Thursday, June 13, 2013

DI Review: The 2004 Draft

The following is the fifth 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.
The 2004 Draft may be most remembered for the debate between Dwight Howard and Emeka Okafor at the Number One spot. It was a different time, and I'm quite thankful we no longer have to speak with conviction and authority regarding the potential of 17 and 18 year-olds. Analyzing one-and-dones is much more clear cut.

Round One

                                             DI Score           Rating          WP per 48
2) Emeka Okafor                     1.34                   E                     .134
3) Ben Gordon                         0.48                  R                      .039
5) Devin Harris                        1.04                   E                     .103
6) Josh Childress                    0.64                   G                     .238
7) Luol Deng                           1.19                    E                     .148
8) Rafael Araujo                      0.30                   R                     -.001
9) Andre Iguodala                   0.41                   R                      .201
10) Luke Jackson                   0.14                    Y                      .010 
14) Kris Humphries                 0.10                    Y                     .123
16) Kirk Snyder                       0.61                    G                     .061
20) Jameer Nelson                 0.61                    G                     .093
24) Delonte West                    0.77                    G                     .141
25) Tony Allen                         1.09                    E                     .149
26) Kevin Martin                     0.10                     Y                     .145
30) David Harrison                 0.29                     R                     .057

Notes: Of the college players to be selected in the first round, over half went on to become productive NBA players- so there was plenty of solid options to choose from in 2004. The four players scoring green (Okafor, Harris, Deng, and Allen) have all gone on to productive careers, which is what we expect, and I suppose, hope for. 
DI let some good players go by (Iggy, Humphries, Martin) and I don't contend that it won't do that now and again. The grades are reflections of production of certain variables throughout a college career- that a player fails in that regard is not necessarily a total condemnation of that player but more precisely an indicator that betting your job and a few million bucks (as GM's and organizations do) that said player will develop or reveal the ability to produce might not be a sound proposition. 
A GM using DI might miss a good player now and again, but in this case there's no way he's going home with Rafael Araujo or Luke Jackson, and avoiding decisions like that will go a long way to helping you keep your job.

Round Two

                                             DI Score           Rating            WP per 48
31) Jackson Vroman                0.35                    R                     .001
33)  Lionel Chalmers                0.39                    R                    -.002
34) Donta Smith                       0.00                    Y                     .043
35) Andre Emmett                    0.72                    G                     .040
36) Antonio Burks                    0.70                     G                    .004
37) Royal Ivey                          0.46                    R                     -.003
38) Chris Duhon                       0.83                    G                    .118
40) Justin Reed                        0.40                     R                    .016 
43) Trevor Ariza                        0.07                     Y                    .145
45) Bernard Robinson              0.15                     Y                     .045
47) Pape Sow                           0.07                     Y                     .044
48) Ricky Minard                      0.10                      Y                    .000
53) Christian Drejer                  0.03                      Y                    .000
53) Matt Frieje                          0.07                      Y                   -.005
54) Ricky Paulding                   0.17                      Y                    .000
55) Luis Flores                         0.37                      R                    -.002
56) Marcus Douthit                  0.28                       R                   .000
58) Blake Stepp                       0.39                       R                   .000
59) Rashad Wright                   0.20                      R                    .000

Notes: A lot of ugly scores and amazingly few players that even got serious run on an NBA court. Our highest scoring player, Chris Duhon, went on to be a nice back-up point guard, and from the muck and the mire emerged the very efficient Trevor Ariza. 
Faced with this set of scores, you might have taken a roll on Duhon or big Andre Emmett, drafted someone from Central Europe, or traded out and waited for next year- and really the trade would have been the best decision.

And now, for the fashion...

1) I totally forgot Sideshow was selected by the Magic,

who flipped him that summer for Steven Hunter- whoops!

2) This suit is totally sharp- only 

the hat is ridiculous

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