I decided to check our current roster’s PER, WP48, WS48, number of seasons and age to determine a couple things: 1) how many ‘good’ players do we have; 2) how many average and below average players do we have; 3) who are our best positional players; and 4) what players are still capable of developing? The last question is much more subjective. We’ll get to that. And I had a final reason – I know aggregate stats really upset some people so I thought it could engender some good discussion. So, the numbers, arranged by WP48 for last season (all I could find for WP48; PER and WS48 are for career averages):
Love PF/C WP48 .465 PER 21.4 WS48 .163 3 seasons, 22
Ridnour PG WP48 .109 PER 14.5 WS48 .085 7 seasons, 30
Tolliver PF WP48 .081 PER 13.1 WS48 .093 3 seasons, 26
Webster SG WP48 .077 PER 11.7 WS48 .07 6 seasons, 24
Randolph PF WP48 .057 PER 17.3 WS48 .07 3 seasons, 22
Hayward SF/SG WP48 -.002 PER 10.8 WS48 .035 1 season, 24
Beasley SF/PF WP48 -.004 PER 16.2 WS48 .069 3 seasons, 22
Koufos C WP48 -.0045 PER 13.1 WS48 .066 3 seasons, 22
Johnson SF WP48 -.034 PER 10.2 WS48 .03 one season, 24
Ellington SG WP48 -.042 PER 9.2 WS48 .013, 2 seasons, 23
Darko C WP48 -.074 PER 12.5 WS48 .042 8 seasons, 26
Flynn PG WP48 -.113 PER 11.3 WS48 -.018 2 seasons, 22
Pekovic C WP48 -.131 PER 11.2 WS48 .035 one season, 25
*Numbers appropriated from Wages of Wins and Basketball Reference
*No Telfair because…I think he’s a bench decoration, like a garden gnome
*Who can and cannot play SF is really debatable.
*Age as of start of 2011-2012 season
*I'm not gonna bother with a table. You all can read that well enough.
*WP48 league average .10, PER average 15, WS48 average 1
A couple points:
- By WP48, two players above average, the rest below average
- By PER, three players above average, the rest below average
- By WS48, one player above average, the rest below average
- What really sticks out is that we still really lack talent. If we generously consider the above average players from all three aggregate stat measures, we have four above average players according to their current production (Love, Randolph, Beasley, Ridnour). If we cross-reference the three lists, we have one (Love).
- The positional leaders for all three stats are Love (PF), Ridnour (PG – way to destroy the competition, buddy), Webster (SG), and surprisingly, Koufos (C). Yes, by almost any statistical measure, Koufos is our best center. I wouldn’t start him. But let’s have a lil more fun with the center position. Koufos’s career per 36 pts/rbs? 13.4/9.6. Darko’s? 11.8/8.3. Pekovic? 14.6/7.8 Oh, but what about assists and turnovers, right? Koufos? 1.0/2.2 Darko? 1.7/2.4 Pekovic? 1.1/3.7. Yup, Koufos is our best center.
- One could argue that out of our four best players, three play the same position. Oops.
Our starting lineup by WP48 (brace yourself)
SF Hayward (OR...whoever you'd like to consider a SF)
Our starting lineup by PER
(with Randolph coming off the bench quickly)
And our starting lineup by WS48
Now here’s where I allow things to get more subjective. While I have nothing on hand to back this up, I think most players are who they will be after three years in the league. Age is a factor as well. So who has the most potential to improve in my opinion based on these two factors and the all-powerful eye test?
Players with Potential, in descending order:
Randolph (3 seasons, but he’s only 22 and has had limited playing time most of his career…first guy and I break my own rule)
Flynn (really, you think he’s going to get worse?)
I’m interested in seeing Randolph’s development and how he works out as wolf. I think Johnson and Pekovic have the potential to improve dramatically and I’m excited to see if they realize it. The rest? Who cares? Most likely, they lack the capability to develop into average NBA players.
Now we know who our best players are (debatable) and who needs to be developed (debatable), so what should our starting line-up be (and this is assuming we get Rubio but somehow misplace the #2 pick, like Kahn drops it down the gutter with his car keys, since I have no idea who we'll draft or trade for):
Starting Lineup I’d like (my favorite – the eye test):
SG Webster – Um, you got any better suggestions?
SF Johnson – We have to develop Wes. He has so much potential. This is his season to earn or lose his playing time.
PF Randolph – We gotta play him and his length and athleticism is the complement Love needs on defense (he’s kinda the Biyombo/Javale McGee player we’re looking for, except we already have him).
C Love – Love’s production is excellent at the C or PF.
With Beas and a real C being first subs. Beas to provide bench scoring, mediocre trio of centers to provide defense and ample turnovers.
That’s actually an interesting lineup with Rubio at the point. Wouldn’t be too bad. I think they'd have decent chemistry as well (teamwork -- the factor aggregate stats don't care about). Now hopefully we can use picks 2 and 20 to shore up SG, SF, and next year’s draft. And hopefully we don’t trade our best players (Love, Beasley, Randolph, Rubio…who makes Ridnour expendable) or the players still developing (Johnson, Pekovic). Everyone else is roster detritus. Thoughts?