Redrafting the NBA, based on past player performance

With the NBA playoffs underway, it can be fun to watch the best players and wonder what it’d be like if they were drafted earlier by a different team. For The Pudding, Russell Goldenberg did this for every player and team since the 1989 draft. Goldenberg made a similar thing five years ago, but this time there’s a team component.

Another five years from now, in Redraft 3.0, I fully expect “better” picks to also consider the team makeup at the time of drafting. For example, check if it makes sense to draft another power forward when you already have a star power forward and need a shooting guard.

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NFL draft performance vs. expectations

Reuben Fischer-Baum for The Washington Post looks at professional football expectations given their draft picks versus performance.

By comparing how much value teams should get given their set of picks with how much value they actually get, we can calculate which franchises make the most of their draft selections. Approximate Value (AV), a stat created by Pro Football Reference that measures how well a player performed overall in a season, is useful here. Based on this metric, we find that the Browns draftees have underperformed in the NFL given their draft position, especially when compared to the draftees of a team like, say, the Seahawks.

My main takeaway is that teams seem to know what they’re gonna get. Overall at least. Save a few teams who outdid expectations and a few who failed pretty badly, everyone else sticks towards the baseline. But it’s also really random year-to-year, which is essentially what makes sports interesting.

See also the player-level comparison for professional basketball from last year.

And, just a random observation, it felt weird reading this sports piece with “Democracy Dies in Darkness” at the header of The Washington Post site. But maybe that’s just me.

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