"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Saturday, July 04, 2015

NBA Efficiency Projections on Butler Catching Wade or Lucas; All-Time MU-NBA Players Ranked

In light of the big contracts signed by four MU players recently, Ellenson Guerrero posted an incredibly accurate subjective Top 10 of All-Time MU players on MU Scoop. I decided to run the NBA Efficiency rating for all 37 MU players who went to the pros and the projected career figure for active players (see calculations and stats on all 37 at table at the bottom).

For those of you who do not follow it, this is basically the formula NBA coaches use to give a point for everything good a player can do (points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks) and take a point away for everything negative (turnovers, missed free throws and field goals). My slight variation has always been to double up steals and blocks, and only take away half for each missed free throw.

Dwyane Wade is No. 1 with a net positive 20,864 NBA Efficiency. I then adjusted each active players projection based on Doc Rivers' trajectory. At 33 years old, Doc had already put together 93% of his career Efficiency. Wade certainly may have more left as he plays for $20 million next year, but if he does only have 7% left then he would finish at 22,434.

Guerrero is certainly correct to put Mo Lucas No. 2. In fact, the late great is in a virtual tie right now with Wade and well ahead of where any other player projects. With regular season production virtually even with Wade, you can add Lucas five All-Star appearances, and the credit many expert observers gave him the most credit for delivering the Trail Blazers the NBA title the same year MU took the college crown. Not enough to match Wade's titles and All-Star games - but enough to say he is DEFINITELY the second greatest player to come out of MU to date.

Which leads us to Butler. He has a net efficiency of 3871, ahead of where current No. 3 Doc Rivers was at the age of 25. As dominant as he was this season it is possible he could make a run at Wade and Lucas, but he has a long way to go. It is actually a close call on if he can catch Rivers, Jim Chones (currently 4th) and/or Don Kojis (5th). Kojis is not exact because the NBA actually only recorded blocked shots and steals his final two seasons, so I had to estimate - but those three are VERY close right now for who is the third greatest.

Here is where the real surprise will start for some. Wesley Mattehews AND Jae Crowder both project to finish in the top eight - ahead of Thompson, Whitehead, Meminger, McNeill, McIlvaine, Smith etc.

Matthews is already in 7th with 6,319, BUT while he should easily pass George Thompson he is 28 years old and projected to be passed by both Butler (25 years old) and Crowder (24). Obviously we hope Wesley has a complete recovery, but even if he does Doc had already accumulated 63% of his value by this age, so the same track would get Matthews just above 10,000 by career end.

Butler projects to gradruple his 3871 to 15,484, and at 24 Crowder projects to still have 82% of his productivity left and be on course to actually nudge past Matthews (though it is basically a deadeven projection for a tie for 7th all-time)

Steve Novak has his valuable nitch - though overall his numbers do not add up to some of the old greats. Certainly we hope Dwight Buycks unbelievable three-point shooting during and ability to destroy Garry Harris in the few games played give him a chance for a late career, and that Jerel McNeal, DJO and ... okay, a little less enthusiastically ... Vander Blue find a nitch. Here is the breakdown for all 37 players:

RkPlayerEffAge%doneProj CarPts+Reb+Ast+StlX2+BlkX2-TO-FGmiss--halfFTmiss
1Dwyane Wade208643393%2243418812+3824+4600+2670+1434--2679--7052-745
2Maurice Lucas20158100%2015814857+9306+2498+1606+1318--2316--6652-459
3Jimmy Butler38712525%154842993+1093+516+660+216--271--1229-107
4Doc Rivers14614100%146149377+2625+4889+3126+702--1651--4121-333
5Jim Chones13785100%137859821+6427+1292+782+1548--1165--4590-330
6Don Kojis12991100%129919948+4555+1112+859+1718-0--4906-399
7Jae Crowder19292418%107141376+674+248+388+126--139--708-36
8Wesley Matthews63192863%100296294+1375+911+1010+162--604--2715-114
9George Thompson7520100%75208114+1457+1561+915+150--954--3395-328
10Jerome Whitehead6282100%62824423+3268+374+502+400--696--1832-157
11Dean Meminger3955100%39552552+1086+1046+484+56-0--1108-161
12Larry McNeill3502100%35022533+1440+225+366+156--71--1048-99
13Jim McIlvaine3227100%32271072+1243+105+272+1382--231--525-91
14Tony Smith3051100%30512504+735+881+638+158--442--1345-78
15Earl Tatum2893100%28932508+682+507+638+202--289--1306-49
16Lloyd Walton2448100%24481442+370+1243+528+56--422--720-49
17Steve Novak20833291%22892148+583+132+182+76--80--951-7
18Chris Crawford1662100%16621654+547+154+202+160--232--784-39
19Travis Diener1122100%1122854+243+432+152+18--99--470-8
20Bo Ellis1031100%1031613+482+113+138+168--145--312-26
21Butch Lee839100%839773+137+307+174+2--164--362-28
22Sam Worthen399100%399239+116+118+114+12--93--100-7
23Amal McCaskill374100%374204+213+36+48+72--52--134-13
24Bob Lackey355100%355413+164+137+2+0--121--206-34
25Dwight Buycks982639%25195+35+24+22+0--22--55-1
26Vander Blue20228%25027+12+9+6+0--8--23-3
27Lazar Hayward215100%215207+90+35+34+16--28--132-7
28Michael Wilson146100%146108+36+45+30+10--28--50-5
29Tom Copa73100%7348+36+3+4+12--8--18-4
30Bernard Toone61100%6155+34+12+8+10--16--41-1
31Joe Thomas47100%4755+43+17+0+0-0--63-5
32Brian Brunkhorst29100%2925+13+3+0+0--5--5-2
33Jerel McNeal92863%149+3+2+6+2--5--80
34Allie McGuire5100%54+2+1+0+0-0--20
35Gene Berce-2100%-210++2+0+0-0--11-2
36Bill Downey-2100%-20++0+0+0-0--20
37Darius Johnson-Odom-42525%-160+6+2+2+0--2--11-1
RkPlayerEffAge%doneProj CarPts+Reb+Ast+StlX2+BlkX2-TO-FGmiss--halfFTmiss

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