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Thread: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

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    Default So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    Note: From the top, this will be long-winded even for me. You may or may not find it worth the time, but I believe the preamble necessary to establish the context and the (potential) credibility of the analysis involved. I can understand that some (many) may not consider it worth their time. If that's the case, I simply ask that you ignore it as you see fit.

    On what seems like a weekly basis, the topic of the draft and draft picks come up around the board. The subject matter ranges from trades and trade value to expectations and quality of the pick. These discussions will always be highly subjective. Whether you're happy (satisfied) with a player or not is a highly emotional and personal decision. However, sometimes it helps to put some numbers to the equation. So, I set out to do some analysis to get an idea of what kind of production comes out of the various levels of the draft. This is not, nor is it meant to be, a precise or perfect exercise. Though numbers are used to group and rank players, they are not meant to specifically determine that Player A is "better" than Player B. They are only mean to capture the broad groupings based on production only, as is explained later.

    The Population & Sourcing

    The statistical sample includes every draft class from 1982 through 2008 and the performance of all players who played from the 1983 (82-83) season through the 2008 (07-08) season. The draft is limited to what I'll refer to as "the first two rounds". For the years of 1988 through 2007, this means the complete, two-round draft. For all drafts prior, it would only include their top 60 picks.

    During this time frame, there were 2,016 individual players who played at least one game in the NBA. There were 1,500 draft picks in this sample, and 1,241 of these picks played at least one game.

    For the first round of this analysis, the draft picks were broken into the following groups:

    Top 4
    5 to 7
    8 to 11
    12 to 17
    18 to 30
    "Second Round" (31-60 or end of draft)
    The source of this was Basketball-Reference.com, and the reason for this sample was that it was complete and consistent in regard to the statistics available.

    The Metrics

    First, let me say that I believe that there is no true statistical analysis that can perfectly distill the quality and the value of a player. There are far too many factors that are not easily quantifiable, not the least of which are his teammates and opponents, and the player's character qualities. It's always been my experience that if you can't be perfect in an analysis, then arbitrary is the next best thing. Clearly define the rules, acknowledge any holes, and let the chips fall where they may. The reason I believe this is that any attempt to "shape" the results and remove "error" carries far too much opportunity for bias. In other words, the analysis ends up being a self-fulfilling prophesy.

    For this reason, I'm using two separate sets of metrics.

    The first is the accolades that a player earns. These range from All-Rookie honors to All-Star appearances to All-NBA, etc., etc. These will give a broad sense of how the player was viewed by fans, peers, coaches, and the media. These are subjective, but, in most cases, are generally accepted benchmarks of a player's contribution.

    For the second set of metrics, I wanted something that would reflect production. In this context, this will be almost pure production by the player. This will ignore team accomplishments entirely. I lacked the easy access to the data, and a strong sense of how to properly factor them into the equation. I also didn't have complete data to use some of the more advanced analyses used by 82games or Hollinger. (Plus, as noted earlier, they imply a level of perfection and precision that I consider misleading.) The metric I chose was an old program created in the '80's by Martin Manley called "Player Rater".

    PR = (Pts + Reb + Ast + Stls + Blk - TO's - Missed 2pt FGs - Missed FT's)/Games Played
    This, like most "combined" numbers has some flaws to it. However, after looking at the data, I believe this is directionally correct. In other words, while you could take issue with how it may rate one specific player, a higher level look passes the "smell test".

    The only adaptation I made to this analysis was to try to apply a reliability factor. Put simply, for most players, this is the number of games played divided by the number of games their teams played. This has the effect of making each game missed a 0 value game. I did the analysis both ways. Of the 1,241 player group, it changed the "ranking" of 253 players. Of these, 109 players improved (including players like Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, Reggie Miller, Dwight Howard), and 144 went down (including players like Chris Webber, Ralph Sampson, Penny Hardaway, and Jamaal Tinsley).

    This was difficult to properly judge. I am open to ideas on the best way to reward reliability without over-rewarding.

    The Groupings

    In order to aggregate the players, I broke the results down into like segments based on their Adjusted Average PR. These are (relatively) evenly distributed based on the average, not the population. Here is a summary of the classes:

    Group 1 - AdjPR of 22 & above (15 players, 1.2% of population). This would be the creme de la creme of these draft picks (from a production perspective). They are:

    LeBron James
    Michael Jordan
    Kevin Garnett
    Karl Malone
    Dirk Nowitzki
    Tim Duncan
    Charles Barkley
    David Robinson
    Hakeem Olajuwon
    Chris Paul
    Shawn Marion
    Dwight Howard
    Kobe Bryant
    Paul Pierce
    Shaquille O'Neal

    Group 2 - AdjPR of 17 to 22 (47 players, 3.8% of sample). These players would be high production players, bona fide starters, some All-Stars and some good possibility HOFer's. Examples include Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, James Worthy, Scottie Pippen, and the like. Also, the occasional stat whore lands in this group.

    Group 3 - AdjPR of 12 to 17 (133 players, 10.7% of sample). These are well above average producers. They would almost all be considered starting quality players. In some cases, there are some high quality players with low reliability factors. Examples include: Chris Webber, Hersey Hawkins, Detlef Schrempf, Richard Hamilton.

    Group 4 - Adj PR of 7 to 12 (246 players, 19.8% of sample). These are slightly above average producers. Some are starters, some injury prone all-star talent, some just good solid players. Examples include: Leandro Barbosa, Toni Kukoc, Paul Pressey, Kurt Thomas.

    Group 5 - AdjPR of 3 to 7 (287 players, 23.1% of sample). These are disappointments and busts. They give below average production and tend to have shorter than average careers. The best of these are players like Chris Mihm, Freddie Jones, and Luc Longley.

    Group 6 - AdjPR of less than 3 (513 players, 41.3% of the sample). It'd be easy to call these busts, but they're really just the fringe players. There are a few out-and-out disasters (Chris Washburn leaps to mind), but most of these guys are folks like Brooke Steppe, Scott Hastings, and Josh McRoberts, who either never got or haven't gotten a real look at playing time.

    The final group largely not included are those who did not play. Of the 1,500 players drafted (and included) in this analysis, 259 of them never played a game in the NBA. Of this 259, 238 were "Second Rounders" (31-60, about 1/3 of those drafted), and 18 were 18-30 picks. There were three players drafted in the top 17 picks who never played: Fran Vasquez (11th Orlando), Frederic Weis (15th Knicks), and, of course, Len Bias (2nd Celtics).
    The Limitations and Outliers

    When looking at a players' stats by themselves, the implication is that they played in a vacuum. They were solely responsible for their numbers, unaffected by the players around them, both teammates and foes. This, of course, is the biggest limitation in any such analysis. That, and the fact that you cannot quantify leadership (or lack thereof).

    Different career lengths. Some players are aided by the scope of the analysis (LBJ, Iguodala, etc), because they're basically judged only on their early peak years. Some of the vets are downgraded by the lower years at the end of their career. Some young guys, like Andrew Bynum, as an example, are clearly not finished products. In these case, it's important to remember that I'm not trying to say that any particular player was a great pick or a bad pick. I'm only trying to give a picture of what kind of production has come out of various spots in the draft, and allow you to decide whether you want to use this information to judge current and future draft picks. Or, more accurately, line up your (broad) expectations.

    Every analysis has some outliers. Some guys that don't fit where you would intuitively expect them. This is no exception. Since I can't think of a good way to get you the complete data, I'm going to list some of the players that raised my eyebrows as a way to help you assign credibility (or lack thereof) to my buckets.

    In most cases, these reflect the naked nature of the stats. In other words, somebody like Stephon Marbury put up huge numbers but is largely diminished by locker room and off court issues. Some reflect players who had short, productive careers. Since the average NBA career lasts less than four years, I did not penalize anyone who played at least 5 years. Former Pacers Clark Kellogg and Steve Stipanovich benefited from this. Some cases, like Andrew Bynum and Greg Oden, are simply unfinished products.

    Group 1: Shawn Marion

    Group 2: Clark Kellogg, Antoine Walker, Steve Stipanovich, Stephon Marbury

    Group 4: Andrew Bynum

    Group 6: Rudy Fernandez, Greg Oden
    At this point, I think I've both explained the basis of the analysis enough for you to judge the numbers, and likely caused a fair number of nose bleeds. (Sorry). Now, let's look at some results (finally).

    The Top 4 Picks - (104 picks since 1982, 103 played)

    The Accolades

    Rookie Awards - Players taken in the top 4 of the draft accounted for 21 of the 28 (75%) of the Rookie of the Year awards. This represents just over 20% of the players taken in this group. Over 72% of the players taken in the top 4 were named to either the 1st or 2nd rookie team.

    All Star Appearances - 48 Top 4 draftees, or about 46%, have been named to at least one All-Star Game. 37 (36%) have made multiple appearances.

    All NBA Teams - This is a somewhat more exclusive award than the All Star game. Just under 35% (35) of this group have been named to at least one All NBA Team (1st, 2nd, or 3rd). Twenty five of these (24%) have earned this honor multiple times.

    All Defense Teams - Thirteen players in this group (13%) have been named to All Defense team (1st, 2nd, or 3rd) more than once, while two more (2%) earned one mention each.

    Individual Awards - Though this is clearly an incomplete sample, there are four players (Worthy, Ewing, Olajuwon, Dominique Wilkins) that have already been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

    Six players (6%) have earned MVP's, most of them multiple times. This group has produced 7 Defensive Players of the Year, three Sixth Man of the Years (Manning, Jamison, Ben Gordon), and two Most Improved Players (Ellison, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf). Six of these players have earned Finals MVP's.

    Production Groups

    Code:
    1. Group 1	7.8%
    2. Grp 2	20.4%
    3. Grp 3	35.0%
    4. Grp 4	28.2%
    5. Grp 5	5.8%
    6. Grp 6	2.9%
    FYI, Here are the Group 5 & Group 6 players...(the busts):

    Group 5: Kwame Brown, Bill Garnett, Marcus Fizer, Darko Milicic, Shaun Livingston, Adam Morrison

    Group 6: Jay Williams, Chris Washburn
    Conclusion on Top 4

    While this may not come as a surprise to many, it did surprise me how high the success rate was. I was well aware that the majority of the "star" level players were drafted this high, but I had always had the sneaking suspicion that there was a realy high miss rate.

    Yes, it is true that the odds are that you won't be drafting a future Hall of Famer or Superstar (only about 28% in Group 1 or Group 2), the difference between drafting in this group and just one group below is far starker than I'd expected. The Top 4 accounted for 8 of the 15 Group 1 players and 21 of the 47 Group 2 players. You're three times as likely to get at Group 1 player from the Top 4 than from the "5 to 7" group, and a stunning 7.5 times more likely than getting a Group one pick from the rest of the Top 30.

    Given the Rookie awards, you should also expect contributions almost from the get-go.

    That's not to say that you won't end up disappointed. If you are hoping for a savior, as noted above, it's still a long shot. However, you'd basically have to completely screw up (Bill Garnett, Darko Milicic, Kwame Brown, Chris Washburn) or have horrible luck (Jay Williams, Len Bias) to not at least get a functional player out of one of these picks.

    Picks 5 to 7 - (78 picks since 1982, 78 played)

    The Accolades

    Rookie Awards - Players taken in this group accounted for 5 of the 28 (18%) of the Rookie of the Year awards. This represents just over 6% of the players taken in this group. About 54% of the players taken between 5 and 7 were named to either the 1st or 2nd rookie team.

    All Star Appearances - 18 draftees in this group, or about 23%, have been named to at least one All-Star Game. 12 (15%) have made multiple appearances.

    All NBA Teams - Only about 14% (11) of this group have been named to at least one All NBA Team (1st, 2nd, or 3rd). Nine of these (12%) have earned this honor multiple times.

    All Defense Teams - Just three players in this group (4%) have been named to All Defense team (1st, 2nd, or 3rd) more than once, while three more (4%) earned one mention each.

    Individual Awards - Though this is clearly an incomplete sample, there is one player (Charles Barkley) that has already been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

    Two players (3%) have earned MVP's, Barkley and Kevin Garnett. This group has produced 2 Defensive Players of the Year (Garnett and Alvin Robertson), two Sixth Man of the Years (Roy Tarpley and Mike Miller), and two Most Improved Players (Robertson and Kevin Johnson). Dwyane Wade is the lone Finals MVP.

    Production Groups

    Code:
    1. Group 1	2.6%
    2. Grp 2	12.8%
    3. Grp 3	24.4%
    4. Grp 4	35.9%
    5. Grp 5	17.9%
    6. Grp 6	6.4%
    FYI, Here are the Group 6 players...(the busts):

    Jonathan Bender, William Bedford, Dajuan Wagner, Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Russell Cross
    Conclusion on 5 to 7

    This is where you begin to see the "crap shoot" quality of the draft. What you'll see as we walk through the analysis, the chance of landing a really top player (Group 1 or 2) declines rapidly. From the 28% hit rate in the top four, we drop to just over 15% in this group. The bust factor (Groups 5 & 6) triples to about 24%. In other words, you're statistically more likely to get a bust in this group than a top player. While it is not surprise to see this occur in the first round, it is surprising (to me) to happen so early.

    If you're looking for what to "expect", it would probably be a solid-to-good player. Probably a starter, but not a difference maker.

    Picks 8 to 11 - (104 picks since 1982, 103 played)

    The Accolades

    Rookie Awards - Amare Stoudemire is the lone Rookie of the Year in this grouping. This represents just under 1% of the players taken in this group. About 30% of the players taken between 8 and 11 were named to either the 1st or 2nd rookie team.

    All Star Appearances - 22 draftees in this group, or about 21%, have been named to at least one All-Star Game. 15 (14%) have made multiple appearances.

    All NBA Teams - Only about 12% (12) of this group have been named to at least one All NBA Team (1st, 2nd, or 3rd). Seven of these (7%) have earned this honor multiple times.

    All Defense Teams - Just five players in this group (5%) have been named to All Defense team (1st, 2nd, or 3rd) more than once, while two more (2%) earned one mention each.

    Individual Awards - Though this is clearly an incomplete sample, there are no players that have already been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

    Dirk Nowitzki is the lone MVP drafted in this section. This group has produced no Defensive Players of the Year, two Sixth Man of the Years (Detlef Schrempf and Rodney Rogers), and three Most Improved Players (Dale Ellis, Rony Seikaly, and Tracy McGrady). Paul Pierce is the lone Finals MVP.

    Production Groups

    Code:
    1. Group 1	2.9%
    2. Grp 2	6.8%
    3. Grp 3	21.4%
    4. Grp 4	29.1%
    5. Grp 5	26.2%
    6. Grp 6	13.6%
    FYI, Here are the Group 6 players...(the busts):

    Todd Fuller, Shawn Respert, J.J. Redick, Lancaster Gordon, Trajan Langdon, Kedrick Brown, Ed O'Bannon, Rafael Araujo, Jerome Moiso, Bo Kimble, Keith Edmonson, Luke Jackson, Mouhamed Sene, Patrick O'Bryant
    Conclusion on 8 to 11

    The steep decline in "stars" continues, with Group 1 and Group 2 players dropping by 1/3 to just under 10%, while the "bust factor" (Groups 5 & 6) jumps to almost 40%. In other words, history says you're four times more likely to end up with a "bust" than a "star" drafting in this range. You're fifty/fifty on getting a solid-to-good player.

    The expectation in this range is that you should think it's slightly more possible that you'll end up with a starter/rotational player, but historical results should make you less than comfortable.

    Picks 12 to 17 - (156 picks since 1982, 155 played)

    The Accolades

    Rookie Awards - There have been no Rookies of the Year during this time frame. About 15% of the players taken between 12 and 17 were named to either the 1st or 2nd rookie team.

    All Star Appearances - 16 draftees in this group, or about 10%, have been named to at least one All-Star Game. 10 (6%) have made multiple appearances.

    All NBA Teams - Only about 6% (10) of this group have been named to at least one All NBA Team (1st, 2nd, or 3rd). Eight of these (5%) have earned this honor multiple times.

    All Defense Teams - Just seven players in this group (5%) have been named to All Defense team (1st, 2nd, or 3rd), all of them earning multiple mentions.

    Individual Awards - Though this is clearly an incomplete sample, Clyde Drexler is the only player that has already been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

    Surprisingly, three players (Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Karl Malone) have been named league MVP. Our beloved Ron-Ron is the lone Defensive Player of the Year. There have been three Sixth Man of the Years (Dell Curry, Aaron McKie, and Corliss Williamson), and five Most Improved Players (Dana Barros, Jalen Rose, Alan Henderson, Jermaine O'Neal, and Hedo Turkoglu). There have been no Finals MVP.

    Production Groups

    Code:
    1. Group 1	1.3%
    2. Grp 2	3.2%
    3. Grp 3	11.0%
    4. Grp 4	27.1%
    5. Grp 5	31.6%
    6. Grp 6	25.8%
    Going the other way, here are the Group 1 and Group 2 players...(the stars):

    Group 1: Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant

    Group 2: Clyde Drexler, John Stockton, Tim Hardaway, Steve Nash, Josh Smith
    Conclusion on 12 to 17

    We've now reaching the tipping point where, historically, more players have busted out of this draft group than have been average, above average, or star type players. Groups 5 & 6 account for over 57% of the players here. Busts have occurred almost 13 times more often than stars (<5%). Less than 16% are Group 3 or better.

    This group is of interest to us, as both of our rooks (Brandon & Roy) fall into this group. I'm working on another analysis to look at the production by year (i.e. - what to expect in the rookie year, 2nd year, etc.), we can take something from these numbers. To this point, Brandon has been slightly above average for this group, while Roy has been slightly below average. This makes some sense, since Brandon was drafted near the top of the range (13), and Roy at the bottom (17).

    So, what does it mean? Depends on whether you're a glass half empty or a glass half full kind of guy. Essentially, they're performing as to be expected for their draft range. Unfortunately, this draft range regularly produces busts.

    Picks 18 to 30 - (338 picks since 1982, 320 played)

    The Accolades

    Rookie Awards - Mark Jackson is the only Rookie of the Year during this timeframe that was taken this late. About 8% (26) of the players taken between 18 and 30 were named to either the 1st or 2nd rookie team.

    All Star Appearances - 22 draftees in this group, or about 7%, have been named to at least one All-Star Game. 10 (3%) have made multiple appearances.

    All NBA Teams - Only about 2% (7) of this group have been named to at least one All NBA Team (1st, 2nd, or 3rd). Four of these (1%) have earned this honor multiple times.

    All Defense Teams - Just 10 players in this group (3%) have been named to All Defense team (1st, 2nd, or 3rd), eight of them earning multiple mentions.

    Individual Awards - Though this is clearly an incomplete sample, Joe Dumars is the only player that has already been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

    No players have been named league MVP. Dennis Rodman is the lone Defensive Player of the Year. There have been four Sixth Man of the Years (Ricky Pierce, Toni Kukoc, Bobby Jackson, and Leandro Barbosa), and six Most Improved Players (Scott Skiles, Don MacLean, Gheorghe Muresan, Zach Randolph, Gilbert Arenas, Boris Diaw). There have been two Finals MVP's: Joe Dumars and Tony Parker.

    Production Groups

    Code:
    1. Group 1	0.0%
    2. Grp 2	0.3%
    3. Grp 3	8.8%
    4. Grp 4	22.8%
    5. Grp 5	25.9%
    6. Grp 6	42.2%
    Going the other way, here are the Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3 players...(the stars):

    Group 1: None

    Group 2: Gilbert Arenas

    Group 3: Michael Finley, Vlade Divac, Latrell Sprewell, Andrei Kirilenko, Reggie Lewis, Tony Parker, Mark Jackson, Terry Porter, Dennis Rodman, Josh Howard, Sam Cassell, Joe Dumars, Mark Price, A.C. Green, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Zach Randolph, Tayshaun Prince, Rod Strickland, P.J. Brown, Kevin Martin, David Lee, Morris Peterson, Vern Fleming, James Posey, Roy Hinson, Jameer Nelson, Ricky Davis, Rajon Rondo
    Conclusion on 18 to 30

    Here, we see examples of players whose production doesn't match their actual quality. Included in Group 3 are players like Joe Dumars, Tony Parker, Mark Price, and Mark Jackson. These are great or borderline great players. I'll take this time to remind you of two things: (1) the bucketing is not perfect and based purely on production, but directionally correct, and (2) Groups 1, 2, & 3 represent only the top 16 percent of the league. Most can be considered elite players, though in Group 3, you begin to see merely solid players.

    As to expectations, essentially two in three players drafted in this area of the draft fall into the "bust" categories of Groups 1 & 2. There were no Group 1's and only one Group 2 (Gilbert Arenas). If you're picking here, you are basically hoping for a solid rotational player, but you should expect the player not to make it.

    The "Second Round" (31 to 60) - (720 picks since 1982, 482 played)

    The Accolades

    Rookie Awards - No Rookies of the Year during this timeframe were taken this late. About 2% (17) of the players taken between 31 and 60 were named to either the 1st or 2nd rookie team.

    All Star Appearances - 13 draftees in this group, or about 2%, have been named to at least one All-Star Game. Two have made multiple appearances.

    All NBA Teams - Only about 1% (5) of this group have been named to at least one All NBA Team (1st, 2nd, or 3rd). None of these have earned this honor multiple times.

    All Defense Teams - Just 5 players in this group (1%) have been named to All Defense team (1st, 2nd, or 3rd), one of them earning multiple mentions.

    Individual Awards - Though this is clearly an incomplete sample, Drazen Petrovic is the only player that has already been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

    No players have been named league MVP or Defensive Player of the Year. There have been three Sixth Man of the Years (Anthony Mason, Clifford Robinson), and four Most Improved Players (Kevin Duckworth, Isaac Austin, Bobby Simmons, Monta Ellis). There have been no Finals MVP's.

    Production Groups

    Code:
    1. Group 1	0.0%
    2. Grp 2	0.6%
    3. Grp 3	2.3%
    4. Grp 4	9.1%
    5. Grp 5	22.4%
    6. Grp 6	65.6%
    Going the other way, here are the Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3 players...(the stars):

    Group 1: None

    Group 2: Carlos Boozer, Jeff Hornacek, Rashard Lewis


    Group 3: Mehmet Okur, Manu Ginobili, Michael Redd, Cuttino Mobley, Nick Van Exel, Anthony Mason, Clifford Robinson, Stephen Jackson, Monta Ellis, Hot Rod Williams, Doc Rivers
    Conclusion on "Second Round"

    There's no question that the two lists above have some very productive players, but you shouldn't let that fool you for expectations. The numbers say that a full 1/3 of all the second round picks taken over the last 26 years have never played a game in the NBA. If you add that to the Group 5 and Group 6 players, almost 92% of the players taken in this range have not given meaningful production (or even minimal) production to the team that drafted them.

    Anything better than a fringe role player, deep bench guy could be considered between very and wildly optimistic for this range.

    Final Comments

    From before this analysis, I think I've grown to value 1st round picks a little bit more overall. I had always assumed that the hit rate (Group 4 and above) on 1st round picks was about 1 in 3. These numbers indicate that it's closer to about 50/50.

    Also, the quality of return on the top 4 picks is much higher than I thought. They aren't guaranteed stars, by any stretch of the imagination, but if you don't get a good starter out of one of those picks, you've really hurt yourself.

    However, it did not change my mind about mid-to-late first round picks, or about second round picks. I would not trade a player that I considered a solid starter for any pick really after about 12. Though I'll need to look at each individual pick to see if there's a different breaking point, the numbers certainly indicate that, if you trade a starter for any pick in or after this range, you're more likely to end up with a worse player.

    Also, there's really no evidence to support putting much stock in second round picks. Therefore, the idea of taking a flyer on a Euro that you can park overseas for awhile seems to have some merit. It's basically a no risk way to try to develop a player.

    To those who made it all the way through this, I offer you both my thanks and my apologies.
    Last edited by count55; 12-10-2008 at 12:36 PM.

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    This is amazing work, thank you.

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    Super. Thanks for taking the time to go through all of this, very informative.

    PR seems to be a great way to group/categorize players; I'm glad you revived it.

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    Holy Moly. You can't get this kind of contribution from NBA staff writers.

    We are truly blessed.
    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

    “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” - Catherine Aird

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    brilliant analysis.

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    Dirk and Marion being rated higher than Pippen and Clyde in your metric seems wrong, but I don't think the overall message is dampened at all. Good stuff here.

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    You could have at least invoked Reggie's name in the 8 to 11 category.

    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

    “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” - Catherine Aird

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    I'll have to work my way through it again but this is pretty special.

    It should be submitted somewhere for publication. For remuneration. Of course since its here, the rights are gone. I expect it to be a Kravitz article in the Star before long though.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    Actually, DK, the rights are not gone. This represents the "tangible copy" that is a very important step in ENFORCING your copyright.

    I agree that this kind of work could get ducketts.
    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dece View Post
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    Dirk and Marion being rated higher than Pippen and Clyde in your metric seems wrong, but I don't think the overall message is dampened at all. Good stuff here.
    I agree. Dirk and Marion have the advantage of basically still playing in their prime, while Pippen had a couple of "tail" years that reduced his Rating. Again, it's purely based on numbers, so I definitely wouldn't pick every Group 1 over all Group 2's, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    You could have at least invoked Reggie's name in the 8 to 11 category.

    Two things...It's easy to forget things you wanted to put in when you're re-writing War and Peace.

    Second, I'm going to do a specific post on the Pacers, but Reggie, FYI, was a career Group 2 player with an 18.6 adjPR average. In the GrossPR (unadjusted for missed games), Reggie had a 19.3, but was listed as a Group 3 Player. However, his 96% reliability helped push him into Group 2.

    Also, I wanted to soften something I said in the original post. I mentioned that I wouldn't trade a "solid starter" for a mid-to-late 1st round pick. I still think this would be true, generally, but you'd have to look at each situation differently. The statistics are not the sole answer, and you have to take calculated risks from time to time.
    Last edited by count55; 12-10-2008 at 08:55 AM.

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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    Oh, and thanks, guys.

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    That is great, although I only skimmed through majority of it - but read every word of your final comments. Thankfully most of the analysis backs up for the most part what I thought about the draft.

    Good work - I'll read more later. I must admit my interest in the draft is very little except for the last week of June - so I hope we can keep this thread around for next summer when it will be more relevant to me at least

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)



    Considering some of those successful late-first-round players are once-in-a-lifetime situations (Kobe fell not because he wasn't talented but because of both the newness of the high school issue and the threat not to play for anyone but a marquee team), this is an excellent analysis method.

    Not to ask you for even more work, but it would be very interesting to now determine the impact of those Group 1 and maybe Group 2 players on their teams, both playoff-wise and attendance-wise.
    BillS

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    Considering some of those successful late-first-round players are once-in-a-lifetime situations (Kobe fell not because he wasn't talented but because of both the newness of the high school issue and the threat not to play for anyone but a marquee team), this is an excellent analysis method.

    Not to ask you for even more work, but it would be very interesting to now determine the impact of those Group 1 and maybe Group 2 players on their teams, both playoff-wise and attendance-wise.
    I'll put that on the list. I'd have to bring more data to do that, so I'm not sure how quickly I'll get back to you on this.

    If the interest holds, I could literally spend months data mining this stuff.

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    Delightful stuff, count. Your methodology warms my heart.

    Here's what I see:

    1. Far too many players get drafted into the league who are never going to make it. Only half of the players drafted in the first round become 4s or better. The number of 5s and 6s is crazy high.

    2. There just shouldn't be a second round. Marginal players have adequate chance of getting noticed through walk-on trials, Euro ball and the D league.

    3. The outcomes of the 5-7 picks overlaps the top 4 very closely. The curve of Top 4 picks is more favorable, but only marginally. The number of observations in the 5-7 group is smaller by a third (78 cases to 104 cases), too.

    4. The probability of getting a level 4 player or worse is greater than the probability of getting a level 1 or 2 player, even in the top 4. Too many years, there just aren't any 1s or 2s to be had.

    4. Those who would have us trade Granger for a top 4 pick are suggesting that we give up a certain level 3 player for about a 1-in-4 chance of getting a level 2 player. Even with a top 4 pick, there's a greater chance of drafting a 4, 5 or 6 level player than of getting a 1 or 2.

    Thanks again for the good work.
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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    That is great, although I only skimmed through majority of it - but read every word of your final comments. Thankfully most of the analysis backs up for the most part what I thought about the draft.

    Good work - I'll read more later. I must admit my interest in the draft is very little except for the last week of June - so I hope we can keep this thread around for next summer when it will be more relevant to me at least
    Thanks. While it certainly focuses on the draft, my goal wasn't really to create a tool to be used at draft time. Actually, the genesis of this work came from the discussions on Roy Hibbert and Brandon Rush. My ultimate goal is to see if there's a way to set expectations and measure results on the picks that we have. In other words, is Roy Hibbert ahead or behind schedule?

    I'm probably pretty far away from that at the moment, and it may be impossible. However, I, like you, am not someone who loves talking about who we're going to take in the next draft all year round. I am just looking to see if there's a reasonable way to analyze the picks we have.

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    Paging croz....

    In all seriousness this is great data. I knew that you had a greater chance at landing that great player in the top 4, than any where else. But it is still just a chance.

    This needs to be published next spring some where. It is just incredibly easy to understand and puts the draft myths into perspective.

    I personally like to talk about prospects. Lets face it without recruits these numbers could be worse.

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    Actually, DK, the rights are not gone. This represents the "tangible copy" that is a very important step in ENFORCING your copyright.

    I agree that this kind of work could get ducketts.
    If you're going to sell something though most publications look to purchase publication rights - specifically 1st publication rights (sometimes exclusive) - since this has already been published, those rights are pretty much gone. It IS Count's intellectual property, and always will be, just that it has a diminished tangible value.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    Delightful stuff, count. Your methodology warms my heart.

    Here's what I see:

    1. Far too many players get drafted into the league who are never going to make it. Only half of the players drafted in the first round become 4s or better. The number of 5s and 6s is crazy high.
    This is a function of the number of teams vs. the size of the roster. With 30 teams, you basically have 450 roster spots. Breaking it down even further, you've got 150 starting slots and maybe another 90 bench players who get enough minutes to put up good PR numbers. (As a benchmark, of 453 players who were on rosters last season, only 226 averaged 20 minutes or more per game.)

    Therefore, when you add 30 1st rounders, you're increasing the total population by about 6.7%, and adding a group equal to 12.5% of the rotational players and 20% of the starters. It simply becomes cannibalistic.

    If first round picks were much more successful, while it could indicate more good players coming up, it would probably be more indicative of a flattening in the quality of the players. In other words, more mediocrity.

    2. There just shouldn't be a second round. Marginal players have adequate chance of getting noticed through walk-on trials, Euro ball and the D league.
    This was the reasoning behind reducing the draft from 10 rounds to 7 rounds to 3 rounds to 2 rounds. The Players Union felt players would have a better chance to make teams as undrafted free agents than as a third or fourth round pick.

    However, I would not abolish the 2nd Round. I like it for the possibility of grabbing a Euro to park, or to take a shot at a guy (like Chalmers or Rashard Lewis) who's fallen out of the first for specific, but unfair, reasons.

    That being said, I think this provides a different view on the James White trade. It was a mistake, and that can't really be argued. The 3 2nd rounders given up had a perceived value in the league, and therefore, a real value, trade-wise. However, while the Pacers may have lost one more ticket in the raffle, they (statistically) probably lost nothing in terms of real, on-the-floor value.

    3. The outcomes of the 5-7 picks overlaps the top 4 very closely. The curve of Top 4 picks is more favorable, but only marginally. The number of observations in the 5-7 group is smaller by a third (78 cases to 104 cases), too.
    Help me out with this. I have a very good practical analysis skill set, but I'm not a hardcore statistical analysis guy. It seemed to me that picking in the Top 4 was much better than the second grouping. (Also, this is picking nits, but the group is smaller by one quarter, not one third.)

    4. The probability of getting a level 4 player or worse is greater than the probability of getting a level 1 or 2 player, even in the top 4. Too many years, there just aren't any 1s or 2s to be had.
    Yes, and even a Group 3 guy should be considered a very good acquisition (in most cases).

    4. Those who would have us trade Granger for a top 4 pick are suggesting that we give up a certain level 3 player for about a 1-in-4 chance of getting a level 2 player. Even with a top 4 pick, there's a greater chance of drafting a 4, 5 or 6 level player than of getting a 1 or 2.
    Again, this is where the theory is a good starting point, but you'd be foolish to make it an absolute rule. You have to allow your basketball people to make judgments on whether an individual player is greater than the statistical odds. You have to look at the drafts. You also have to look at the specific player.

    I would've traded Danny (as he is now) for Rose, but no one else in that draft. I would've traded Danny for a top 4 pick in the 2003 Draft (and hoped we wouldn't go with Darko). I would've traded Danny for a Top 4 pick in the 2005 draft (Bogut, MWilliams, Chris Paul, Deron Williams). (This doesn't mean that other players from those drafts couldn't become better than Danny, just that the odds would be pretty long.)

    I believe the statistics are a good guide, but you cannot numerically predict greatness, and sometimes, you have to take your shot.

    Thanks again for the good work.
    You're welcome, and thanks for your kind words.
    Last edited by count55; 12-10-2008 at 12:54 PM.

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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    Hey, I want to give special thanks to Anthem. He gave me some really good advice when I was starting to pull this analysis together.

    However, if there's anything that you don't like in this analysis, it's entirely my doing, not his.

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    Quote Originally Posted by DisplacedKnick View Post
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    I'll have to work my way through it again but this is pretty special.

    It should be submitted somewhere for publication. For remuneration. Of course since its here, the rights are gone. I expect it to be a Kravitz article in the Star before long though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    Actually, DK, the rights are not gone. This represents the "tangible copy" that is a very important step in ENFORCING your copyright.

    I agree that this kind of work could get ducketts.
    Quote Originally Posted by DisplacedKnick View Post
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    If you're going to sell something though most publications look to purchase publication rights - specifically 1st publication rights (sometimes exclusive) - since this has already been published, those rights are pretty much gone. It IS Count's intellectual property, and always will be, just that it has a diminished tangible value.
    Trust me when I say that I wasn't thinking I could get money for this.

    In fact, I was hoping that people could resist throwing rotten tomatoes. I do appreciate the thoughts, though.

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    Quote Originally Posted by count55 View Post
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    Trust me when I say that I wasn't thinking I could get money for this.

    In fact, I was hoping that people could resist throwing rotten tomatoes. I do appreciate the thoughts, though.
    Not to worry - the writer in me always blinks and sees $$$ signs when something really good comes up - and this is really good.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

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    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    Quote Originally Posted by count55 View Post
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    Hey, I want to give special thanks to Anthem. He gave me some really good advice when I was starting to pull this analysis together.
    Yeah right. You did WAY more than I envisioned. Rock the house, man.

    EDIT: By the way, if you're really into this (and especially if you plan on trying to explain the data to others), you should by this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Visual-Display...8931843&sr=8-1

    It's amazing. THE definitive work on the subject.
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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    Quote Originally Posted by DisplacedKnick View Post
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    If you're going to sell something though most publications look to purchase publication rights - specifically 1st publication rights (sometimes exclusive) - since this has already been published, those rights are pretty much gone. It IS Count's intellectual property, and always will be, just that it has a diminished tangible value.
    Meh. It's easy enough for him to delete the post.

    Actually, though, the bigger value is the data set and analysis behind the publication. The point is that he's already run all of the numbers and has them in Excel somewhere, and could reproduce them or make tweaks as he saw fit.
    Welcome to Pacers Digest! New around here? Here are three tips for making the forum a great place to talk about Pacers basketball.

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    • Change your signature options. You can hide all signatures by choosing "Settings" (top right) then "General Settings" (middle left) and unchecking the box "Show Signatures" (in the "Thread Display Options" area).
    • Create an ignore list. I know it may seem unneighborly. But you're here to talk about the Pacers, not argue with someone who's just looking for an argument. Most of the regular users on here make use (at least occasionally) of the "Ignore" feature. Just go to "Settings" -> "Edit Ignore List" and add the names.

    Enjoy your time at PD!

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 1)

    As qualification, let me say that I've always been a data-oriented techie. Statistics, odds and probabilities are just an area of interest and have always come easy to me.

    With that said, I bow to you. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading through your methodology and analysis. Although I've alway felt that if you want an opportunity at a "sure thing" you must draft in the top 5, you've certainly opened my eyes regarding other beliefs that I've had.

    For example, I’ve believed that a team lacking in overall talent would do well to trade a single #10-#12 pick for two lower picks (like #18 and #25) and a player. Considering that the chances of getting a group 1-3 player selecting in the 10-12 range is about 30%, whereas the chances of getting a 1-3 player selecting at 18 and lower is marginal at best, I can clearly see how warped my thinking may have been.

    So, all in all, you've given us an excellent foundation for future discussion.

    The only thing that you have not offered that might fit in with what you have presented is the average longetivity of career for each of your groups and draft selection ranges that would only include those players whose careers have actually ended.

    I believe that this statistic would probably further emphasize that your analysis has correctly stratified the players into the proper group. It would probably also support the notion that the higher the draft position, the longer the career.

    In my opinion, your analysis, including the possible addition of longetivity, could certainly be used as a tool by GMs as an additional un-biased viewpoint in making trades.

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