2016: Judging Players Without Judging Each Other

Welcome back, as I continue the journey from the top down. Last week, I covered roles, formations, positions, etc. in the modern NBA. That provides the groundwork for just about everything else I’m writing, so if you missed it, go back and check it out. I will be writing an updated version of the post at some point in the future (next week?) thanks to the suggestions I’ve gotten from people on reddit and twitter, so thanks to you guys for that.

So, if last week was the NBA on a team level, it only makes sense to look at the NBA on an individual level. Basically, the goal of the draft is to find quality NBA players, right? Well, define a quality NBA player. It’s not easy. Some people default to advanced statistics like win shares or adjusted +/- or on/off. Some people default to more basic stats, like points and rebounds. This is not going to be about the best way to determine player quality, because quite frankly, ultimately, it’s pretty subjective and even I don’t think I have anything close to a decent grasp of it. That being said, I do think there are certain factors that are often lost in player evaluation, especially at a micro level, starting with the one most related to last week’s article. There’s also some lessons to take away here for the draft. This is a draft series after all, right?

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2016: Naming and Necessity

As explained last week, I take a top-down approach to the NBA draft. And this article, at the very top, was by far the hardest to write. The NBA has changed so much recently, but the language used to discuss it hasn’t. Put simply, the positional paradigm used for, well, as long as I’ve been following basketball is no longer satisfactory to describe what players on actual top NBA teams play. And how can we talk about prospects without knowing what positions currently exist?

It is traditionally accepted that there are five NBA positions – point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center. More recently, a few new positions have entered common parlance – combo guard, combo forward, wing, stretch 4, small ball center, etc. But what about all the other positions? And what does it even mean when somebody says that a player can play a position? To talk about the positions players play in the modern NBA, it is necessary to create a new positional scheme.

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2016: The Four Horsemen of the Argument-pocalypse

Hello and welcome to the brand new BusterDucks.com, where I will be posting all of my draft articles going forward (and all of my draft articles from the past two years are now on here as well). You can also now find me @BusterDucks, because I finally gave in and got a twitter handle. Anyway, we’re about ten weeks from the draft, and my goal is to get up an article every weekend leading up to the draft. We’ll see if that actually happens. Anyway, enough with the introduction, on to the action!

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2015 EP Series – 2015 Big Board

That’s right, it’s the DuckyNinja Big Board! You will disagree with most of these rankings! All I can do is explain them to the best of my ability. Remember, it’s basically impossible to project these guys anyway, so declaring with any kind of certainty where a player should be ranked is a fool’s exercise. These rankings are how I feel, and nothing more. They’re based on a number of statistical formulas I put together, then subjectively ranked based on my personal scouting and feelings. Statements here are all my opinions. This is not a mock draft, I am aware that many of these players will not be taken anywhere near where I have them ranked. Just a note, other than Porzingis, Hezonja, and Mudiay, I did not evaluate any non-D-1 college players. And without further ado!

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2015 EP Series – A Look at 2015

Sorry for skipping out on last week, I actually wrote about 2/3 of an article before deciding it was utter garbage and unsalvageable and rather than post something that wasn’t quality, I decided to just scrap it altogether. But have no fear, I’m back and ready for action! We’re less than two weeks from the 2015 NBA draft, so now seems like a good time to start talking about the prospects in this draft. When reading this, keep in mind just how hard it is to evaluate prospects. Given that, I want to talk about a few prospects and prospect groups who I have been looking at a little bit more closely lately. Let’s jump to it.

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2015 EP Series – The Challenges

“Consensus is a group discussion where everyone’s opinions are heard and understood, and a solution is created that respects those opinions. Consensus is not what everyone agrees to, nor is it the preference of the majority. Consensus results in the best solution that the group can achieve at the time.” – Wikipedia

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2015 EP Series – The Basics

As we get into the home stretch of draft season, I figured now would be a good time to start getting some of my draft analysis out. For those of you unfamiliar with me, much like Rubes, I take a stat-based approach, but we don’t take identical approaches to valuing prospects. However, before I start discussing individual prospects or give my big board or anything like that, I wanted to discuss three factors everybody would do well to keep in mind when evaluating prospects. There are no advanced stats here. Regardless of how you personally like to approach prospect evaluation, these factors should always be kept in mind.

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2014 Big Board

Last week I posted my draft projection system. This week brings the current version of my big board. I am still making small changes every day. You will disagree with the placement of many players. This draft has a lot of players with a lot of varying opinions. This draft also has a lot of players with boom or bust potential, and depending on how you value those types of players, your order may be drastically different than mine. Feel free to ask for more clarification on placement or why X doesn’t appear on my list or anything else in the comments.

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2014 Draft Projection System Introduction

I make a lot of posts referencing my projection system. I’ve explained it in various places in bits and pieces. I wrote this up for the Kings’ Draft Challenge this year but was not selected, so I’m just going to post what I wrote for that, which should explain things pretty well. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.

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