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Thread: Hollinger: Augustin over Westbrook

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    Default Hollinger: Augustin over Westbrook

    The lastest draft number-crunch from ESPN's John Hollinger has some harsh words for Westbrook, but Augustin gets the nod...

    <<<

    Once again, we boldly venture into the inexact science of predicting what 21-year-olds will do when they're 25.

    For those who missed Part I on Friday, we're taking an analytical approach to the draft by looking at college stats from the past six years and seeing which players swam and which ones sunk once they reached the NBA (that's if they reached the NBA).

    Friday's piece looked at the frontcourt players. Today we're going to look at the perimeter.
    As noted Friday, I've scrapped the formula I used a year ago and instead applied regression analysis, with the goal being to predict a player's third-year Player Efficiency Rating (PER). The idea is that we can use the results to identify current college players who have the attributes of successful NBA players. Obviously, this analysis is only one piece of a scout's work -- factors like conditioning, work ethic, and other intangibles play an important role in a player's development, too.

    Nonetheless, a player's college stats have a surprising predictive power when it comes to determining his success. For both frontcourt and perimeter players, the college stats explain, on average, about 82 percent of their pro performance. Another way of saying this is that the average error is about 18 percent. As I said, it's an inexact science.

    One important test is how this system fares vs. the actual draft. And as you can see from the side-by-side comparison at the bottom of the page, this method produced a more accurate draft board than the actual draft. In other words, this system has done a better job of sorting out and selecting prospects than NBA teams have done in the draft the past few years. This is true for both frontcourt and perimeter players.

    "Perimeter players" actually consists of two groups -- I had to split them into point guards and wings, as the historical projections were much more accurate this way. With all that said, let's dive in.

    POINT GUARDS


    I'll start with the point guards, since they're the big story here. Dating back to 2002, all 12 point guards with a rating above 14.0 have been first-round picks, and the three above 16.0 were all lottery picks; this mirrors the trend we saw with the frontcourt players.

    And as we saw with that group, the players rated between 12.5 and 14.0 tend to be hit and miss -- a Jameer Nelson here, a Steve Logan there -- while those below 12.5 have trouble establishing a career.


    Top-rated point guards since 2002
    Player Projected Yr. 3 PER Draft Year
    Chris Paul 18.40 2005
    T.J. Ford 16.67 2003
    Raymond Felton 16.29 2005
    Mike Conley 15.55 2007
    Marcus Williams 15.52 2006
    Deron Williams 15.52 2005
    Rajon Rondo 15.23 2006
    Jason Williams 14.73 2002
    Javaris Crittenton 14.51 2007
    Devin Harris 14.40 2004

    However, the failure rate of players who rate this low isn't as bad as it is for frontcourt players. Of the 30 point guards rated between 10.0 and 12.5, five (Nate Robinson, Jannero Pargo, Chris Duhon, Steve Blake and Luke Ridnour) became regular rotation players, while two others (Aaron Brooks and Ramon Sessions) seem to be well on their way and another two (Travis Diener and Marcus Banks) can't be ruled out. That said, the odds of failure are still far greater than the odds of success for a player rated this low.

    Below 10.0, the only two point guards to establish any kind of traction in their careers are Chris Quinn and Royal Ivey; most didn't even get a sniff of the NBA.
    Knowing the history, let's take a look at our point guards for this year, where the top-rated point player is, well ... let's just say it's not who you think.
    Solid first-rounders


    D.J. Augustin, Texas (14.88); Derrick Rose, Memphis (14.69); Mario Chalmers, Kansas (14.03); Jerryd Bayless, Arizona (14.03).

    Surprisingly, nobody rates as a slam-dunk lottery pick, not even Derrick Rose. In fact, Rose came in only second here, partly because he had such a slow start to his freshman season before picking up steam at the end.

    Is this enough reason to draft Augustin ahead of Rose? No, because the margin between them is miniscule, and even if their career PERs end up the same, Rose will have far more defensive value given his superior size.

    The bigger question is whether a team can justify taking Rose ahead of Michael Beasley, whose 19.19 is the best mark by anyone in the six years for which I have data. Yes, Beasley appears to be a space cadet and that's troubling, but what these numbers say to me is that the talent disparity is simply too big. That is, unless Beasley is such a train wreck off the court that he sabotages his own career, he's probably going to have much better results than Rose. In fact, you can make a strong case that Kevin Love should rank ahead of Rose on draft boards as well.

    Here's another interesting fact: Rose rated slightly higher as a wing (15.34) than as a point guard. That seems crazy, but he has the size to play the 2 if he has to. Just humor me and store that in the recesses of your brain in case you need to access it in a few years.
    Finally, it's notable that Chalmers, though widely presumed to be a fringe first-rounder, rates even with Bayless and pretty close to Rose and Augustin.
    Fringe first-rounder


    Mike Green, Butler (12.75)

    Who? The four-year player from Butler is on the fence to even get drafted, but the numbers say he has a good chance at becoming a decent pro.

    Better update that passport


    Drew Neitzel, Michigan State (11.14); George Hill, IUPUI (11.05); Sean Singletary, Virginia (10.88); Tyrone Brazelton, Western Kentucky (10.84); Brian Roberts, Dayton (10.73); Jamar Butler, Ohio St. (9.72); Mike Taylor, Iowa St. (8.32).
    Despite my hopes that Singletary would double the NBA's contingent of Virginia Cavaliers, it appears he's facing long odds.
    Taylor is the only one of these players who has been mentioned as a first-round possibility, but he has the worst projection of any of them. But note that Taylor's numbers are from his 2006-07 season at Iowa State.

    The others look like second-rounders at best.

    WINGS


    OK, on to the wing men. This isn't exactly a banner year for the 2 and 3 positions, as we're about to see, but a few players should be able to push legitimately into the first round.
    First, a look at history. You'll notice the same story as with the point guards and centers. A rating above 16 pretty much guarantees a lottery spot; in fact every player rated above 15 in the last six years was a lottery pick, and every player above 14 was a first-rounder.
    As with the other spots, things get dodgy between 12.5 and 14, where we've had a few very good players (Caron Butler and Ben Gordon) and a couple of very bad ones (Julius Hodge and Vincent Yarbrough). Most but not all were first-rounders.
    The interesting part for wings is that players rated between 11 and 12.5 have been much more successful than those at other positions -- 15 of the 38 such players in the past six drafts eventually cracked a pro rotation, and a couple (Kevin Martin and Mo Williams) became really good.
    For players rated below 11.0, the luck ran out -- we see a few rotation players but no long-term starters. But the odds of bucking the projections still appear better for wings than for players at any other position.


    Top-rated wings since 2002
    Player Projected Yr. 3 PER Draft Year
    Dwyane Wade 17.81 2003
    Carmelo Anthony 17.38 2003
    Luol Deng 16.71 2004
    Rudy Gay 16.21 2006
    Julian Wright 15.86 2007
    Rashad McCants 15.41 2005
    Andre Iguodala 15.16 2004
    Danny Granger 14.55 2005
    Shawne Williams 14.37 2006
    Josh Howard 14.31 2003

    Looking at our top candidates this year, they're going to need to buck those odds, because only a couple project as long-term rotation players in the NBA.
    Solid first-rounders


    Joe Alexander, West Virginia (14.58).
    That's it. Thanks for dropping by, everyone.
    We'll see a couple other highly-touted wings further down the list, but Alexander is the only one who cracks the threshold of a typical lottery selection. And in this case, the fact that Alexander took up the game at a late age means we're probably understating his pro potential.

    Fringe first-rounders


    Donte Greene, Syracuse (13.17); O.J. Mayo, USC (13.00); Chris Douglas-Roberts, Memphis (12.78).
    This is going to surprise some people, as Mayo has been projected as high as No. 3 in the draft. Truth be told, in this draft he probably deserves to be a lottery pick even going by these ratings -- he's rated 16th overall, and his one season of stats means his estimate is more prone to error than the projections of players who stayed in school longer. But he'll be 21 on November 5, and this system takes age into account when projecting potential.
    Greene and Douglas-Roberts are where everyone expects, so I don't have much to add here.
    The riff-raff


    Jamont Gordon, Mississippi St. (12.35); Reggie Williams, VMI (12.22); Pat Calathes, St. Joe's (11.95); Eric Gordon, Indiana (11.93); Russell Westbrook, UCLA (11.91); Malik Hairston, Oregon (11.85); Anthony Randolph, LSU (11.78).

    OK, another controversial outcome. Both Gordon and Westbrook are projected lottery picks, but neither fares well here.
    Though Westbrook is seen by many as a point guard, he actually rated even worse when I tried him there. It's possible he was just playing out of position at UCLA, but the projections say it's not worth using a top-10 pick to find out.
    Eric Gordon's rating is less surprising to me -- subjectively, I've been suspicious of him for some time, and I'm a little unsure what has everyone so excited.
    I also tried Randolph here, since some scouts see him as a 3 rather than a 4, and his rating at small forward was better than his awful one as a power forward. It's still hard to put him in the first round based on these numbers, but he's at least draftable.
    Jamont Gordon shapes up as a bit of a sleeper -- he rated even higher as a point guard, and at 6-4 could be a decent third guard backing up both positions. At the moment most see him as a second-rounder.
    Fringe second-rounders


    Bill Walker, Kansas St. (11.74); Kyle Weaver, Washington St. (11.61); Brandon Rush, Kansas (11.34); Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, UCLA (11.27); Josh Duncan, Xavier (11.25); Courtney Lee, Western Kentucky (11.17).

    Because of the general lack of depth in this draft, a number of these players are projected as potential first-rounders for whom the numbers say buyer beware.
    Walker may be the most interesting of the bunch since the evaluation period covers a time when he was coming back from a serious knee injury, so it's possible he'll be a much better pro than this projection indicates. Rush may also have a bit more value than the numbers show because of his rep as a defensive ace.
    Better update that passport


    Davon Jefferson, USC (10.99); Chris Lofton, Tennessee (10.80); DeMarcus Nelson, Duke (10.78); Sonny Weems, Arkansas (10.76); Shan Foster, Vanderbilt (10.58); Richard Roby, Colorado (9.77); Gary Forbes, Massachusetts (9.49); J.R. Giddens, New Mexico (9.16); Bryce Taylor, Oregon (8.79); Marcelus Kemp, Nevada (8.16).

    No big surprises here, as none of these players are likely to go before the middle of the second round.
    SUMMING UP

    For posterity's sake, here's how the top 15 picks rank in this year's draft, regardless of position. As you can see, my system rates it a strong draft for frontcourt players and a weak one on the perimeter.






    2008 Draft: Top 15 Projected Yr-3 PER
    Player Projected Yr. 3 PER School
    Michael Beasley 19.19 Kansas St.
    Kevin Love 17.80 UCLA
    Darrell Arthur 15.82 Kansas
    Marreese Speights 15.02 Florida
    D.J. Augustin 14.88 Texas
    Derrick Rose 14.69 Memphis
    Joe Alexander 14.58 West Virginia
    Brook Lopez 14.21 Stanford
    Mario Chalmers 14.03 Kansas
    Jerryd Bayless 14.03 Arizona
    Roy Hibbert 14.02 Georgetown
    Kosta Koufos 13.32 Ohio State
    Donte Greene 13.17 Syracuse
    Darnell Jackson 13.17 Kansas
    DeAndre Jordan
    13.17 Texas A&M

    Finally, as promised above, here's how my system rated the top college perimeter players in the past six drafts, alongside who was actually chosen in the first round of each draft. (The same kind of info was provided on Friday for frontcourt players.) As we saw in the analysis of frontcourt prospects, while the system isn't perfect, it's a clear improvement on what actually took place.



    Top-rated perimeter players of recent drafts
    Player Proj. Yr 3 Year Actual order
    Jay Williams 14.73 2002 Jay Williams
    Mike Dunleavy 14.28 2002 Dunleavy
    Dajuan Wagner 13.97 2002 Wagner
    Caron Butler 13.78 2002 Butler
    Steve Logan** 13.61 2002 Jones
    Vincent Yarbrough** 13.60 2002 Dixon
    Casey Jacobsen 12.98 2002 Rush
    Tayshaun Prince 12.57 2002 Jacobsen
    Kareem Rush 12.55 2002 Prince
    Tony Akins* 11.95 2002 Frank Williams
    Fred Jones 11.84 2002 Salmons
    John Salmons 11.76 2002 Chris Jefferies
    Juan Dixon 11.56 2002 Dan Dickau

    Dwyane Wade 17.81 2003 Anthony
    Carmelo Anthony Wade 17.38 2003 Wade
    T.J. Ford Hinrich 16.67 2003 Hinrich
    Josh Howard 14.31 14.31 2003 Ford
    Kirk Hinrich 13.65 2003 Hayes
    Luke Walton** 13.07 2003 Marcus Banks
    Reece Gaines 12.57 2003 Ridnour
    Jarvis Hayes 12.35 2003 Gaines
    Kyle Korver** 12.16 2003 Troy Bell
    Luke Ridnour 12.08 2003 Dahntay Jones
    Marquis Daniels* 11.79 2003 Howard

    Luol Deng 16.71 2004 Gordon
    Andre Iguodala 15.16 2004 Harris
    Devin Harris 14.40 2004 Childress
    Josh Childress 13.78 2004 Deng
    Ben Gordon 13.78 2004 Iguodala
    Jameer Nelson 13.74 2004 Jackson
    Delonte West 13.55 2004 Snyder
    Luke Jackson 13.50 2004 Nelson
    Kirk Snyder 13.24 2004 West
    Tony Allen 12.43 2004 Allen
    Blake Stepp** 12.25 2004 Kevin Martin

    Chris Paul 18.40 2005 Williams
    Raymond Felton 16.29 2005 Paul
    Deron Williams 15.52 2005 Felton
    Rashad McCants 15.41 2005 McCants
    Danny Granger 14.55 2005 Antoine Wright
    Jarrett Jack 14.20 2005 Joey Graham
    Julius Hodge 13.89 2005 Granger
    Francisco Garcia 13.48 2005 Hodge
    Aaron Miles* 13.39 2005 Robinson
    Linas Kleiza 12.37 2005 Jack
    Travis Diener** 12.35 2005 Garcia
    Jawad Williams* 12.31 2005 Luther Head
    Travis Diener** 12.35 2005 Garcia
    Nate Robinson 12.25 2005 Kleiza

    Rudy Gay 16.21 2006 Morrison
    Marcus Williams 15.52 2006 Roy
    Rajon Rondo 15.23 2006 Randy Foye
    Shawne Williams 14.37 2006 Gay
    Brandon Roy 14.17 2006 Redick
    Jordan Farmar 14.07 2006 Brewer
    Hassan Adams** 13.79 2006 Rodney Carney
    Renaldo Balkman 13.75 2006 Williams
    Ronnie Brewer 13.44 2006 Quincy Douby
    Daniel Gibson 13.30 2006 Balkman
    P.J. Tucker** 13.08 2006 Rondo
    Dee Brown** 12.95 2006 Williams
    Kyle Lowry 12.75 2006 Lowry
    Adam Morrison 12.71 2006 Shannon Brown
    J.J. Redick 12.63 2006 Farmar

    Julian Wright 15.86 2007 Conley
    Thaddeus Young 15.31 2007 Brewer
    Javaris Crittenton 14.51 2007 Law
    Jeff Green 14.20 2007 Young
    Rodney Stuckey 14.02 2007 Wright
    Taurean Green** 13.64 2007 Thornton
    Corey Brewer 13.55 2007 Stuckey
    Marcus Williams 13.38 2007 Nick Young
    Wilson Chandler 13.01 2007 Crittenton
    Dominic McGuire** 12.90 2007 Cook
    Acie Law 12.83 2007 Dudley
    Reyshawn Terry** 12.76 2007 Morris Almond
    Jarrious Jackson** 12.08 2007 Aaron Brooks
    Jared Dudley 11.94 2007 Arron Afflalo
    Al Thornton 11.76 2007 Alando Tucker
    basketbawful.com- The best of the worst of professional basketball. And there's a lot of it.

  2. #2
    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hollinger: Augustin over Westbrook

    Quote Originally Posted by himikey View Post
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    The lastest draft number-crunch from ESPN's John Hollinger has some harsh words for Westbrook, but Augustin gets the nod...
    Where do you get that? He didn't have harsh words for Rose and he didn't pick Augustin over Rose. That's just the way the numbers come up and then he made an excuse for Rose.

    What he actually said was, I quote; Surprisingly, nobody rates as a slam-dunk lottery pick, not even Derrick Rose. In fact, Rose came in only second here, partly because he had such a slow start to his freshman season before picking up steam at the end.

    Is this enough reason to draft Augustin ahead of Rose? No, because the margin between them is miniscule, and even if their career PERs end up the same, Rose will have far more defensive value given his superior size.
    Last edited by Will Galen; 06-23-2008 at 07:44 AM.

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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hollinger: Augustin over Westbrook

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen View Post
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    Where do you get that? What he actually said was, I quote; Surprisingly, nobody rates as a slam-dunk lottery pick, not even Derrick Rose. In fact, Rose came in only second here, partly because he had such a slow start to his freshman season before picking up steam at the end.

    Is this enough reason to draft Augustin ahead of Rose? No, because the margin between them is miniscule, and even if their career PERs end up the same, Rose will have far more defensive value given his superior size.
    Westbrook was listed as a wing:

    Quote Originally Posted by john hollinger
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    OK, another controversial outcome. Both Gordon and Westbrook are projected lottery picks, but neither fares well here.
    Though Westbrook is seen by many as a point guard, he actually rated even worse when I tried him there. It's possible he was just playing out of position at UCLA, but the projections say it's not worth using a top-10 pick to find out. Eric Gordon's rating is less surprising to me -- subjectively, I've been suspicious of him for some time, and I'm a little unsure what has everyone so excited.

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    Default Re: Hollinger: Augustin over Westbrook

    Interesting stuff. Large margin of error, but it does confirm what I've been telling folks up here all along - Beasley will be (and currently is) a better player than Rose. And it's good to see my man Kevin Love getting love.

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    Default Re: Hollinger: Augustin over Westbrook

    Can we draft Mike Green in he second round? He's going to be a solid pro at the next level.

    I'm fine if we draft DJ Augustin. It looks like he'll be a good, even if not great, starting PG.

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    Default Re: Hollinger: Augustin over Westbrook

    I couldn't argue picking Augustin over Westbrook. Augustin's a pure PG with some very obvious strengths and some equally obvious deficiencies - but if he gets with a team and system that utilizes the strengths and can help cover his deficiencies he could be a very, very good pro.

    Westbrook has more size and is a better athlete but he doesn't have either PG or SG skills. He'll be a very solid defender but if the skills don't come he'll be a limited role player for his career.

    Rose is another story - even though his hot tournament may have him a touch overrated, he's still a premier player.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

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    Default Re: Hollinger: Augustin over Westbrook

    Quote Originally Posted by PR07 View Post
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    Can we draft Mike Green in he second round? He's going to be a solid pro at the next level.

    I'm fine if we draft DJ Augustin. It looks like he'll be a good, even if not great, starting PG.


    I really enjoyed watching Green play this year. I'd love for the P's to grab him and give him some time in the NBDL.
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    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hollinger: Augustin over Westbrook

    Quote Originally Posted by RomanGabriel View Post
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    . . . it does confirm what I've been telling folks up here all along - Beasley will be (and currently is) a better player than Rose.
    Your not saying anything new, that's what most people think. Even Rose says Beasley is better. But if Rose turns out to be anything like the two point guards he's being compared with (Paul and D.Williams) then he's the best pick for a lot of teams.

    If you cloned them I would say 5 roses would beat 5 Beasley's.

    I know five roses would win with the girls. (giggle, snort)

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    Default Re: Hollinger: Augustin over Westbrook

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer View Post
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    I really enjoyed watching Green play this year. I'd love for the P's to grab him and give him some time in the NBDL.
    Green is probably the reason Butler lost to the Vols in the second round. I'm not sure I've ever seen someone collapse quite like that. He was overdribbling and forcing shots all over the place.

    As far as the article, I'll give it a big meh. Anyone who can concoct a system that says Augustin is better than Rose doesn't deserve a whole lot of attention from me.

    Although, him calling Beasley a space cadet made me chuckle.

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    Formerly QuickRelease NapTonius Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hollinger: Augustin over Westbrook

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen View Post
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    Your not saying anything new, that's what most people think. Even Rose says Beasley is better. But if Rose turns out to be anything like the two point guards he's being compared with (Paul and D.Williams) then he's the best pick for a lot of teams.

    If you cloned them I would say 5 roses would beat 5 Beasley's.

    I know five roses would win with the girls. (giggle, snort)

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    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hollinger: Augustin over Westbrook

    Interesting that Chalmers rates so high. I'd love to trade back in and nab him.
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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hollinger: Augustin over Westbrook

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem View Post
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    Interesting that Chalmers rates so high. I'd love to trade back in and nab him.
    I'd be happy to get a chance at Speights @ 11 and trading to pick up Chalmers with a later 1st rounder. Just not quite sure how to pull it off.

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    Default Re: Hollinger: Augustin over Westbrook

    Quote Originally Posted by count55 View Post
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    I'd be happy to get a chance at Speights @ 11 and trading to pick up Chalmers with a later 1st rounder. Just not quite sure how to pull it off.
    Toronto, I guess.
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    Default Re: Hollinger: Augustin over Westbrook

    Quote Originally Posted by fixed
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    Is this enough reason to draft Augustin ahead of Rose? No, because when they played head to head in the tourney Rose obliterated him.
    I'm a stats nut but even I wonder a bit on some of this. Still waiting on Felton to be better than Deron, or Shawne to be better than Roy. Plus Crittenton and Marcus Williams both stand as examples of highly rated PGs in the same range he's putting DJ.

    I said it elsewhere, DJ played straight up vs Rose and Chalmers and neither game went well. He got torn up on defense and forced his own offense going the other way.

    Good kid, love him as a pick around 18. Looks like he's getting drafted a lot higher than that.

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    Default Re: Hollinger: Augustin over Westbrook

    Quote Originally Posted by DisplacedKnick View Post
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    Rose is another story - even though his hot tournament may have him a touch overrated, he's still a premier player.
    Well I think Hollinger has brushed past one aspect, and that's trending during the season. He mentions Rose being hurt by the slow start and it appears he gives the season totals the full weight. I don't think one hot game matters, but certainly a FRSH or even a SOPH who just became the main guy (DJ) has to be adjusted as they get up to speed during the season. Plus for most teams the competition ramps up toward the 2nd half of the season.

    During the year I started off coolish about Rose myself, same with Gordon. But seeing Rose progress took me out of the "should wait a year" to "he's ready to go". Contrast this with Collison and DJ who both started fairly well in my view and lost a bit when they hit some tough challenges.

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