Bogut's Rookie Season compared to Rasheed Wallace's
In attempting to fairly judge top pick Andrew Bogut's productivity this year -- which has understandably disappointed some -- I tried to think of a player whose rookie season was the most situationally similar to his. I thought this would provide a level evaluation.
I came up with Detroit Pistons' PF Rasheed Wallace. Why? Because the facts surrounding Wallace's 1995 rookie season with the Washington Bullets were nearly identical to Bogut's rookie season with the Bucks.
Here's what I mean. Both men are 6'11''. Both men came out after their sophomore seasons in college, both men were 21 years old during their rookie seasons, both men played center in college but were forced to adapt to playing power forward in their rookie years, and each played for a mediocre team (Washington was 39-43 during Wallace's rookie campaign) rather than the true bottom feeding team that most high draft picks play for.
So, how do they compare? In terms of overall production, as reflected by each player's rookie CG score, its not even close. Bogut has outperformed Wallace's rookie campaign by a wide margin. (Remember, CG= (Points+Rebounds+Assists+Steals+Blocks) - (FGs Missed + FTs Missed + Turnovers) / Minutes Played x 48. Thus, playing time is of no consequence, its statistics per minute that count.) Here then are their respective rookie scores:
Please note that Wallace had a better PPG (10.1 per game) than Bogut now holds (8.9 per game), but that Wallace was a much poorer percentage shooter, a less productive rebounder, a less proflific passer, and he turned the ball over more per minute played. It should be noted also that Wallace's numbers, as compared to top rookies from other seasons, are rather poor. His age combined with the position change, I would surmise, accounted for his struggles.
Which, then, underscores Bogut's achievement, because he is operating under the very same conditions Wallace operated under. Thus, while Bogut hasn't set the world on fire as one would expect a top draft choice to do, if his age and unique circumstances are taken into account, I'd say he hasn't done half bad. Let's at least see what he does next year. That will be the acid test.