Dribbles on the Realests on Simmons, continued

Previously, on "We Rite Goode"
-Pedro Cerrano discovered that it's better to eat chicken than sacrifice it
-Crucifictorious explained his name to confused readers again
-Doctor Dribbles had beef with other bloggers

Yep, nothing new 'round these parts. On my end, I took issue with the Realests taking issue with the draft savvy of Bill "Sports Guy" Simmons. Not because of any great love for Simmons, but because picking a few examples out of years of coverage does not an accurate opinion make. Moreover, the included criticisms--such as Simmons somehow blew it by preferring Chris Paul to Deron Williams--were so lackluster that they undermined that blog's cherry-picked argument.

Still, I like the Realests and wanted to see if they were onto something, so looked carefully at one year of Simmons' thoughts on the draft. In a completely non-scientific process, I picked 2004 because we're far enough away from that draft to start separating the wheat from the chaff (who knows--Adam Morrison may still be a great player who had an awful rookie year), and Simmons already starts in the hole because he got Howard and Okafor wrong. Again, I'm using John Hollinger's rating system, where a PER of 15.0 equals an average NBA player, and taking into account where a player got picked versus the expectations/effusiveness of Simmons.

Simmons 2004 wrap-up, with links to guys whose stories you may not know
Got right:
Got wrong:
Clearly, a pretty impressive hit rate, although Simmons didn't take a lot of chances. Also, I didn't look closely at his 2003 or earlier wrap-ups; based solely on the odds, you've got to figure he did a little worse but that would still be a strong job of assessing talent.

In fact, let's compare Simmons--a guy who's by no means ESPN's NBA Draft "expert"--to the guy who was getting paid to be exactly that, Chad Ford. Obviously, Ford had a lot more opinions than Simmons and made tougher calls on guys that Simmons could afford to ignore or be unsure about.

Still, it's interesting to see how much worse Ford's hit rate was.

Ford's 2004 wrap-up, with links to guys whose stories you may not know
Got right:
Got wrong:
Whew! Man, if only real math was this "fun." But I'd hope the point is made: That I have way too much time on my hands. Plus, that while my analysis is far from comprehensive, Simmons is by no means the draft screwup that he's alleged to be.

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posted by Doctor Dribbles @ 00:16,


At June 25, 2007 at 9:50 AM, Blogger BD said...

Nice post. Have to take offense with you saying Ford was wrong about Iguodala, though. Getting him at 9 was a steal. I would wager that if you looked at PER post-Iverson trade, Iguodala shoots way up. Regardless, if '04 were redrafted, I think it would go Howard, Deng, Okafor(his injuries so far may push him out of the top 5), Iguodala, Jefferson, Josh Smith, then Gordon. Gordon is a great scorer, but he doesn't really contribute in any other meaningful way. He can't check NBA 2's. I'm not saying he's not valauble (he is), but not more valuable than the guys ahead of him. [I've excluded Livingston, because I'm not confident he'll play again.] It's debatable if Josh Smith would be taken ahead of Gordon, so I can flip-flop there, but Howard-Okafor-Iggy-Jefferson would all easily go ahead of Gordon.

At June 25, 2007 at 6:02 PM, Blogger Crucifictorious said...

I'm also going to chime in...first off, Iggy is awesome, so BD totally busted you there. Second, maybe it's not that Simmons is so great at evaluating talent...but Chad Ford isn't.

At June 25, 2007 at 7:53 PM, Blogger Doctor Dribbles said...

BD, thanks for the considered, well-argued response. I'm a big believer in/fan of Hollinger, and he definitely was hyping Iguodala's post-Iverson improvement.
And is he a more well-rounded asset than Gordon? Sure. But think of all those games Gordon won for the Bulls the past three years, where AI2 only turned it on in '06-07.

Ditto with some of the other players from the draft. Childress has basically contributed since Day 1. Luol Deng has too and stepped it up in the playoffs. So not that Iguodala, at this very moment, wouldn't be a top 4 pick...but he hasn't necessarily been the 4th best player in the class the past three years. That's what I was going for (and Ford wasn't WRONG, just I wasn't sure if he was right).

It's funny because Hollinger did a re-draft of his own last summer--
and had Jameer Nelson going no. 2 overall! (Iggy was no. 8) Obviously a lot changes year-to-year, and Nelson totally fell off, but that shows why you need to get farther away from the draft to really judge players.

And Cruc, slow your roll, son. What would we do without Chad Ford's mock drafts 1 through 15.0? You know you love him.


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