Monday, May 13, 2013

DI Review: The 2002 Draft

The following is the third 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.

We begin with the 2002 Draft, the weakest group of college talent of the decade according to both our numbers and the players' actual production. This draft did feature foreign stars Yao and Nene as well as
Amare coming straight out of high school, however.

Round One

                                       DI Score      Rating       WP per 48      
2) Jay Williams    .                .92              G               .020
3) Mike Dunleavy                 .85              G               .133
4) Drew Gooden                  .59              G                .089
6) Dajuan Wagner                .60              G                .000
8) Chris Wilcox                    .56              G                .070
10) Caron Butler                  .58              G                .094
11) Jared Jeffries                  .64              G                .080
12) Melvin Ely                      .33              R               -.005
13) Marcus Haislip               .10              Y                 .026
14) Fred Jones                     .24              Y                 .077
17) Juan Dixon                     .68              G                 .034
18) Curtis Borchardt             .71              G                 .041
19) Ryan Humphrey              .84              G               -.003
20) Kareem Rush                 .24              Y                 .013
22) Casey Jacobsen             .25               R                 .056
23) Tayshaun Prince             .69               G                .128
25) Frank Williams               .69               G                .003
26) John Salmons                 .55               G                .100
27) Chris Jefferies                 .33              R                -.003
28) Dan Dickau                    .13               Y                 .061

Analysis: That we have no green prospect suggests there should be few above average performers, if any. That we have three, lead by a relatively pedestrian Mike Dunleavy (.133) is totally consistent with what we would expect to find. Gold prospects are defined as prospects who outproduce Red and Gray prospects to a statistically significant degree but still do not 'hit' often enough to be considered categorically advisable. The three above average performers (Dunleavy, Prince, Salmons) we have are gold prospects, as are the next three in line (Butler, Gooden, J. Jeffries). However, several of the highest scoring gold prospects busted completely (Jay Williams, Humphrey, Borchardt). This is often the case.
The point of distinction is the frequency with with red and gray prospects bust. Five of the first six of these prospects selected (Ely, Haislip, Rush, Jacobsen, C. Jefferies) failed to make any meaningful contribution, with only Fred Jones providing even marginal win production. This level of failure is consistent nearly every year across both rounds with the gray performing slightly worse than the red.
Our highest rating went to Jay Williams, whose career was cut short by a motorcycle accident, though admittedly it was not off to a great start otherwise.

Second Round 

                                    DI score          Rating           WP per 48
30) Steve Logan               .22                   Y                   .000
31) Roger Mason             .16                   Y                    .061
32) Robert Archibald        .20                   Y                   .001
33) Vincent Yarbrough     .54                    G                   .035
34) Dan Gadzuric              .20                   Y                   .097
35) Carlos Boozer            .40                    R                   .166
38) Tito Maddox               .32                   R                   .001
39) Rod Grizzard               .61                  G                   .000
43) Jason Jennings             .34                   R                   .000
44) Lonny Baxter               .53                  G                   .075
45) Sam Clancy                 .40                   R                   .000
46) Matt Barnes                 .25                  R                    .145
47) Jamal Sampson             .31                 R                    .101
48) Chris Owens                 .67                 G                    .000
50) Darius Songalia             .25                 R                    .083
52) Marcus Taylor               .13                 Y                   .000
53) Rasual Butler                 .25                 R                   .051
54) Tamar Slay                    .14                 Y                  -.003
57) Randy Holcomb             .20                 Y                   .000
58) Corsley Edwards            .40                 R                   .026

Analysis: The draft's most productive player (Boozer) came off the board in the second round as well as two additional above-average players (Barnes, Sampson) and all three graded as red prospects. Of the few gold prospects, two failed to make a roster (Owens, Grizzard) and only Lonny Baxter was marginally productive.
Though we did fail to identify Boozer and Barnes, the grading system does confirm what we see from these players in an aggregate sense- that the vast majority score poorly on DI and fail to have productive NBA careers.

And now...the suit of the year....
Drew Gooden in a...dry cleaning bag?

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