A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

33pt Thursday – Final predictions for 2012-2013 rookies

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This year was the first time I used the 33pt method to evaluate draft prospects. The real test of this metric and what would gain it respect is if it will predict well. Although I posted a Big Board in June, I have a few issues letting that list stand. One is that was made very shortly after I had come up with the 33pt idea and before I had hashed out my specific criteria for the scores – as a result of the changes to my criteria, a few players’ scores and rankings have changed. Secondly, in that iteration of my big board, I didn’t lay out the specific scores for players, merely the rankings. Thus before the preseason started I wanted to make a revised post of my official predictions for 2012-2013 rookies using this metric, to test it when the players eventually hit the floor. I listed all of the 1st round picks, in addition to any significantly relevant picks outside of the 1st round. I also included the 2011 draft picks that will be rookies this year.

Superstar scores

Anthony Davis

Physical: 11, Skill: 7, Feel for the Game: 10

Total: 28

Davis looks even better than I thought in June, because I realized how rare elite shotblocking is at the 4 position – with his offensive explosiveness as well, Davis may in fact be one of the highest scoring physical talents at PF the NBA has seen. He has a tremendous feel and a skill level that should be somewhere between good and great for a PF.

Jeremy Lamb

Physical: 6

Skill: 9

Feel for the Game: 11

Total: 26

Lamb looks a lot like a SG version of Kevin Durant to me. He has an otherworldly feel for the game, has a tremendous array of shots and skills off the dribble, and has an elite first step and great size to finish at the rim.

All-star scores

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Physical: 10

Skill: 3

Feel for the Game: 9

Total: 22

Kidd-Gilchrist has a monster combination of physical tools for a SF due to his explosiveness, size and motor, with an elite feel for the game. His skill level is his big weakness. He may have the 3rd highest upside in the draft simply because if he can somehow bring that skill level impact up to a 5 or 6 through development, he’s looking at a spectacular score.

Meyers Leonard

Physical: 8

Skill: 7

Feel for the Game: 6

Total: 21

Leonard has a great mix of size and explosiveness, has the makings of a post game and outside shot and is a heady player. This combination is one very rare for the center position.

Scott Machado

Physical: 5

Skill: 6

Feel for the Game: 10

Total: 21

Machado is another player with a scary feel for the game, with a decent skill level due to his passing skill, an outside 3pt shots and an early pullup shooting game. Physically he is explosive with a strong body. If you’re wondering how it’s possible an undrafted player could rank like this, a decent sign for Machado is that he’s stated the Spurs wanted to take him at 59, but he asked them not to (as it would’ve meant developing for a year in Europe).

Andrew Nicholson

Physical: 2

Skill: 10

Feel for the Game: 9

Total: 21

Nicholson’s skillset follows in the footsteps of types like David West and Ryan Anderson, players with a sweet skill level and feel for the game, giving them high potential even if they are less than physically dominant.

Jared Sullinger

Physical: 3

Skill: 8

Feel for the Game: 10

Total: 21

Sullinger has an elite combination of feel for the game down low and a good inside and outside skill game. Despite less than great physical tools with strength but not size or explosiveness, this should be enough to produce like an all-star. Health permitting of course.

Bradley Beal

Physical: 6

Skill: 7

Feel for the Game: 8

Total: 21

Beal has a nice combination of strength and explosiveness, giving him a good physical score, but he should still be a jumpshot orientated player. He has a great jumpshot form but the results haven’t been elite yet – his outside skill game should be solid in general. His strength is a very excellent feel for the game. The combination of decent to very good scores in all 3 categories ranks him as an all-star talent.

Terrence Ross

Physical: 6

Skill: 7

Feel for the Game: 8

Total: 21

Ross’ 3 scores are identical to Beal’s. The players are close as shooters and creating offense off the dribble and have an excellent feel. Physically they are a bit different with Ross having height but less size, with the result looking the same to me.

Damian Lillard

Physical: 8

Skill: 8

Feel for the Game: 4

Total: 20

Lillard is a hard player to rank because it’s unclear whether he’s a long term PG or SG. I’ve settled on grading him as a PG. Lillard has an elite combination of size and speed, has a great shooting game, but has an average feel as the game moves quite fast for him.

Starter scores

Arnett Moultrie

Physical: 6

Skill: 7

Feel for the Game: 6

Total: 19

Moultrie has a very nice combination of tools. His length/explosiveness makes him a nice physical talent for a 4, he’s got a nice inside and outside skill game and his feel for the game is above average.

Tyler Zeller

Physical: 2

Skill: 8

Feel for the Game: 9

Total: 19

Zeller benefitted from some adjustments to my metric, once I realized there isn’t too many highly skilled centers in the league – Zeller should be high on the list. His feel for the game is tremendous as well. His physical tools are obviously weak for a center but he is tall.

Dion Waiters

Physical: 7

Skill: 4

Feel for the Game: 8

Total: 19

Waiters is an explosive wing with decent strength, but weak size holds him back from an elite physical score. His feel for the game is very, very good. For Waiters, it depends on his jumpshot and skill level from the perimeter. If he can really develop that game, he has all-star potential.

Doron Lamb

Physical: 2

Skill: 8

Feel for the Game: 9

Total: 19

Doron is just a jumpshooting talent, but he’s a very good one. His feel for the game and smoothness is tremendous, while being one of the best shooters in the draft. While a perimeter orientated player his athleticism and ability to drive to the rim is slightly underrated.

Evan Fournier

Physical: 6

Skill: 4

Feel for the Game: 9

Total: 19

Fournier resembles a French version of Dion Waiters. His size and penetration ability gives him a solid physical score, he’s got a terrific feel for the game – the biggest thing holding him from stardom is a consistent outside shot.

Perry Jones III

Physical: 6

Skill: 7

Feel for the Game: 5

Total: 18

Jones III has an elite first step for a PF on offense to make up for lack of defensive physical presence, shows nice signs of an outside game and touch around the rim. His feel for the game is a mix of very good on offense and bad on defense, I’ll give them a middling score as a result in that category.

John Henson

Physical: 10

Skill: 6

Feel for the Game: 2

Total: 18

Henson benefitted from my realization that shotblocking PFs should get a high physical score. His skill level is underrated with an outside game. His biggest problem is feel for the game, he is not a natural offensive player and jumps out of position often on defense.

Donatas Motiejunas

Physical: 2

Skill: 8

Feel for the Game: 8

Total: 18

For a center, Motiejunas is a very skilled player who’s extremely smooth on the offensive end. Physically he should be a stretch big and not a huge factor.

Royce White

Physical: 4

Skill: 4

Feel for the Game: 10

Total: 18

Royce has a concerning mix of being of an undersized PF, with a weak jumpshot. What he has going for him is a fabulous feel for the game, with the court vision to play as a point forward. That’s enough for a decent score.

Jae Crowder

Physical: 3

Skill: 5

Feel for the Game: 10

Total score: 18

Jae looks to be following in the path of players like Shane Battier and Bruce Bowen. While having a perimeter orientated game and a skill game relegated to shooting, his feel for the game and basketball IQ is so tremendous that it’s enough to get him a high score. (Included via edit – Thanks to Michael in the comment section for pointing out Crowder was missed in the original post)

Maurice Harkless

Physical: 7

Skill: 3

Feel for the Game: 7

Total: 17

Harkless is a slightly poor man’s Kidd-Gilchrist in skillset, with less dynamic but still good athleticism/length for physical tools, a very good feel for the game and a raw skill level/jumpshot.

Borderline starter scores

Miles Plumlee

Physical: 5

Skill: 5

Feel for the Game: 6

Total: 16

Miles is a great athlete, though without great length his physical impact is average. Skill wise he has decent hands and a developing outside shot. He’s a decently smooth player in feel for the game.

Thomas Robinson

Physical: 8

Skill: 6

Feel for the Game: 2

Total: 16

Robinson has great athleticism and strength for a PF, with a developing outside jumper. His feel for the game is a big weakness, he always seems to play too fast.

Kendall Marshall

Physical: 2

Skill: 4

Feel for the Game: 10

Total: 16

Marshall has an amazing feel for the game and court vision, but is a perimeter orientated PG with a very poor jumpshot.

John Jenkins

Physical: 1

Skill: 7

Feel for the Game: 8

Total: 16

Like Doron Lamb, Jenkins is a superb shooter with a good feel for the game, albeit he’s even more perimeter orientated.

Harrison Barnes

Physical: 2

Skill: 8

Feel for the Game: 6

Total: 16

Barnes is a very perimeter orientated, jumpshooting SF. His outside game ranks extremely well skill-wise compared to SFs however and his feel appears to be decent.

Festus Ezeli

Physical: 7

Skill: 3

Feel: 6

Total: 16

Ezeli has very good strength and length, helping his physical score. His feel for the game is solid, especially on the defensive end. In skill he’s a work in progress but not brutal.

Terrence Jones

Physical: 6

Skill: 6

Feel for the Game: 4

Total: 15

Jones is a slightly undersized PF, though athletic, giving him a decent physical score. He has a developing outside game for a PF, above average in skill. His feel for the game and basketball IQ appears average.

Will Barton

Physical: 5

Skill: 5

Feel for the Game: 5

Total: 15

Barton has average scores across the board. He’s athletic but not too strong for a SG, he has a good midrange shot but not a complete skill game, and his feel is about average.

Marquis Teague

Physical: 5

Skill: 3

Feel for the Game: 6

Total: 14

Teague is fast, but not huge for a PG. His skill level is lacking, he needs to improve his outside shot greatly. His feel for the game is probably his closest thing to a strength.

Andre Drummond

Physical: 10

Skill: 1

Feel for the Game: 3

Total: 14

Drummond is a tremendous physical talent, but is brutal in skill level and has little feel for the game on the offensive end, though is better defensively.

Bench player scores

Jared Cunningham

Physical: 7

Skill: 2

Feel for the Game: 4

Total: 13

Cunningham has very good size and speed for a PG. A concern is his skill level is very raw and his feel for the game not a ton better.

Tony Wroten

Physical: 10

Skill: 1

Feel for the Game: 2

Total: 13

Wroten is like the SG version of Andre Drummond. His physical tools are absolutely dynamic, but has no range or touch and very little awareness of the court.

Jonas Valanciunas

Physical: 4

Skill: 7

Feel for the Game: 2

Total: 13

Has a difficult time imposing himself on the game physically due to weak athleticism or life, but has length. His skill level has the best chance to stand out, with excellent hands and a developing outside game. His feel for the court is very weak as he often gets lost and looks in a rush on both ends.

Austin Rivers

Physical: 4

Skill: 6

Feel for the Game: 2

Total: 12

Is moderately quick but undersized for a SG and has trouble finishing at the rim, thus a mediocre physical score. His outside shot needs to improve but has potential creating shots off the dribble. His feel for the game is his big weakness, playing very fast and out of control.

Fab Melo

Physical: 6

Skill: 2

Feel for the Game: 2

Total: 10

Fab is in trouble. He’s long but doesn’t have elite athleticism, with a very weak skill level/touch and next to no feel for the game.

 

By Julien Rodger

Twitter: @ASFW_jrodger

Email: julienrodger@gmail.com (If I get enough questions, I’ll do a mailbag)

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2 Responses

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  1. Wonder if you’ve had a chance to look at Jae Crowder yet?

    Michael

    October 5, 2012 at 9:36 am

  2. Crowder
    Physical: 3
    Skill: 5
    Feel for the Game: 10
    Total: 18 (Starter)

    Good call, not incluing him was an oversight – he was 23rd on the big board in June

    julienrodger

    October 5, 2012 at 11:12 am


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