, all of the data is being pulled from Basketball Reference and the NBA Geek and the win share numbers are the players' career average per 48 minutes to date. If you're new to that measurement, a league average score is .100 and 'star' level production correlates to .200 and above. 

The rating system is as follows: Green level prospects are the strongest and will be notated with an E, Gold level prospects are reasonably desirable prospects and are notated with a G, Red level prospects are suspect prospects and are notated with an R, and Gray level prospects are highly suspect and are notated with a Y.

Whether the basketball establishment realized it at the time or not, 2008 turned out be a pretty strong draft, with preciously few players selected in the first round failing to at least hold down regular jobs in the league. With that in mind, we turn to the Index and see who would have been at the top of our board on draft night.

Round One
                                             DI Score           Rating           WP per 48
1) Derrick Rose                        2.16                   E                     .116
2) Michael Beasley                   2.00                   E                    -.012
3) O.J Mayo                              0.38                   R                     .071
4) Russell Westbrook              1.57                   E                      .114
5) Kevin Love                           1.97                   E                      .245
7) Eric Gordon                         0.37                   R                      .074
8) Joe Alexander                      0.50                   G                      .030
9) D.J Augustin                        0.78                   G                       .076
10) Brook Lopez                      0.60                   G                       .076
11) Jerryd Bayless                   0.10                    Y                      .036
12) Jason Thompson               0.16                    Y                       .078
13) Brandon Rush                    0.87                    G                      .114
14) Anthony Randolph              0.25                    R                      .081
15) Robin Lopez                       0.47                    R                       .069
16) Maresse Speights              0.85                    G                       .023
17) Roy Hibbert                        0.60                     G                       .067
18) Javale McGee                    0.28                      R                      .139
19) J.J Hickson                         0.04                     Y                       .095
21) Ryan Anderson                  0.14                      Y                       .140
22) Courtney Lee                     0.42                      R                      .112
23) Kosta Koufos                     0.46                      R                      .146
26) George Hill                         0.44                      R                      .129
27) Darrell Arthur                     0.77                       G                     .012
28) Donte Greene                    0.28                       R                     .000
29) D.J White                           0.71                      G                      .068
30) J.R Giddens                       0.56                      G                      .027

Notes: It's actually pretty rare to see all of the green prospects clustered at the top of the round, and we do hit on everybody but the enigmatic Michael Beasley. Things get pretty ugly- many of our gold prospects didn't do much while the reds and grays have some significant hits (Mcgee, Anderson, Koufos, Hill). It would be tough to say what we would have done with a mid-round pick here, until you get a look at Round Two that is...

Round Two

                                             DI Score           Rating           WP per 48
33) John Dorsey                       1.87                   E                     .196
34) Mario Chalmers                  1.52                  E                      .099
35) DeAndre Jordan                  0.49                  R                      .184
37) Luc Richard Mbah A Moute  0.90                 G                      .123
38) Kyle Weaver                        1.05                  E                      .051
39) Sonny Weems                     0.30                  R                      .010
40) Chris Douglas-Roberts       0.77                  G                       .051
42) Sean Singletary                   0.30                   R                       .006
43) Patrick Ewing                       0.28                  R                      -.016
46) Trent Plaisted                      0.27                   R                       .000
47) Bill Walker                           0.69                    G                      .089
48) Malik Hairston                      0.21                    Y                      .000
49) Richard Hendrix                  0.42                    R                      .000
50) Devon Hardin                       0.12                   Y                       .000
51) Shan Foster                         0.13                    Y                      .000
52) Darnell Jackson                   0.64                    G                      .059
54) Maarty Leunen                     0.37                     R                     .000
55) Mike Taylor                          0.34                     R                     -.003
56) Sasha Kaun                         0.33                     R                     .000
57) James Gist                          0.35                     R                      .000
58) Joe Crawford                       0.10                     Y                      .037

Notes: Three green prospects and a high gold in Mbah a Moute open this second round- Chalmers and Moute have been solid, Dorsey had a good year in Toronto but from what I can glean he's a bit of a loose cannon and teams got sick of dealing with him...Weaver had one decent season with the Thunder and has been bouncing around the D-League ever since. After those guys come off the board, things look a lot more typical- low scores and low production abound. We do like that CDR, Walker, and Darnell Jackson stick out a bit though...

Tan was big in '08....

Monday, June 17, 2013

DI Review: 2007 Draft

The following is the eighth in a ten part series in which we'll review the past 10 NBA drafts, provide the Draftability Index Score for every American college prospect, and analyze the findings. One note before we dive in, all of the data is being pulled from Basketball Reference and the NBA Geek and the win share numbers are the players' career average per 48 minutes to date. If you're new to that measurement, a league average score is .100 and 'star' level production correlates to .200 and above. 

The rating system is as follows: Green level prospects are the strongest and will be notated with an E, Gold level prospects are reasonably desirable prospects and are notated with a G, Red level prospects are suspect prospects and are notated with an R, and Gray level prospects are highly suspect and are notated with a Y.

I remember being in my dorm room in 2007, with a big bad paper due at oh-800 hours, and for background noise I put on the opening minutes of a Texas-Oklahoma State game I probably could not have been less invested in. What was to follow was, if not the best, certainly the most entertaining college basketball game I've ever seen. 

It was a track meet from the opening whistle, and it would take three overtimes to settle, before OK State finally emerged 105-103. The game should ended in regulation and it definitely should have ended before the third overtime, but the tall, skinny guy on the Horns just wouldn't let it... 

I was a bit of a draftnik then, and of course I was familiar with Kevin Durant prior to that night, but it was then, as he poured in 37 points, 12 boards, and literally would not allow his team to lose, that it became clear we weren't just watching another great player...we were watching a great player. I've re-experienced that game a couple more times on YouTube ( and it  just doesn't get old. That's one of the great things about sports- how succinctly and definitively the next big thing can arrive.

And I did write that paper, but it was hours after the game ended...

Round One

                                             DI Score           Rating           WP per 48
1) Greg Oden                          1.33                   E                      .198
2) Kevin Durant                       1.31                   E                      .178
3) Al Horford                            0.66                   G                      .162
4) Mike Conley                         1.83                    E                     .130
5) Jeff Green                           0.45                    R                      .020
7) Corey Brewer                      0.58                   G                      .038
8) Brandan Wright                   1.05                   E                      .198
9) Joakim Noah                        1.01                   E                      .231
10) Spencer Hawes                 0.31                   R                      .016
11) Acie Law                            0.43                   R                       .032
12) Thaddeus Young               0.27                    R                      .101
13) Julian Wright                      1.56                   E                       .062
14) Al Thornton                        0.40                    R                      .035
15) Rodney Stuckey                0.05                    Y                       .051
16) Nick Young                        0.18                     Y                      -.028
17) Sean Williams                   0.19                     Y                      .073
19) Javaris Crittenton               0.42                     R                      .002
20) Jason Smith                       0.06                     Y                      .001
21) Daequan Cook                   0.43                     R                      .015
22) Jared Dudley                      0.50                     G                      .179
23) Wilson Chandler                0.41                     R                      .053
25) Morris Almond                    0.11                     Y                      .005
26) Aaron Brooks                     0.31                      R                     .011
27) Arron Afflalo                       0.23                     Y                       .098
29) Alando Tucker                   0.36                      R                      .045

Notes: Five of the six green level prospects have been productive players: Oden has had a tragic run of injuries but hopefully he has a little bit of basketball left in him. Julian Wright was a big swing and a miss- perhaps the single biggest miss, but otherwise things are looking good.
We see similar positive results from the gold prospects. Horford and Dudley have been very solid. From the reds and grays, we missed a couple decent players (Young, Afflalo) but for the most part, DI has successfully isolated many of the least productive players in this draft. It was a good, predictable year.

Round Two

                                             DI Score           Rating          WP per 48 
31) Carl Landry                        0.39                    R                    .133
32) Gabe Pruitt                        0.23                     Y                    .043
33) Marcus Williams               0.38                     R                    -.009
34) Nick Fazekas                    0.65                     G                    .148
35) Glen Davis                        0.53                     G                     -.013
36) Jermareo Davidson          0.23                      Y                     .000
37) Josh McRoberts                0.64                     G                     .119
41) Chris Richard                    0.10                     Y                     .045
42) Derrick Byars                    0.34                      R                    .147
43) Adam Haluska                  0.26                       R                    .000
44) Reyshawn Terry              0.61                       G                    .000
45) Jared Jordan                    0.17                        Y                    .000
46) Stephane Lasme              1.61                       E                    .041
47) Dominic McGuire              1.30                       E                    .151
49) Aaron Gray                        0.92                        G                   .072
51) JamesOn Curry                0.17                       Y                    .000
52) Taurean Green                 0.41                        R                  -.006
53) Demetris Nichols              0.35                       R                  -.020
55) Herbert Hill                        0.18                       Y                    .000
56) Ramon Sessions             0.49                        R                   .127
57) Sammy Mejia                   0.23                        Y                    .000
59) D.J Strawberry                 0.40                        R                  -.003

Notes: TWO green level prospects this second round- McGuire, currently the best win producer to come out of this group of players and Stephane Lasme. Admittedly I needed to do some research on Lasme. He played his college ball at UMass and established a reputation as a defensive stopper- similar to a Luc Mbah a Moute. He was drafted by Golden State, broke his foot immediately, and was waived. He bounced back and forth between the U.S and Europe, picked up a few hundred minutes with the Heat, almost made the '10-11 Celtics, before going back East. Lasme is the current EuroLeague Defensive Player of the Year and laid down some good run in the D-League. Now I'm not  saying the league whiffed on him, but not saying I wouldn't be tempted to bring the guy to camp either...
ANYWAYS, DI misses on Landry and Sessions, but otherwise things look pretty much in order here. 

I miss the Sonics...