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ballism
06-19-2012, 12:02 AM
Not necessarily the most successful of Hollinger's inventions, but it's a fun read, in case someone is interested.

At 26, the Pacers apparently have a hard choice between Leonard Meyers, Terrence Ross, Perry Jones III, Arnett Moultrie and Moe Harkless. Not bad, I say!

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/draft2012/story?page=PERDiem-120618&_slug_=nba-2012-nba-draft-rater&action=upsell&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnba %2fdraft2012%2fstory%3fpage%3dPERDiem-120618%26_slug_%3dnba-2012-nba-draft-rater




2012 NBA Draft Rater

Which players will end up being draft steals, busts? (PER Diem: June 18, 2012)

By John Hollinger | ESPN.com INSIDER

It's possible that mere moments after David Stern hands off the Larry O'Brien Trophy to Micky Arison or Clay Bennett that he will be in Newark, N.J., announcing that the New Orleans Hornets are on the clock. The Finals are slated to end June 26 (or really, the morning of June 27 if you factor in the ceremony, the interviews, the analysis and all the responsibilities of the players and the league), and the NBA draft is on June 28.


This is why we need to interrupt this riveting NBA Finals for a moment to talk about a bunch of 19-year-olds who have never played a professional game before.


That's right: It's Draft Rater time. I've developed a tool that analyzes college stats to predict NBA performance and have refined it over the past several years. It's something we can use to help identify draft steals and busts.


To review, last season was a pretty good one for the Rater. The 2011 pick with the top chance of success (Kyrie Irving) won Rookie of the Year, three other players it rated highly (Kawhi Leonard, Jon Leuer and Nikola Vucevic) provided great value for their draft position, and long-time favorite Daniel Green emerged as a starter on the West's best regular-season team.


Meanwhile, the Rater was down on Jan Vesely, Josh Selby and Jimmer Fredette. The biggest whiff was on MarShon Brooks, whom it rated as a late second-rounder but was a solid late first-round pick by the Nets. The others were players nobody else rated highly either; Isaiah Thomas, for instance, was No. 57 on my board. It was probably too optimistic about Tristan Thompson as well; he had the highest raw rating of any player but struggled at times as a rookie.


I made a few minor tweaks compared to a year ago -- most notably, I ditched the "Howland" variable, even though it was statistically significant, because it felt like an "overfit" (fitting the model to past results that may not necessarily be predictive) and I had enough significant variables without it. Otherwise, it's basically same as it ever was -- a giant regression model that gets incrementally smarter as we fill it with more data each year and one that I've segmented by position. It's still less predictive with one-and-done players, whom it sees less of statistically before they turn pro, and it's not perfect -- we're trying to project what 19-year-olds will be like at 25, a profoundly inexact science.


Nonetheless, let's zoom back out to the big picture and go through the results from this year's Draft Rater, because I think you'll see that a few points remain paramount.



1. Anthony Davis is obviously the best player




Good thing we came up with this neat model, because I don't know how we could have discerned this information otherwise. Yes, this is a one-star draft. Davis blew up my Draft Rater, as expected, but just as notable is the huge gap between him and the next place on the list.


Davis rates several points ahead of every other player on the board. In fact, the difference between Davis and the No. 2-rated player, Jared Sullinger, is greater than the gap between Sullinger and No. 16 Bradley Beal. And Sullinger's rating comes with asterisks that don't afflict Davis.



2. Remember, we're projecting PER




This gets extremely important when you look at the next few players that Draft Rater highlights and when you look back at some of the players Draft Rater has fawned over mistakenly in recent seasons. In each, you'll notice a huge propensity toward defensively lacking power forwards -- players like Michael Beasley, Charlie Villanueva and Tyrus Thomas, who had some of the best marks in recent seasons.


That's not a failure of Draft Rater as much as a failure of what I've asked it to do: project NBA PER from college stats. It did that; Beasley, Villanueva and Thomas all have excellent career PER marks. They just aren't very good in spite of those numbers due to their defensive shortcomings and questions about their fit in the team concept.


So let's take a closer look at two relatively short, stocky power forwards who are among the next names on the list: Sullinger and Draymond Green. Will these guys put up numbers? Very likely. Will they be able to guard their position? That is a much more open question and why they won't go as highly as Draft Rater places them. Green, in particular, is a massive defensive question mark.


This applies to a lesser extent to the next several players. Terrence Jones and Royce White, who also has anxiety issues that may affect his draft position, are much more offensive players who are an inch short for the power forward spot, and Furkan Aldemir of Turkey -- who rates as a mid-first-rounder although he probably won't be taken until the middle of the second round -- has defensive shortcomings too.


At least that makes it easy to pick out the second-best big man this year: Thomas Robinson of Kansas, who has no such defensive shortcomings and should be able to score effectively with his athleticism around the rim.


Also warranting looks later in the lottery are two project-level bigs with more upside, especially at the defensive end: Andre Drummond and John Henson. Henson has a slightly higher rating, but as a 7-foot center, Drummond is virtually certain to be the higher pick.


Finally, a sleeper among bigs is Henry Sims of Georgetown. He is not a great athlete and will struggle defensively, but he is a high skill guy who could be a second-round steal.


Bigs: The Best

Name College/Country Rating
Anthony Davis Kentucky 22.23
Jared Sullinger Ohio State 16.86
Thomas Robinson Kansas 15.20
Draymond Green Michigan State 14.84
Terrence Jones Kentucky 14.28
Royce White Iowa State 14.07
Furkan Aldemir Turkey 12.87
John Henson North Carolina 12.11
Andre Drummond Connecticut 12.05
Henry Sims Georgetown 10.38





3. High-rated wings usually deliver




As I noted with Leonard a year ago, wing players -- especially bigger ones -- with strong Draft Rater marks virtually never fail. Of the eight players to rate above 13 in the past decade, the worst among them was Josh Childress. Five of the players have played in an All-Star Game, and Rudy Gay may play in an All-Star Game soon. The seventh player is Leonard.


This year, we have two names to add to that list: Dion Waiters and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Kidd-Gilchrist is probably the safest pick on the board -- a big wing who plays defense, has strong stats and comes with no character questions. From a risk-aversion perspective alone he should be a top-five pick; I have him third on my board after Robinson. (See below for how I would rank the prospects, regardless of their Draft Rater numbers.)


I have Waiters fourth for similar reasons. His size, 6-foot-4, is more of a concern, but whatever team made him a promise did a wise thing. Waiters projects as the best small wing since Dwyane Wade, and he'd be a steal if somebody got him in the Nos. 8-10 range currently being discussed.


The other wing everybody is sleeping on is Quincy Miller of Baylor, who put up a strong mark despite coming off an ACL injury. He has more questions marks because of the knee and his bony build, but he is long and can score. The stories of him slipping have me baffled, because he rates as a top-10 pick.


Two other wings who will be drafted highly don't rate as strongly: Beal and Harrison Barnes. Most players in their range turn out to be solid, but this part of the pool doesn't produce many stars. I'd be more comfortable taking these two in the later part of the lottery.


Doronand Jeremy Lamb added to the perpetual confusion between the two by posting virtually the same rating, although this may be the only one that had Doron rated higher. Jeremy is likely to go 15 picks sooner given his higher ceiling, but Doron could be a great pickup in the late first or early second round as a Courtney Lee clone who hits 3s and defends.


The other wing worth a first-round look is Memphis' Will Barton, whom most have slotted as a second-rounder and who rates as a nice sleeper.


Perimeter Players: The Best

Name College/Country Rating
Dion Waiters Syracuse 14.12
Kendall Marshall North Carolina 13.84
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Kentucky 13.58
Marquis Teague Kentucky 13.18
Quincy Miller Baylor 12.94
Tony Wroten Washington 12.21
Bradley Beal Florida 11.65
Kostas Sloukas Greece 11.51
Harrison Barnes North Carolina 11.11
Will Barton Memphis 10.90
Doron Lamb Kentucky 10.65
Jeremy Lamb Connecticut 10.50





4. The point guard conundrum




Point guard is the hardest position to draft because so much depends on improvement once the player turns pro. Unless it's an overwhelming talent such as Chris Paul or Irving, the smarter play is usually to draft this position late and hope for the best.


This year, several point guards rate as first-round talents, and there is little to separate them. North Carolina's Kendall Marshall is the highest rated of the bunch and the safest pick, but he offers the least upside. Often compared to Mark Jackson because of his size, acumen and lack of athleticism, he is a solid mid-first-round pick. A poor man's version of Marshall might be Kostas Sloukas of Greece, who has solid translated Euroleague stats but will be a late second-rounder if he's drafted at all because of his questionable athleticism.


On the other hand, Marquis Teague of Kentucky and Tony Wroten of Washington have talent to spare and star upside. The question is whether each can harness it. Teague was plagued by turnovers, especially early in the year, but he is an athletic scoring point guard in the mold of his older brother, the Atlanta Hawks' Jeff Teague. Wroten, meanwhile, is enormous for a point guard (6-6) and can really see the floor, but he can't shoot and has lots of character questions.


Among Marshall, Wroten and Teague, it really is dealer's choice as to how much risk you're willing to take on for the reward. By the mid-first round I start liking Wroten's star potential quite a bit, but others may wish to play it more safely.



5. The rest of the bigs




In the tail end of the first round and throughout the second, we're sorting through several big men with fairly weak Draft Rater résumés. The Rater is a particularly harsh judge at the center position, where it frowns on the prospects of four centers with first-round aspirations -- Tyler Zeller, Meyers Leonard, Fab Melo and Festus Ezeli -- and flat-out mocks Miles Plumlee, who is off-the-charts bad with a 2.49 Draft Rater projection.


Plumlee aside, the other four are probably worthy of late first-round picks despite any misgivings, simply because size is such a rare commodity. Even if they can become just decent backup centers, taking them low in the first round makes sense. Two other 7-footers, Garrett Stutz of Wichita State and Robert Sacre of Gonzaga, shape up as solid second-rounders if we apply similar reasoning.


At the power forward spot, Perry Jones III is rated several notches lower than most, while two other likely first-rounders, Andrew Nicholson and Arnett Moultrie, rate as second-round picks. Also of note is Croatian forward Leon Radosevic as a decent second-round value play.


Bigs: The Rest

Name College/Country Rating
Perry Jones III Baylor 8.77
Leon Radosevic Croatia 8.77
JaMychal Green Alabama 8.73
Drew Gordon New Mexico 8.39
Tyler Zeller North Carolina 8.23
Andrew Nicholson St. Bonaventure 8.22
Quincy Acy Baylor 8.16
Fab Melo Syracuse 7.73
Garrett Stutz Wichita State 7.68
Mike Scott Virginia 7.50
Robert Sacre Gonzaga 7.37
Cameron Moore UAB 7.03
Meyers Leonard Illinois 7.02
Mitchell Watt Buffalo 6.77
Festus Ezeli Vanderbilt 6.54
Arnett Moultrie Mississippi State 6.42





6. Potential perimeter busts




One player that Draft Rater isn't crazy about is Damian Lillard of Weber State, who compiled strong numbers but did so against a weak schedule and is much older than most of the prospects at his position. He not only failed to outrank the top point guards above but also rates behind the less-heralded Tyshawn Taylor of Kansas. No. 6 clearly seems a stretch for Lillard, who looks more like a mid-to-late first-rounder in this analysis.


On the wings, a few potential first-rounders also fare poorly. Moe Harkless of St. John's had one of the worst ratings of any first-round prospect. While the error rate on one-and-done players has been higher, the difference between Harkless and the other lottery candidates is well outside the standard error of the Rater.


In addition to Harkless, first-round prospects John Jenkins and Jeffery Taylor of Vanderbilt fared poorly. Another first-round prospect from overseas, Evan Fournier of France, didn't play in the Euroleague this year and thus has no projection. Subjectively, I'm not sold on him -- he's basically a slashing scorer who isn't athletic enough to score that way in the NBA -- but he at least has the benefit of being only 19.


One player gathering momentum is Kostas Papanikolaou of Greece, who shapes up as a solid second-round stash pick. Two other wing prospects -- Austin Rivers and Terrence Ross -- shape up about where we'd expect as mid-to-late first rounders, but after those two, the pool thins out quickly.


A final sleeper to watch is Maryland point guard Terrell Stoglin, another guy who would make a great second-rounder.


Perimeter Players: The Rest



Name College/Country Rating
Tyshawn Taylor Kansas 10.19
Austin Rivers Duke 9.85
Terrell Stoglin Maryland 9.82
Damian Lillard Weber State 9.75
Kostas Papanikolaou Greece 9.26
Terrence Ross Washington 9.12
William Buford Ohio State 8.58
J'Covan Brown Texas 8.49
Jordan Taylor Wisconsin 8.19
Reggie Hamilton Oakland 8.18
Maalik Wayns Villanova 8.02
Hollis Thompson Georgetown 8.01
Tony Mitchell Alabama 7.91
Jae Crowder Marquette 7.90
Jared Cunningham Oregon State 7.76
John Jenkins Vanderbilt 7.76
Khris Middleton Texas A&M 7.68
Scott Machado Iona 7.57
Tornike Shengelia Republic of Georgia 7.33
Moe Harkless St. John's 7.15
Tu Holloway Xavier 7.14
Orlando Johnson UC Santa Barbara 7.11
Darius Miller Kentucky 6.65
Jeffery Taylor Vanderbilt 6.59





7. Making my board




Knowing everything we know, here is how my board looks heading into draft day. This is taking into account everything from the Draft Rater as well as what we know about the players' red flags, defensive pluses and minuses and one or two subjective calls:

1. Anthony Davis
2. Thomas Robinson
3. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
4. Dion Waiters
5. Andre Drummond


6. Quincy Miller
7. Jared Sullinger
8. Terrence Jones
9. John Henson
10. Royce White


11. Bradley Beal
12. Harrison Barnes
13. Tony Wroten
14. Kendall Marshall
15. Marquis Teague


16. Draymond Green
17. Jeremy Lamb
18. Damian Lillard
19. Austin Rivers
20. Doron Lamb


21. Furkan Aldemir
22. Will Barton
23. Tyler Zeller
24. Evan Fournier
25. Tyshawn Taylor


26. Meyers Leonard
27. Terrence Ross
28. Perry Jones
29. Festus Ezeli
30. Fab Melo


31. Kostas Sloukas
32. Henry Sims
33. Terrell Stoglin
34. Kostas Papanikolaou
35. Moe Harkless


36. Leon Radosevic
37. JaMychal Green
38. Andrew Nicholson
39. Drew Gordon
40. Garrett Stutz


41. Robert Sacre
42. Arnett Moultrie
43. William Buford
44. Jae Crowder
45. Jared Cunningham


46. Jordan Taylor
47. John Jenkins
48. Orlando Johnson
49. Jeffrey Taylor
50. Tomas Satoransky


51. Quincy Acy
52. Maalik Wayns
53. Tornike Shengelia
54. Scott Machado
55. Mike Scott


56. J'Covan Brown
57. Reggie Hamilton
58. Khris Middleton
59. Tony Mitchell
60. Miles Plumlee

IndyPacer
06-19-2012, 02:09 AM
At 26, the Pacers apparently have a hard choice between Leonard Meyers, Terrence Ross, Perry Jones III, Arnett Moultrie and Moe Harkless. Not bad, I say!



I could deal with that.

ballism
06-19-2012, 02:20 AM
I could deal with that.

It's too bad Hollinger and the whole stat revolution doesn't have more weight yet.

wintermute
06-19-2012, 02:58 AM
Not necessarily the most successful of Hollinger's inventions, but it's a fun read, in case someone is interested.

At 26, the Pacers apparently have a hard choice between Leonard Meyers, Terrence Ross, Perry Jones III, Arnett Moultrie and Moe Harkless. Not bad, I say!



Eh, I think you're reading Hollinger's list wrong. The Pacers should actually look for top rated talent who possibly might be available at 26. From Hollinger's list, that should include Quincy Miller, Terence Jones, Wroten, Teague, Green. If you believe Hollinger anyway, any of those guys should be good value at 26.

Would be interested to see p4e's take, since 2 of his guys (Lilliard and Machado) aren't rated too highly.

That said, Hollinger himself states that his model isn't foolproof. It's just another way to rate players.

ballism
06-19-2012, 03:12 AM
Eh, I think you're reading Hollinger's list wrong.

yes, it was a joke obviously. Hollinger is rating talent, not predicting their actual draft position.

But if someone had the time/will to cross check Hollinger's list with Chad Ford's actual predictions of who might be available to us at 26, especially his top 100 list, and post results, that would be fun to see.

pacer4ever
06-19-2012, 08:18 AM
I hate the PER stat by itself now he is trying to project PER. I dont know I like Hollinger but his stats are a bit much.

It is funny that he thinks Lillard will have a bad PER the most efficient players in college basketball last year. I am guessing it is due to competition(that is what he lists in the article he really doesnt give any other reason. Wonder what Rodney Stucky was rated a few years ago)

and like he said his system missed on players last year. His job is to write articles on his stats it is interesting but I dont like PER at all very very flawed stat.

also how can Kostas Papanikolaou be considered a bust?? No one thinks he can play in the league can it get worse?? Is he gonna stop being good enough to play overseas :laugh:


I do like Henry Sims as a draft sleeper though.


I do have to go back and watch tape on Watiers I wasn't that impressed with him like everyone seems to be. I see him being very OJ Mayo ish he isn't near the athlete of a Wade or Eric Gordon IMO. Yes he could score but I dont see him as being the best small guard since Wade(Eric Gordon ring a bell).

But anyone who thinks stats at the college level can predict NBA success is mistaken and even Hollinger himself will tell you that. (I would like to see all the stuff that goes in when projecting this doubt he will share that though)

Sparhawk
06-19-2012, 09:49 AM
Quincy Miller and Marquis Teague are looking mighty good at 26 now.

DrFife
06-19-2012, 11:01 AM
yes, it was a joke obviously. Hollinger is rating talent, not predicting their actual draft position.

But if someone had the time/will to cross check Hollinger's list with Chad Ford's actual predictions of who might be available to us at 26, especially his top 100 list, and post results, that would be fun to see.

I use my own system for compiling a draft board based on a "special" averaging of the most popular sites (DX, NBAdraft, ESPN, SI). I added Hollinger and got the list below. (Adding his list doesn't change the overall ordering a whole lot, but he does decrease the overall "value" of some of the supposed top picks.) Note that the ratings denote where the consensus thinks a player "should be" selected. Thus, if you want a certain player and he remains available well after the "should be" rating, you likely will be pleased if we select him (or trade up to select him) after he falls past that slot.

1 A Davis
4 T Robinson
7 M Kidd-Gilchrist
9 A Drummond
11 B Beal
14 D Waiters
15 D Lillard
17 J Sullinger
17 J Lamb
18 J Henson
18 T Jones
18 A Rivers
19 M Leonard
20 T Zeller
22 K Marshall
22 T Ross
23 P Jones
24 Q Miller
24 M Teague
24 R White
25 A Moultrie
25 F Melo
26 M Harkless
27 T Wroten
27 A Nicholson
28 D Green
29 W Barton
29 E Fournier
30 D Lamb
30 J Taylor
31 F Ezeli
32 T Taylor
32 J Jenkins
32 J Cunningham
32 D Miller
35 O Johnson

EDIT (6/19): Updated after Chad Ford's June 19th mock with Sullinger medical concern.

pacer4ever
06-19-2012, 04:13 PM
Chad Ford's tier article comes out next week (hopefully someone posts it)I always like that one a bit. He gets his info stright from GMs and what not always my favorite predraft read.

PGisthefuture
06-20-2012, 03:55 AM
If we have a shot at Perry Jones III we better take it.

Hypnotiq
06-20-2012, 06:32 AM
Why do you want PJ3 so much he isnt what we need wont play 4 because he is to pussy of body contact and we already have a 3 in danny

xIndyFan
06-20-2012, 06:55 AM
If we have a shot at Perry Jones III we better take it.


Why do you want PJ3 so much he isnt what we need wont play 4 because he is to pussy of body contact and we already have a 3 in danny

i was really high on perry jones until i read an article comparing him to tim thomas.

That did it for me. Given all the things said about him both good and bad, it seemed a pretty good comparison. and really soured me.

Now if he's available at #26 . . . :cool:

Sparhawk
06-20-2012, 10:37 AM
I still think PJIII has a better chance of reaching his potential with the Pacers than elsewhere. Pacers already have a young core that works very very hard. I would expect that to rub off on PJ.

However, PJIII definitely scares me. How can a guy with his talent not improve from last year? Ugh.

QuickRelease
06-20-2012, 11:04 AM
PJIII reminds me of Lamar Odom. If he's there at 26 you gotta take him.

Really?
06-20-2012, 01:56 PM
I still think PJIII has a better chance of reaching his potential with the Pacers than elsewhere. Pacers already have a young core that works very very hard. I would expect that to rub off on PJ.

However, PJIII definitely scares me. How can a guy with his talent not improve from last year? Ugh.

I will say that he improved, and at times he looked like he could be the top pick in the draft but his consistency is not there, it is like he can not catche the flow of the game nd determine when he should be doing what, attacking, facilitating, defending tight or loose. I guess you could basically say that he has horrible in game adjustments.

As far as growth to me he seemed more like a leader this year than last, and even though it was not great, his shot selection improved.

He had spans where he consistently put up or came close to putting up double doubles but he did not always show that.

I think if he can go to a team where he has a set role and he can stick to that role then he can be a pretty good NBA player.