A Note and the Goods (Ranking the 2011 Draft Prospects)

Posted on June 23, 2011 by


Arturo again. This is a very special simulpost with my own blog with all the draft goodness you could want. I also hope everyone likes the new layout.

You know my methods. Apply them.
-Sherlock Holmes “The Sign of the Four

Hey all. You may have noticed that I’ve stopped posting as often.

Hey now, Relax.

What you may or may not have noticed is that I’ve taken over as Editor over at the Wages of Wins.What this means is that I will be splitting my posting between the two sites.

In fact, this, will be a simulpost.

So if you were missing your daily fix just go over there and you will be sure to find the typical output from me.

Better now?

Let’s rate this Draft!

Projecting the 2011 NBA Draft

I built some models to project rookie performance based on the available stats for the prospective NBA players.

I built two models specifically (go here for the model build parts 1 & part 2 ) and I called them : Yogi and Booboo.

This is a totally legit picture

To give you an idea of the value of the models I decided to look at:

  • The probability of landing a better than average player (>.090 WP48) for his first four seasons
  • The probability of landing a good player (>.150 WP48) for his first four seasons

I also decided to show this for:

  • Any qualifying pick (>400 MP in his rookie Year)
  • Any Top 5 pick
  • Any Top 10 pick
  • Any 1st Round Pick
  • And Both models.

And this was done for 1995 to 2009. The table is here:

If I rank the factors in order of predictive value for player success for this data from best to worst I get:

  • Both models calling for you to draft the player
  • Yogi picks
  • Boo Boo picks
  • A player being a Top five picks.

Yogi is more picky, Boo Boo casts a broader net and is more accurate.The takeaway though is that the models work.

Last year I did it for the 2010 Rookies and early returns were very good.

See here:

And in summary:

Greater than .080 WP48?
Picked by Outside Top 10 Top 10 Pick All Players
All Players 24% 55% 31%
No Models 17% 43% 22%
One Model 50% 50% 50%
Both Models 100% 100% 100%

If we compare the top 10 picks versus model selection and set our benchmark for success at .080 WP48 for rookies, one model picks performed identically to top 10 picks and two model picks were can’t miss prospects in this draft. Only 30% of all picks were successful contributing rookies and the models clearly outperformed that mark.

The GM’s and scouting again get fairly trounced by the math.

The takeaway? Math always wins and it’s worth doing this again.

So here goes.

2011 NBA Draft Rankings

There are 6 good prospects in this draft according to the models and one slightly less attractive one (but he can be had cheap). The best prospect is easily Kenneth Faried, who will in all probability wind up on a pretty darn good team. Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams the prospective 1 and 2 picks look to be good picks and not busts.

The other three good prospects are Kawhi Leonard, Alec Burks and Markieff Morris (all to be had outside the top 5).

The real steal may end up being Travis Leslie in the second round.

Enjoy the draft!