Maybe we need NBA drafting for dummies.


June 28, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; A general view of the first round draft board at the conclusion of the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe we need NBA drafting for dummies. While this would have been more appropriate for David Kahn, it may still be of use to the current POBO (President of Basketball Operations) Flip Saunders. The NBA draft isn’t an exact science. There is no sure thing. Granted there are those few players who come along that you just know will be a star. But, those players are few and far between.

  So, what is a franchise to do with all of the other players? The 90%-95% of the rest of the players to chose from. Sure there are the measurables, there is a litany of tests and interviews. There are individual workouts and background checks. There is really no stone left unturned. Franchises will do their due diligence to the fullest degree. Rightfully so, these franchises are about to invest millions of dollars into these players, and they just want to make the best and most sound decisions they possibly can. 

  Franchises can be made through the draft and sustained for years. GM’s can look like a genius, or well, not even close to a genius. Some GM’s have lost jobs because of having bad drafts, David Kahn is a great example of this.

  So what is a franchise to do after all of the information has been gathered and there is just no clear cut choice as to who is a better player. What happens when the “War Room” is split on who to take? What happens when 2 players both fit a need and are equal in the eyes of a franchise?

  Do they flip a coin? Again see David Kahn’s drafting history. It would seem Kahn possibly employed throwing a dart at a list of names and went with whatever.

  With an age limit imposed in the NBA it does make is easier to track the progression of talent. That allows this system to based on data from the masses, rather than individualistic evaluations of players.

  In an effort to help these teams out, I’ve provided an easy to use system that could be used to break the ties between players. It’s a pretty simple system, just figure out what college conference produces the most players currently in the NBA. Then, find out how many schools in that conference produced NBA talent. It would show, while at college, the players would have played against tougher competition on a regular basis. Then figure out the average number of players from that conference on NBA teams.

                       # Schools W/   Players    Avg. # NBA
Conference (# teams)    NBA Players   in NBA    Players/Team
Atlantic Coast (12)         11          64         5.3
Pacific 12 (12)             12          53         4.4
Southeastern (14)           12          57         4.1
Big 12 (10)                  9          40         4.0
Big East (15)               14          53         3.5
Big Ten (12)                 9          25         2.1
Mountain West (9)            6          12         1.3
West Coast (9)               4           8         0.9
Atlantic 10 (16)            10          13         0.8
Conference USA (12)          2           6         0.5
Colonial (11)                4           4         0.4
Sun Belt (11)                2           3         0.3
Horizon (9)                  2           2         0.2
Great West (5)               1           1         0.2
Metro Atlantic (10)          2           2         0.2
Missouri Valley (10          1           2         0.2
Big Sky (11)                 2           2         0.2
Ohio Valley (12)             2           2         0.2
Southern (12)                2           2         0.2
Ivy League (8)               1           1         0.1
Summit (9)                   1           1         0.1
Big West (10)                1           1         0.1
Western Athletic(10          1           1         0.1
Big South (12)               1           1         0.1
Mid-American (12)            1           1         0.1
Mid-Eastern (13)             1           1         0.1
Total Division I           114         357
                   Non-Division          2
                   High School          31
                   Foreign              55
                   Total in NBA        446

  This could be broken down even more. Say that there is a certain college, in the top conferences, that produces the most talent. Look at what coach has the most NBA talent currently in the League.

                       No. Players
CoachSchool                    In NBA
John Calipari/Tubby Smith/Rick PatinoKentucky                    20
Mike KrzyzewskiDuke                        18
Roy WilliamsNorth Carolina              17
Bill SelfKansas                      14
Jim Calhoun (86-12) / Kevin OllieConnecticut                 12
Ben HowlandUCLA                        12
Rick BarnesTexas                       11
Billy DonavanFlorida                     10
Lute Olson (84-08) / Sean Miller (Current)Arizona                      9
Lorenzo Romar Washington                   8
Paul Hewitt (00 – 11) / Brian GregoryGeorgia Tech                 7
Buzz WilliamsMarquette                    7
Mike BreyNotre Dame                   6
Thad MattaOhio State                   6
Jim BoehiemSyracuse                     6
Jeff Bzdeilk/Dino GaudioWake Forest                  6
Mark FewGonzaga                      5
Brady / Trent JohnsonLouisiana State              5
John Calipari / Josh PastnerMemphis                      5
Tom IzzoMichigan State               5
Johnny DawkinsStanford                     5
Tim Floyd (09) – Kevin O’NeillUSC                          5
Drew ScottBaylor                       4
Jeff Bzdeilk (07-10) – Tad Boyle (10-pres)Colorado                     4
Jay WrightVillanova                    4

  There are more schools and coaches that have produced talent out there; I have elected to just use any coaches that have produced 4 or more.

  Going to coach level can also help a NBA team with style of play. Teams can match up what coach may suit their system the best. When matching up systems or style of play, it can make the transition of college to the NBA much easier for the college player.

  While drafting isn’t a science, neither is this system. It is just a little data to help provide a possible solution to “tie-breakers”.