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Lance George
06-27-2012, 08:45 PM
I'm not sure if this is worthy of its own thread, but here it is anyway...

Chart Shows That #1 Pick In NBA Draft Is Crazy Valuable - Business Insider (http://www.businessinsider.com/1-pick-nba-draft-value-chart-2012-6?utm_source=twbutton&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sportspage)


Here's a pretty cool chart of average career win shares by draft position since 1985. ("Win shares" is just a holistic advanced stat that gives you a general idea of how good a player is.)

The big takeaway: The #1 pick is crazy valuable. In the lottery era, the player picked #1 in the NBA (http://www.businessinsider.com/blackboard/nba) Draft has averaged 68.6 career win shares. Players picked #2 through #10 have averaged 38.6.

It's not just that the #1 pick is better than the #2, it's that the #1 pick is exceptional, and exponentially more valuable than any other draft position.

http://static5.businessinsider.com/image/4feb197469beddc94b000002-620-/average-win-shares-by-nba-draft-pick-since-1985-chart.jpg (http://static5.businessinsider.com/image/4feb197469beddc94b000002-960/average-win-shares-by-nba-draft-pick-since-1985-chart.jpg)

As you can see, every pick between #2 and #5 is in the same tier (~47 win shares). Then there's a weird anomaly with pick #6 (21.9 win shares). And then picks #7-10 are in the same tier (28-38 win shares).

But nothing even approaches the #1 pick.

The average difference between the #1 pick and the #2 pick is ~20 career win shares, which means the #1 pick is 41% more valuable than the #2 pick.

Here's another chart. This one is based on win shares per 48 minutes, which makes sure that recent and not-so-recent picks are equally weighted:

http://static8.businessinsider.com/image/4feb23baecad045416000006/nba-draft-position-win-shares-per-48-minutes-chart.jpg (http://static8.businessinsider.com/image/4feb23baecad045416000006-960/nba-draft-position-win-shares-per-48-minutes-chart.jpg)

The tiers are even more dramatic in this one. Again, picks 2-5 are roughly the same, but pick #1 is way, way more valuable.

[Note: We excluded the 2011 Draft because of the weird, lockout-shortened 2011-12 season. So the data comes from the 1985-2010 drafts]

adamscb
06-27-2012, 09:13 PM
and this is with darko milicic included?

Jeremy
06-27-2012, 09:31 PM
It is NOT the only pick that matters. Some of the greatest players ever to play the game were not number one picks. For instance, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and if I was older I'm sure I could find many more. Win shares is just a stat, nothing more.

Eleazar
06-27-2012, 10:16 PM
I'm not sure exactly how win shares are calculated, so I have always been skeptical about its worthiness. I would rather just see how many wins per season a number one's team averages over their career. Having a high win share doesn't necessarily translate into a high amount of wins.

Pacersalltheway10
06-27-2012, 10:28 PM
Not good to have the sixth pick. If Portland takes Drummond at #6, I can see it drop even lower

spreedom
06-27-2012, 10:31 PM
I think this shows the flaws in the Win Shares stat more than it proves that the #1 pick is the only one that matters...

Day-V
06-27-2012, 10:33 PM
Some of the greatest players ever to play the game were not number one picks. For instance, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and if I was older I'm sure I could find many more.

That Larry guy in the 80's was #6 overall. He had an okay career.

Slick Pinkham
06-27-2012, 10:44 PM
not #1:
Bill Russell
Moses Malone
Karl Malone
John Stockton
Michael Jordan
Larry Bird
Bob Pettit
Jerry West
Dirk
John Havlicek

In the real old days teams were allowed a few territorial picks per decade, so some guys like Wilt and Oscar were not really available to be drafted by anybody else but their "local" team

rexnom
06-27-2012, 10:57 PM
I keep thinking Tony Wroten is Donald Glover.

SkipperZ
06-28-2012, 12:23 AM
clearly he didnt mean that the number 1 pick is the only pick that matters in that it is the only one that results in good players taken.

the chart shows that RELATIVE to the other picks the number 1 pick is the only one that matters, in that in terms of the likelihood of getting a good player, 1 is much better than the other picks, but the difference, if any, between 2 and 10 are negligible.

everyone spouting off players that werent taken number 1 but ended up being good anyway are missing the point


as in 1 is the only one that matters because 2-10 all produce similar likelihood of getting a good player

BillS
06-28-2012, 10:31 AM
I'd be interested in a counter statistic showing the variance in win shares between all the #1 picks. I'd venture to say that this chart is skewed by the fact that some exceptional players are drafted at #1.

Kstat
06-28-2012, 10:37 AM
the OKC Thunder and Kevin Durant support this thread.

Slick Pinkham
06-28-2012, 11:03 AM
sensationalist headline.

To me this one type of data analysis suggests that the gap between the value of the #1 and #2 picks is, on average, larger than the gap between later picks. In fact, it may be larger than the gap between #2 and #10.

try to make that snappy... hmmmm....

It's much better to have the number 1 pick than to not have it.

duhhh...

Lance George
06-28-2012, 01:40 PM
clearly he didnt mean that the number 1 pick is the only pick that matters in that it is the only one that results in good players taken.

the chart shows that RELATIVE to the other picks the number 1 pick is the only one that matters, in that in terms of the likelihood of getting a good player, 1 is much better than the other picks, but the difference, if any, between 2 and 10 are negligible.

everyone spouting off players that werent taken number 1 but ended up being good anyway are missing the point


as in 1 is the only one that matters because 2-10 all produce similar likelihood of getting a good player

Very well said.

Pick 9 has been the third-most-productive pick in the draft, and 10th picks have been nearly as good as picks 2-5, on average. That says it all.

Some 9th picks over the past 20 years:


1997: Tracy McGrady
1998: Dirk Nowitzki
1999: Shawn Marion
2002: Amar'e Stoudemire
2004: Andre Iguodala
2007: Joakim Noah

The quality's dropped off considerably as of late, but that period between '97 and '04 -- especially the three-year run to end the '90s -- was incredible.

Lance George
06-28-2012, 01:57 PM
the OKC Thunder and Kevin Durant support this thread.

The second pick has a very shaky track record. Sure, it's given us Kevin Durant and Alonzo Mourning, amongst others, but it's also given us some of the biggest busts in draft history.


1993: Shawn Bradley
2000: Stromile Swift
2002: Jay Williams
2003: Darko Milicic
2005: Marvin Williams
2009: Hasheem Thabeet

This article is about the average of all selection-number-specific draftees, not individual players taken at those spots. Great players can be had at any position in the draft, obviously.