Rating the 2005 NBA Rookie Class
Below are the CG numbers for the top 10 picks in the 2005 NBA Draft. CG means "Contribution Gauge", and it basically evaluates a player's positive contributions per 48 minutes played. Thus, playing time is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is what the player does while he is on the court. CG is therefore a completely neutral basis upon which to gauge each rookie's productive efficiency and all around game.
The formula for CG is:
(points + rebounds + assists + blocks + steals) - (field goals missed + free throws missed + turnovers) / minutes played x 48.
Thus a high scorer will be punished if he has a low shooting percentage or if he needs a lot of minutes to produce a lot of points. Likewise, one dimensional players will not score as highly as those who have developed better all around productivity. For example, Kobe Bryant's 2005 season, while viewed as historic by many because of his eye-popping scoring outputs, has only produced a 33.2 CG, a number which doesn't even approach the career CG numbers of either Larry Bird (37.2) or Magic Johnson (38.0). In fact, by CG numbers alone, Kevin Garnett is having a much better season (36.4). Sidenote: I will develop a deeper analysis of Garnett's fairly anonymous, yet historically brilliant, season in a later posting.
With those caveats in mind, here are the CG numbers for the Top 10 rookies, from best CG to worst:
1. Chris Paul, G Ok City Hornets 28.8
2. Channing Frye, PF New York Knicks 25.4
3. Andrew Bogut, C Milwaukee Bucks 24.4
4. Charlie Villenueva, PF Toronto Raptors 24.3
5. Ike Diogu, PF Golden State Warriors 22.0
6. Raymond Felton, PG Charlotte Bobcats 18.4
7. Marvin Williams, SF Atlanta Hawks 17.7
8. Andrew Bynum, C Los Angeles Lakers 16.0
9. Deron Williams, PG Utah Jazz 15.9
10. Martell Webster, SG/SF Port Blazers 10.6
While many have focused on the mistake the Hawks made passing over Chris Paul, these numbers suggest that the more egregious mistake may have been made by the Utah Jazz in drafting Deron Williams ahead of Paul. Williams numbers are atrocius; Paul's numbers are better than the career numbers of Isiah Thomas (26.9).
The CG scores also suggest the Portland TrailBlazers may have really, really screwed the pooch. Martell Webster is clearly years away from being a productive NBA player of any kind. Why they drafted him so high will remain a mystery for years to come. Center Andrew Bynum, who on draft day was considered a very long term project when selected at 10 by the Lakers, has been much more impressive when he has gotten on the floor than Webster.