Bucks Diary

Monday, February 12, 2007

Andrew Bogut vs. No. 1 Picks since '70

With the help of information found on databasebasketball.com, I calculated the career Eff48 scores for each of the NBA's top draft picks since 1970, and then I ranked them from most productive to least productive. (My results are at the bottom of this post.) I did it because I was curious to find out where Bucks C Andrew Bogut fits amongst his No.1 peers, at least at this point in his career.

Bogut's Eff48 score of 24.42 puts him firmly in the bottom half of the list, 26th out of 37. By historical standards, he is thus far a below average number one pick. His Eff48 is below both the mean score (28.07) and the median score (27.09) recorded by top picks since 1970. Whether he has the talent to work his way into the top half of this list in the next couple of years is an open question as far as I am concerned. (Antlerheads take note: if you go by my list, no team since 1970 has gotten less for their number one picks than the Bucks. How long must we pay for the flip going our way in the Lew Alcindor draft?)

A couple of general comments about the overall list. First, it is by no means a definitive ranking. As you can see, you have Derrick Coleman ahead of James Worthy even though Coleman's attitude made him far less valuable in his prime than Worthy (plus Worthy in his prime played with Kareem and Magic, which arguably could have suppressed his productivity). Second, number one draft picks provide no guarantee of team success. Of the 38 number one picks since 1970, only 6 (Duncan, Robinson, Worthy, Magic, Olajuwon, and Walton) have won championships with the team that drafted them, and of those 6 only 2 have won championships without having another number one pick playing alongside them (Olajuwon and Walton). And only 6 others have even gotten as far as the NBA Finals with the team that drafted them (Collins, Ewing, Sampson, Shaq, Iverson, and Martin).

You may notice that at the moment the lowest ranked number one pick is last year's pick, Andrea Bargnani. I wouldn't classify him as the all-time worst number one pick just yet. I would give him another two years to prove himself. Why? Because I went back and looked at Dirk Nowitzki's numbers in his first year, and they are nearly identical to Bargnani's. Nowitzki's production took off in his second year and then lifted into the realm of superstardom by his third year. I'm not saying Bargnani's will do the same, but Nowitzki is the man many compare him to, so let's see.

Anyway, here is my ranking of every NBA number one pick since 1970 (with Eff48 score):

  1. 1979 Magic Johnson (38.02)
  2. 1974 Bill Walton (37.53)
  3. 1987 David Robinson (37.32)
  4. 1992 Shaquille O’Neal (37.29)
  5. 1984 Hakeem Olajuwon (36.53)
  6. 1970 Bob Lanier (36.23)
  7. 1997 Tim Duncan (34.15)
  8. 1984 Patrick Ewing (32.76)
  9. 2002 Yao Ming (31.40)
  10. 1993 Chris Webber (31.13)
  11. 1999 Elton Brand (30.52)
  12. 1986 Brad Daugherty (30.37)
  13. 2003 LeBron James (29.47)
  14. 1983 Ralph Sampson (28.88)
  15. 1975 David Thompson (28.29)
  16. 1990 Derrick Coleman (27.77)
  17. 1981 Mark Aguirre (27.10)
  18. 2004 Dwight Howard (27.09)
  19. 1989 Pervis Ellison (26.74)
  20. 1982 James Worthy (26.50)
  21. 1980 JB Carroll (26.44)
  22. 1988 Danny Manning (26.36)
  23. 1978 Mychal Thompson (26.23)
  24. 1977 Kent Benson (25.68)
  25. 1996 Allen Iverson (24.59)
  26. 2005 Andrew Bogut (24.42)
  27. 2000 Kenyon Martin (24.40)
  28. 1991 Larry Johnson (24.31)
  29. 1973 Doug Collins (24.28)
  30. 1976 John Lucas (24.00)
  31. 1995 Joe Smith (23.40)
  32. 1994 Glenn Robinson (23.25)
  33. 1971 Austin Carr (20.98)
  34. 2002 Kwame Brown (19.90)
  35. 1998 Michael Olowakandi (19.11)
  36. 2006 Andrea Bargnani (18.26)
  37. 1972 LaRue Martin (DNQ – too little PT)
Footnote: Eff48 calculates positive productivity per minute of playing time. The formula = (Points + Rebounds + Assists + Blocks + Steals - Missed FGs - Missed FTs - Turnovers / Minutes Played * 48)


At February 13, 2007 at 3:26 PM, Blogger laserbomb said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At February 13, 2007 at 3:26 PM, Blogger laserbomb said...

One thing I'm not clear on, these are all career numbers and not through everyone's first two years, right? The point's valid either way.

If Bogut couldn't get more than a couple of dominant games in with every other starter out, I don't know what to tell him except I guess it's time to be a gym rat for the next decade and make himself some money.

Then again, as terrible as it would be, I'd rather see him dick his way out of town than put together a decent contract year and regress again.

Centers take longer to develop? Maybe his third year? I have to keep repeating it to myself because inconsistent Mo and the guy people worried about (Ruben) are currently the most inspiring guys on this team. In comparison, I like Redd a lot, really appreciate his skills, and he's clearly the best on the team by far, but maybe it's just not in his nature to give people (players, coaches, fans) what they want and need out of their go-to guys.

I'm happy you work on your offense every offseason and bring it back improved, that's really fun to watch for. How about stepping back for some perspective? There might be another couple of steps in there before it's worth worrying about the All Star Team - lots of better things than being the last man on that bench, and you give all the glory to God anyway so what's the difference? I understand you can't toss in 27 in a game you don't play in, no helping that.

Enough of the back and forth, really changed the subject there, but to me Redd and Bogut combine to represent a lot of what's most frustrating about this team. At present though, Bogut is the worst lip-service mf around until he shows otherwise.

I wouldn't ever really hope for losses and more ping pong balls, but when you're tied for the fifth-worst record in the league it's more realistic to think about a Durant/Oden shot than two playoff losses at the Bradley Center.

At February 14, 2007 at 12:16 AM, Blogger nomisg said...

Bogut has the best FG% on the team, yet is he is 7th on the list of FG attempted per game.

Can you tell me this, who was the last center number one pick to lead their team in FG%, but only take 9.4 shots a game.

I think his EFF48 would be much higher under a coach that didn't play a guard "dominated" offence.

At July 25, 2007 at 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can now add LeBron James as one of the #1 draft picks who have made it to the Finals.


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