The 2014 NBA Draft is over and now the grades are coming in. The draft actually can tell us a lot about how a team operates, what they value from their players and how they search for them.
Analytics are becoming a bigger and bigger part of prospect evaluation in the NBA, and the smart teams will use any advantage they can get to try and gain an inch over the rest of the league.
Not to give too much away, but when you look at the winner’s of this year’s draft from a numbers standpoint, it’s the usual suspects who dominate. Of course you have to take into account situational factors before the NBA (and the advanced models actually to do this, to what degree they succeed is still up for question), and how those things might change your equations (for some reason John Calipari point guards are all over the map) in addition to other outside factors that move the needle.
The point is that a ton of variables goes into evaluating prospects, but numbers are becoming an increasingly better indicator or pro success and every team should be crunching the numbers when looking at young NBA talent.
Here are just a few of the hits that most scouts missed but analytical models predicted in the past few years:
- Evan Turner and Wesley Johnson were massively overrated as prospects (drafted second and fourth overall respectively, despite being projected around No. 30).
- Ryan Anderson was undervalued (drafted 21st, in a re-draft would go between No. 6 and No. 9).
- Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Curry would be absolute game changers.
* Projected numbers based on a consensus of draft models from the web
Click Here to see Consensus Model
Draft projections based on averages from: Kevin Pelton’s WARP @kpelton, Andrew Johnson’s PAWS @countingbaskets, Dan Dickey’s WAR @Hoops_Nerd, Layne Vashro’s EWP @VJL_bball, Jessie Fisher’s SMO @jessiefischer33, @masseffectlenk ‘s GREED