Prove me wrong,Rook (Finale): Projecting the 2010 Rookies

Posted on 10/11/2010 by


If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.
-C. S. Lewis

So here we come to the final part of my rookie model build for 2010 were I project out the numbers for the incoming class, and ,let me tell you, it’s not pretty.

For new readers be advised that I used multiple metrics to build two models for projecting rookie performance (Yogi and Boo Boo). For the math behind it see the Basics . For the model build see parts 1 & part 2. Now, we get to the payoff where we feed the numbers for the 2010 rookies into the models and see what comes out.


Sticking to a theme


For the table, I took the data for all the incoming draftees who played in College in 2010 (and Blake Griffin) and plugged it into both the projection models and the draft decision model. I also compared each player with the 5 players projected immediately above and below them since 1996 and worked out the hit rate for >.090 WP48 and >.150 WP48 for each group. The results (sorted by the projections from Boo Boo) look as follows:

There were only 4 players that both models liked well enough to draft: Griffin, Ed Davis, Evan Turner & Damion Jones. Model 2 also liked 6  more players in Favors, Vanardo (who went to  Europe), Xavier Henry, Cousins, Tiny Gallon (cut by the Bucks and is a shoo-in to light it up in the d-league or Europe) and Larry Sanders. 6 More players were borderline picks for Model 1 that should have been considered for drafting: Aminu,Hayward, James Anderson,Luke Babbitt, Wesley Johnson, & Quincy Pointdexter. Additionally Cole Aldrich was the best bet available on the board at the 5 for the Thunder to take (with about 30% odds to be good and 14% to be great). Ironically, the only pick in the top five for 2010 that was disliked by both models was the top pick.

The top ten in terms of odds to be a star are:


As a Celtics Fan, the fact that Caracter is on that list annoys me.

The final part of the projection once I have the WP48 is the minute projection. For that I simply built a model around playing time by pick the player was drafted. I called that model Cindy and it looks like this:

This means that independent of actual performance, if you make the roster, where you were drafted explains 87% of the variability behind how many minutes you played. Not a stellar recommendation for NBA coaches.

If we put this all together and sort by expected Wins Produced, we get:

Only Griffin projects out as a difference maker for his team. Sadly he plays for the Clippers. And on this note we come to the end of this particular series for now. We will however revisit the projection in the future to see how accurate (or inaccurate) they were .

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