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2013 NBA Draft Player Comparisons

Best and worst case scenarios, plus physical comparisons for 2013 draft prospects.

Is KCP the next coming of Rip Hamilton?
Is KCP the next coming of Rip Hamilton?
Kelly Lambert-USA TODAY Sports

2013 Draft Player Comparisons:

I previously posted the results of some player comparison models, but I have since made significant changes to my methodology and am really happy with the results. Compared to my earlier attempts, I am much more confident that these do a good job of identifying paths to success/failure and also help paint a picture for players you may not have had a chance to watch much in college.

The goal of the player comparison finder is to identify past player-seasons that are similar to ego’s. All it does is look for the players who minimize the absolute difference in average standard deviation across box score stats, size, age, team competition, and expected wins based on my projection models (this final part is new).

In case anyone is curious, here is the formula I use for these comparisons. The math is actually quite simple, but please feel free to avert your eyes for the next few lines:

((abs(2P.X – 2P.Y) + abs(2PA.X – 2PA.Y) + abs(3P.X – 3P.Y) + abs(3PA.X – 3PA.Y) + abs(FTA.X – FTA.Y) + abs(FT.X – FT.Y))/3 +
(abs(AST.X – AST.Y) + abs(TOV.X – TOV.Y))/2 +
(abs(STL.X – STL.Y) + abs(BLK.X – BLK.Y))/2 +
abs(TRB.X – TRB.Y) +
abs(PF.X – PF.Y)/4 +
(abs(Height.X – Height.Y) + abs(Weight.X – Weight.Y))/2 +
abs(Age.X – Age.Y) +
(abs(SOS.X – SOS.Y) + abs(SRS.X – SRS.Y))/8) +
(abs(Expected Wins.X- Expected Wins.Y)/2))
) / 7.5

After finding a "sameness score" for all previous college players, I trim the list to the five closest comparisons. From these five comparisons I pull those who realized the highest and lowest peak Win Share seasons. These two players are then listed as ego's best and worst-case scenarios.

I also built a completely separate formula that uses draft combine measurements to find players' best physical comparisons. This allows us to identify not just who prospects produced like in college, but also which NBA players have a similar combination of size, speed, and leaping ability. Unlike the first model, I do not recommend using "physical comparisons" to make any serious assessments, but they may help identify a player's "ceiling" (doubtful) and at the very least help flesh out your understanding of what to expect from a player stylistically.


The following lists the comparison results for most of the players expected to be drafted in July. In addition, I also listed results for some of the players who could have left this season, but decided to stay in college for at least one more year.

BEST = "Best case scenario"; WRST= 'Worst case scenario"; PHYS = "Closest well-known physical comparison"; SD = "Average standard deviation between ego and the associated player"