"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

Monday, July 23, 2012

Final Summer League ratings; NBA.com ranks Crowder 9th best rookie

We've posted the final NBA Efficiency Ratings for the two Summer Leagues combined here. Of the almost 400 players, Jimmy Butler finished as the 9th best and Jae Crowder surged all the way to the 34th best and 11th best of all draftees.

However, the NBA.com Rookie Ladder written by Drew Packham believes Crowder is even better.  Packham ranks Crowder as the 9th best rookie this year - quite a steal for the Mavs as the 34th pick.  In fairness, he didn't rank Anthony Davis since he was playing Olympics instead of summer league, and he only put Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as 14th since he only played one game before his injury - but he also included three rookies who were not in the 2012 draft - so if you adjust for all that, Packham believes Jae Crowder is the 8th best rookie from the 2012 draft.

The table below is every player who was ranked as one of the top 15 rookies by NBA.com and/or by the NBA Efficiency Rating.    We didn't rank the three non-2012 draftees, but overall the figures  are very close outside of us not setting a minimum and thus calculating Kidd-Gilchrist as the best based on just one game.

Best NBA Rookies not named Anthony Davis

Draftees onlyAll Summer LeaguePlayerNBA.com rankingActual Draft
11Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)142
25Damian Lillard (POR)16
311John Henson (MIL)314
 12Donatas Motiejunas (HOU)6 
415Terrence Jones (HOU)418
520Bernard James (DAL) 33
 23Josh Akognon (SAC)12 
626Meyers Leonard (POR) 11
728Thomas Robinson (SAC)85
 29Dionte Christmas (BOS)13 
831Jeremy Lamb (HOU)212
932Bradley Beal (WAS)53
1033Jared Sullinger (BOS)1121
1134Jae Crowder (DAL)934
1248Tyler Zeller (CLE) 17
1351Will Barton (POR) 40
1452Miles Plumlee (IND) 26
1553Royce White (HOU) 16
1763Harrison Barnes (GSW)107
1866Tyshawn Taylor (BKN)741
2086Evan Fournier (DEN)1520
33125Terrence Ross (TOR)138
38157Dion Waiters (CLE)Dud4

In several cases Cracked Sidewalks thought the Mock Drafts had it about right prior to the draft, but in 12 of these cases Cracked Sidewalks guidance was that the average Mock Draft was substantially off, and in 2/3rds of those cases our NBA Indicator calculations were right (see our Draft 1 and Draft 2 guidance).

In four cases the Mock Drafts have been more accurate than our calculations so far, as the average Mock had Damian Lillard 7th, Tyler Zeller 12th (we had him higher), Tyshawn Taylor 35th, and Jeremy Lamb 9th.  On Lamb, we noted that we assumed he was better than our calculation showed because of UConn's turmoil and the fact that we had him rated higher than that the previous year - but in the other three cases the Mock Drafts have come closer to pegging the player than we did.

8 cases where teams REALLY should have taken our advice!

However, in many more cases our projections were much more accurate as guides for who NBA teams should pick:

1. Obviously the biggest example is Crowder, where the average Mock Draft had him pegged as a 57th pick, we recommended him as a 13th pick, and he has been even better than 13th whether you go by NBA accuracy (11th) or NBA.com (9th).

2. We recommended John Henson as the 6th best pick, five spots better than the average mock, and he has backed it up by being the 3rd best whether you go by efficiency or NBA.com.

3. We said Terrence Jones should be the 9th pick, 14 spots ahead of the average Mock, and he has also been even better - the 4th best rookie by either measure.

4. The average Mock left Bernard James out of the draft.  We said he should be the 43rd pick, and while NBA.com did not rank him in their top 15, his efficiency has him 5th.

5. Meyers Leonard was recommended 8th by us, 5 spots better than the average Mock, which you could argue was more accurate since NBA.com did not put him in the top 15.  However, with the 6th best efficiency we believe he is backing up our projection.

6. Will Barton barely made the 1st round in the Average Mock (29th), but we recommended him as the 15th pick and he has been the 13th best rookie to date.

7. We recommended Miles Plumlee as the 22nd pick, 15 spots ahead of the average mock, and he has been even better as the 14th best to date.

8. Finally, NBA.com picked Dion Waiters as the biggest dud of the draft, and we couldn't agree more.  If you are Cleveland, you just cannot burn a No. 4 pick on Waiters.  Typically the first 9 picks are the money picks, and even the Mocks had Waiters too high at No. 8.  We recommended teams wait until the No. 12 pick to take him, and in fact he has been only the 38th best rookie and the 157th best player overall.

Marquette rankings for Summer League

As for the overall rankings of all 6 Marquette players (remembering Dwyane Wade and Steve Novak are the vets that don't play Summer League):

9. Jimmy Butler said out the finale Sunday to stay at 9th overall of almost 400 players, and the commentators noted everyone is expecting him to play a big role with the Bulls now.

34. Not only was Jae Crowder the 34th best player in all of Summer League, but remember he was not in the Top 100 after the first game and got better every game out until he was one of the 10 best players overall - not just among rookies - in his final two games.

67. Lazar Hayward looked very good as he enters the last year of his contract which includes him matching up with Kevin Durant every day in practice.

198. Overall Dwight Buycks was almost exactly in the middle, but we hope that his ability to dominate one game and close with a very strong game is enough for the Spurs to give him a shot.

202. Wesley Matthews was just there for one game voluntarily to help work the rookies out, so you really can throw his ranking out the window, but here it is.

292. No way to sugar coat it - Darius Johnson-Odom was just cold and we just have to hope the enthusiasm the Lakers had when drafting him carries through and they realize he is a streak player.

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