NBA Draft: Who do analytics rate best?

June, 24, 2014
6/24/14
10:56
AM ET
There has been a huge analytics movement lately in the NBA – 23 of the 30 teams have analytics departments.

Some, but not all, advanced stats translate well from college to the NBA. Which ones translate the best?

REBOUND PERCENTAGE
Rebound percentage is the percentage of available rebounds a player grabs while he’s on the floor.

Among big men in the last five NBA Drafts, the top three in rebound percentage in their final college season have an NBA career rebound percentage better than 15 percent – Kenneth Faried, DeMarcus Cousins and Thomas Robinson.

The five worst players are nowhere near a 15 percent rebound percentage. Four of those five players have never even started a game in the NBA.

None of the 10 worst big men on this list have an NBA rebound percentage higher than 15 percent.

Rebound percentage is even telling for guards. The bottom 10 guards include Tyshawn Taylor, Peyton Siva, Marquis Teague, Jon Diebler, Doron Lamb, John Jenkins and Jimmer Fredette.

Which 2014 draft prospect had the best rebound percentage this season among Chad Ford’s top 50? Michigan’s Mitch McGary, who played in just eight games this season. Not far behind were Joel Embiid, Noah Vonleh, Julius Randle and Jarnell Stokes.

The prospects that don’t measure well in rebound percentage are Semaj Christon, Nik Stauskas, Tyler Ennis and Spencer Dinwiddie, all of which grabbed fewer than six percent of available rebounds. The big man in Chad Ford’s top 50 who ranks the lowest is Patric Young.

ASSIST PERCENTAGE
Assist percentage is the percentage of teammates’ field goals a player assists on while he’s on the floor.

Among guards and wings in the last 5 NBA Drafts, eight of the top 10 in assist percentage in their final college season have started in the NBA.

The 10 non-post players picked in the lottery over the last five years with the worst assist percentage in their final college season could all be considered busts. They include Shabazz Muhammad, Derrick Williams, Anthony Bennett, Al-Farouq Aminu and Xavier Henry.

Some of the top wings include Klay Thompson, Paul George, Chandler Parsons, Lance Stephenson and Kawhi Leonard.

Which 2014 draft prospect had the best assist percentage this season among Chad Ford’s top 50? UCLA’s Kyle Anderson. Elfrid Payton and Tyler Ennis were close behind.

DeAndre Daniels and Noah Vonleh had the worst assist percentage among the top 50. The worst guards in this category were Andrew Wiggins and James Young.

STEAL PERCENTAGE
Steal percentage is the percentage of opponents’ possessions while a player is on the court that result in that player getting a steal.

Among guards in the last five NBA Drafts, the top four in steal percentage in their final college season have started the majority of their NBA games -- Iman Shumpert, Michael Carter-Williams, Dion Waiters and Victor Oladipo. Not far below them are Paul George, Norris Cole and Kenneth Faried.

Among all players in the last five NBA Drafts, the worst five players in steal percentage combined for just 20 NBA starts this season.

Which 2014 draft prospect had the best steal percentage this season among Chad Ford’s top 50? UCLA’s Jordan Adams, just ahead of Marcus Smart.

Doug McDermott had the lowest steal percentage, with just eight steals all season. The worst among guards was Nik Stauskas.

PLAYER EFFICIENCY RATING
Player Efficiency Rating or “PER” is an overall rating of a player’s per-minute statistical production. The NBA average is 15 every season.

In the last five NBA Drafts, six of the top nine players in PER in their final college season have an NBA career PER greater than 15. Of the bottom 10 on that list, nine of the 10 players have an NBA career PER less than 15.

The top 10 includes Anthony Davis, Kenneth Faried, DeMarcus Cousins, Damian Lillard and Kyrie Irving.

The bottom 10 includes Josh Selby, Marquis Teague, Malcolm Lee and Daniel Orton.

Which 2014 draft prospect had the best PER this season among Chad Ford’s top 50? Doug McDermott, followed by NC State’s T.J. Warren.

The lowest PER among the top 50? Zach LaVine, followed by James Young.

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