A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

2014 NBA Draft Talent Grades – May update

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Here are my current talent grades. I am up to 52 players graded, I may add a few more prospects by June, but right now all the most relevant players are included including everyone in the top 30 of either Chad Ford’s ESPN or Draftexpress.com’s mock draft.

Details about my grading methodology can be found in my March update

A new feature I put in is a “contextual chance of success” letter grade. Factors like health, conditioning, attitude, international buyouts are mentioned as flags here. Two other factors I included are where a player is expected to be picked and his position. All other things equal, a player is better off getting picked higher in the draft. Teams believe in high draft picks more and they are more guaranteed to get the thousands of developmental minutes to reach their talent. The farther down the draft one guys, the more prospects are expected to produce immediately to keep their roster spot. Furthermore 1st round prospects get guaranteed contracts which is an advantage.

Another factor is position. Again, all other things equal, I feel a prospects chances are generally better the less alternatives there is for players his size. Which favors centers the most and point guards or combo guards the least.

Because of this, situations like the following are conceivable:

Prospect A is rated no better than the 40th-50th most talented prospect in this draft, but is selected in the lottery and has one of the 25 or 30 best careers, after he gets thousands of minutes to develop and mark his place. Meanwhile 2nd round/undrafted prospects who are as talented as him or more, wash out too quickly before developing.

Prospect B is rated no better than the 40th-50th most talented in his class, but has one of the 25 or 30 best careers, because he is a 7 foot, heavy center, which teams consider a bigger need at the back half of their bench. Meanwhile some prospects as talented as him or more, are guards who need the ball and need shots, which teams don’t target as much and thus, decide not to have on their roster.

Overall, the contextual chance of success grade is worth mentioning but minor compared to grading the players talent, which I consider the real value in this system. Especially considering for example in this draft, my top 15 prospects are rated B- or higher in contextual chance of success. Which means if my system is right, whether I am successful predicting who the all-stars and starters are from the class, should barely be affected. Context’s biggest effect is whether sub-starting rated talents, will hard on to bench spots or wash out of the league.

For this update I’m just going to post the grades. In the next 2 months I won’t have that much to do in terms of adjusting the ratings, so I’ll have more time to explain.

1. C Joel Embiid

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 8 / Great

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 8 / Great

Feel for the Game talent grade – 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 23 (Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: B+ ( Injury High draft pick Rare position )

2. SG Nik Stauskas

Physical/motion impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade: 7 / Very good

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 9 / Elite

Feel for the Game talent grade: 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 23 (Blue Chip starter to Perennial all-star talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: A- ( Mid 1st round draft pick )

3. SG Bogdan Bogdanovic

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 6 / Decent

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 7 / Very good

Feel for the Game talent grade – 9 / Elite

Total talent grade: 22 (Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: B- ( International buyout Bubble 1st round draft pick )

4. C Noah Vonleh

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 5 / Average

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 8 / Great

Feel for the Game talent grade – 9 / Elite

Total talent grade: 22 (Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: A ( High draft pick Rare position )

5. PF Julius Randle

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 6 / Decent

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 7 / Very good

Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great

Total talent grade: 21 (Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: A ( High draft pick )

6. SG Jordan Adams

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 7 / Very good

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 7 / Very good

Feel for the Game talent grade – 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 21 (Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: ( Bubble 1st round pick Conditioning )

7. PG Shabazz Napier

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 5 / Average

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 8 / Great

Feel for the Game talent grade – 8 / Great

Total talent grade: 21 (Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: B ( Mid 1st round draft pick Competitive position )

8. PF Aaron Gordon

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 8 / Great

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 4 / Lacking

Feel for the Game talent grade – 8 / Great

Total talent grade: 20 (Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: A ( High draft pick )

9. SF Andrew Wiggins

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 10 / Incredible

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 5 / Average

Feel for the Game talent grade – 5 / Average

Total talent grade: 20 (Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: A ( High draft pick )

10. PF Kyle Anderson

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 1 / Terrible

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 9 / Elite

Feel for the Game talent grade – 10 / Incredible

Total talent grade: 20 (Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: A- ( Mid 1st round draft pick )

11. PF Dario Saric

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 2 / Very poor

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 9 / Elite

Feel for the Game talent grade – 9 / Elite

Total talent grade: 20 (Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: A- ( International buyout Mid 1st round draft pick )

12. PG Marcus Smart

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 8 / Great

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 4 / Lacking

Feel for the Game talent grade – 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 19 (Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: B+ ( High draft pick Competitive position Attitude )

13. SF Damien Inglis

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 6 / Decent

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 5 / Average

Feel for the Game talent grade – 8 / Great

Total talent grade: 19 (Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: B- ( International buyout Bubble 1st round pick )

14. PF Jabari Parker

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 2 / Very poor

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 8 / Great

Feel for the Game talent grade – 9 / Elite

Total talent grade: 19 (Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: A ( High draft pick )

15. SF Rodney Hood

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 2 / Very poor

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 8 / Great

Feel for the Game talent grade – 9 / Elite

Total talent grade: 19 (Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: A- ( Mid 1st round draft pick )

16. SG Spencer Dinwiddie

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 3 / Weak

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 8 / Great

Feel for the Game talent grade – 8 / Great

Total talent grade: 19 (Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: C ( Injury Bubble 1st round draft pick )

17. PF Adreian Payne

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 4 / Lacking

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 8 / Great

Feel for the Game talent grade – 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 19 (Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: B ( Mid 1st round draft pick Small lungs )

18. SF Cleanthony Early

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade: 5 / Average

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great

Feel for the Game talent grade: 6 / Decent

Total talent grade: 19 / Blue Chip starter talent grade

Contextual chance of success grade: B ( Bubble 1st round pick )

19. SG C.J. Wilcox

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade: 5 / Average

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 8 / Great

Feel for the Game talent grade: 6 / Decent

Total talent grade: 19 / Blue Chip starter talent grade

Contextual chance of success grade: B ( Bubble 1st round pick )

20. SF Doug McDermott

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade:  1 / Awful

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade: 10 / Incredible

Feel for the Game talent grade: 8 / Great

Total talent grade: 19 (Blue chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: A- ( Mid 1st round pick )

21. PG DeAndre Kane

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 9 / Elite

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 4 / Lacking

Feel for the Game talent grade – 5 / Average

Total talent grade: 18 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: F ( 2nd round pick/undrafted Competitive position )

22. C Mitch McGary

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 6 / Decent

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 5 / Average

Feel for the Game talent grade – 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 18 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: C ( Bubble 1st rounder Injury )

23. PG Jordan Clarkson

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 6 / Decent

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 5 / Average

Feel for the Game talent grade – 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 18 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: D+ ( Bubble 1st rounder Competitive position )

24. PG Dante Exum

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 6 / Decent

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 5 / Average

Feel for the Game talent grade – 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 18 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: A ( High draft pick )

25. PG Deonte Burton

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 7 / Very good

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 5 / Average

Feel for the Game talent grade – 6 / Decent

Total talent grade: 18 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: D+ ( Bubble 1st rounder Competitive position )

26. PG Jahii Carson

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 7 / Very good

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 5 / Average

Feel for the Game talent grade – 6 / Decent

Total talent grade: 18 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: F ( 2nd round pick/undrafted Competitive position )

27. SG P.J. Hairston

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 4 / Lacking

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 8 / Great

Feel for the Game talent grade – 6 / Decent

Total talent grade: 18 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: C+ ( Bubble 1st rounder Attitude )

28. PG Elfrid Payton

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 7 / Very good

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 3 / Very poor

Feel for the Game talent grade – 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: D ( Bubble 1st rounder Competitive position )

29. PF James Michael McAdoo

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 8 / Great

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 3 / Very poor

Feel for the Game talent grade – 6 / Decent

Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: B– ( Bubble 1st rounder)

30.  SF Glenn Robinson III

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 6 / Decent

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 4 / Lacking

Feel for the Game talent grade – 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: B– ( Bubble 1st rounder )

31. SF Thanasis Antetokounmpo

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 6 / Decent

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 4 / Lacking

Feel for the Game talent grade – 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: C- ( 2nd round pick/undrafted )

32. PF Clint Capela

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 8 / Great

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 4 / Lacking

Feel for the Game talent grade – 5 / Average

Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: D ( Bubble 1st rounder Attitude )

33. PF Jarnell Stokes

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 4 / Lacking

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 5 / Average

Feel for the Game talent grade – 8 / Great

Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: B- ( Bubble 1st rounder )

34. SG K.J. McDaniels

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 4 / Lacking

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 5 / Average

Feel for the Game talent grade – 8 / Great

Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: B– ( Bubble 1st rounder )

35. PG Tyler Ennis

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 2 / Very poor

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 6 / Decent

Feel for the Game talent grade – 9 / Elite

Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: B ( Mid 1st round pick Competitive position )

36. SG Gary Harris

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 5 / Average

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 7 / Very good

Feel for the Game talent grade – 5 / Average

Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: A- ( Mid 1st round pick )

37. C Isaiah Austin

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 1 / Terrible

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 8 / Great

Feel for the Game talent grade – 8 / Great

Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: B+ ( Bubble 1st rounder Rare position )

38. PF T.J. Warren

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 1 / Terrible

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 8 / Great

Feel for the Game talent grade – 8 / Great

Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player to Blue Chip starter talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: B– ( Bubble 1st rounder )

39. SG Semaj Christon

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 4 / Lacking

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 5 / Average

Feel for the Game talent grade – 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 17 (Rotation player talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: B– ( Bubble 1st rounder )

40. SF James Young

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 3 / Weak

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 6 / Decent

Feel for the Game talent grade – 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 16 (Rotation player talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: A- ( Mid 1st round pick )

41. SG Zach LaVine

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 4 / Lacking

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 6 / Decent

Feel for the Game talent grade – 6 / Decent

Total talent grade: 16 (Rotation player talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: A- ( Mid 1st round pick )

42. C Kristaps Porzingis

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 2 / Very poor

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 7 / Very good

Feel for the Game talent grade – 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 16 (Rotation player talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: B+( International buyout Bubble 1st rounder Rare position)

43. SG Jabari Brown

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 2 / Very poor

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 7 / Very good

Feel for the Game talent grade – 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 16 (Rotation player talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: B– ( Bubble 1st rounder )

44. SF DeAndre Daniels

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 2 / Very poor

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 8 / Great

Feel for the Game talent grade – 6 / Decent

Total talent grade: 16 (Rotation player talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: B– ( Bubble 1st rounder )

45. SF Jerami Grant

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 3 / Weak

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 4 / Lacking

Feel for the Game talent grade – 8 / Great

Total talent grade: 15 (Rotation player talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: A– ( Bubble 1st rounder )

46. SG Nick Johnson

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 2 / Very poor

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 6 / Decent

Feel for the Game talent grade – 7 / Very good

Total talent grade: 15 (Rotation player talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: C- ( 2nd round pick/undrafted )

47. PF Johnny O’Bryant

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 3 / Weak

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 6 / Decent

Feel for the Game talent grade – 6 / Decent

Total talent grade: 15 (Rotation player talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: C- ( 2nd round pick/undrafted )

48. PG Russ Smith

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 3 / Weak

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 7 / Very good

Feel for the Game talent grade – 5 / Average

Total talent grade: 15 (Rotation player talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: F ( 2nd round pick/undrafted Competitive position )

49. C Alex Kirk

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 2 / Very poor

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 8 / Great

Feel for the Game talent grade – 5 / Average

Total talent grade: 15 (Rotation player talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: B ( 2nd round pick/undrafted Rare position)

50. PG Vasilijie Micic

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 2 / Very poor

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 4 / Lacking

Feel for the Game talent grade – 8 / Great

Total talent grade: 14 (Rotation player talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: F ( International buyout 2nd round pick/undrafted  Competitive position )

51. C Jusuf Nurkic

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 6 / Decent

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 6 / Decent

Feel for the Game talent grade – 2 / Very poor

Total talent grade: 14 (Rotation player talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: A ( International buyout Mid 1st round pick Rare position )

52. SF C.J. Fair

Physical motion/impact (Explosiveness, ballhandling, size, lateral quickness) talent grade – 3 / Weak

Skill impact (Shoot, post, pass) talent grade – 4 / Lacking

Feel for the Game talent grade – 6 / Decent

Total talent grade: 13 (Deep bench to Rotation player talent grade)

Contextual chance of success grade: D- ( 2nd round pick/undrafted )

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Written by jr.

May 3, 2014 at 6:46 pm

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