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Measurements and Athletic Testing Predictor

DefenseWinsChamps
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Measurements and Athletic Testing Predictor

Recently, I stumbled on a website called http://hardwoodparoxysm.com/. In the website, a writer named Kevin Hetrick did a statistical analysis cross-referencing measurements, athletic testings, and NBA production of the last tenish drafts to try to find correlations between athletic testing in the draft combine and future production in the NBA.

Obviously, there is no secret formula that perfectly predicts whether a player will be a good NBA player. With all the money and resources that the NBA has, someone would have found that formula and there would never be a bust again. Also, there are a variety of factors, not just athleticism and size, that go into the making of an NBA player.

I think these following correlations do not provide the basis for drafting a player, but they do add to the decision. This analysis does not take into account any on court play. It only considers athletic testing, which means this would obviously be a flawed system by which to draft a player. Some of the correlations that he found raise serious red flags. Other correlations debunk common myths about positions. Still others show elite categories of players who tested extremely well. Here is the cliff-note version. Hopefully, I accurately represent his findings. If something I say doesn't make sense, please read his articles, especially if you are a stat guy.

Point Guards

1. The first thing that he found was that there was no correlation between success in the NBA and height for point guards. The only small correlation that he found was taller upperclassman (21 on Feb 1st of their rookie year) point guards had slightly more of a defensive impact.

2. There was a high rate of success when drafting point guards who were upperclassmen and had good agility (at least 11 seconds) and speed (at least 3.2) times.

3. A score of at least 3.15 on the 3/4 court sprint and a 30 inch no jump vertical was elite athleticism at the point guard position that always had success in the NBA, and had a good chance of a star potential in the NBA.

Shooting Guards

1. Again, height at the shooting guard had no direct correlation to success in the NBA. Its not that size doesn't help. There is only a slight correlation, again, between defensive success and a height.

2. An agility time above 11.2 is a major red flag. No player with a time above that has ever succeeded in the NBA, regardless of other athletic testing.

3. There is no correlation between the 3/4 court sprint and success in the NBA at the shooting guard spot. In other words, speed does not necessarily correlate to the shooting guard position.

4. Upperclassmen generally bust. (Seriously, read his findings. I wouldn't have figured it either, but the data is there.)

5. The combination of at least a 6'9'' wingspan, a 31'' no step vertical, and a 35'' max vertical is star level. Few players attain those number. Most of those have success in the NBA with a majority of them reach star level.

Small Forwards

1. Good athletic testing does not correlate to success in the NBA, especially on defense.

2. The only real correlation between success in the NBA and athletic testing is size. Taller small forwards generally have a good chance to succeed.

Power Forwards

1. In one of the most shocking findings, height, or lack thereof, simply does not impact success in the NBA, either on offense or on defense.

2. There is no measurement or test that correlates to offensive success in the NBA at the power forward spot.

3. The only correlation to success in the NBA defensively for power forwards is the no-step vertical and max vertical. Higher verticals indicate a potential for solid defense.

4. Strength correlates better for rebounding than height or length.

Centers

1. Older centers do not pan out in the NBA if they were not draftable when they were younger. Older centers provide very little offense in the NBA.

2. Size matters, but not as much as you would think. According to his findings. height does not correlate very well to success in the NBA. He encourages teams to base their decision on other things, not primarily on a player's height.

3. Speed is one of the most important qualities for an NBA center that correlates to success.

4. The combination of at least a 3.3 3/4 court sprint and a 9'2'' standing reach correlates to success in the NBA, with the possibility of stardom.

4. Strength correlates better for rebounding than height or length.

Based on his findings, I want to get the forum's thoughts on prospects in this year's draft. Here are my initial thoughts:

Joel Embiid - Projects to have the 3.3 3/4 court sprint and 9'2'' standing reach.

Andrew Wiggins - Has great athleticism, according to this, for the shooting guard spot. His height would probably translate to small forward as well, but his wingspand and vertical would excell at shooting guard.

Jabari Parker - If he is going to play small forward, his athleticism is not a very big concern, because he has the prototypical size and length to succeed at small forward.

Dante Exum - We love tall point guards, but according to these correlations, being tall is not nearly as important as being speedy and agile. I think he would test well in these areas, if he tested, but I seriously wonder if he would make it into the elite athleticism category of 3.15 3/4 court speed and 30 inch no step vertical.

Zach LaVine - I will be really interested to see how he tests. If he plays point guard, I think he will hit the elite numbers, but if he plays shooting guard, I'm not sure his wingspan will be 6'9'' or above.

Julius Randle - Height is not a concern according to his findings. There is no correlation to height and success in the NBA. Much more important will be his vertical, which may indicate whether his poor defense is lack of ability or lack of effort.

Marcus Smart - If he plays point guard, I'm not sure he is going to get the quickness or speed tests that correlate to success in the NBA. However, at shooting guard, according to these findings, speed is not as important as vertical and length.

Noah Vonleh - Everyone loves his length, but according to this, length does not correlate directly to the NBA. I really worry that his athletic testing will be below average. His foot speed, agility, and vertical number all project to be down. How will that translate?

Tyler Ennis - He is not very fast. This correlation study does not predict his future success.

Kyle Anderson - If height is the significant correlate to success in the NBA for small forward, Anderson might be in luck.

Adrien Payne - He has great hops, which might translate to defensive success in the NBA.

Elfrid Payton - He might be a serious sleeper. I really want to see if his speed comes in above 3.15 and vertical comes back above 30''.

KJ McDaniels - If projects to be a small forward in the NBA and does not have height, will his athleticism correlate to success in the NBA.

Isaiah Austin - Crazy length, but poor speed. This correlation could give us the reason for his possible lack of success in the NBA.

None of these observations are final. I just really liked what he had to say and think that his findings are worth considering when looking at different players.

What do you think? Any other players that you want to make comments about based on his correlary findings?


Ty Benjamins
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my boy elfrid payton can

my boy elfrid payton can really make some noise if he test well

JoeWolf1
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Interesting. It backs up my

Interesting. It backs up my thought that despite pretty meager stats at Duke, Andre Dawkins could play in the NBA. He measured a 6'8.5" wingspan and a 30" no step in the PIT a few weeks ago.

DefenseWinsChamps
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I get your point. I haven't

I get your point. I haven't seen Dawkins play that much, but one of the qualifiers that he puts on his study is that the player database only includes drafted players. I think his point was that there were a lot of great athletes never drafted, and a good way to differentiate athletes from true NBA talent was simply to look at only those players that have been drafted in the last tenish years.

I don't know if that makes sense, but you should probably check out his website. The way that he says it makes a lot more sense.

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I get what you're saying, I

I get what you're saying, I think, but I think Dawkins is a draft pick. He's a 40% 3 point shooter over his career, played the role of a 3 point specialist and has the athletic ability that would lead me to believe he can get his shot off at the next level. He also dropped 20 ppg in the PIT when he was a more featured player.

I think you're implying he's an undrafted guy, but I think he'll get picked. He's no D.J Stephens, he has size for his position and an NBA jumper. Not just an athlete.

DefenseWinsChamps
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Gotchya. Makes sense. I just

Gotchya. Makes sense. I just haven't seen him rated very highly on a lot of draft sites. Like I said, I don't know much about him.

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I thought he would be a

I thought he would be a breakout player for Duke since Nolan Smith left. Coach K can really get his guys to settle into roles.

I think teams will really respect that when pre draft interviews are conducted. He is a good athlete and a great shooter who obviously understands team concepts after playing at Duke through a full schalorship. But thats just it, he projects to be at best a "three and D" wing in the NBA because he hasnt ptoved he can outrebound the majority of his position, or playmake. Players have to be able to be well rounded in todays NBA it is a very competitive league.

If Dawkins can gaurd his position effectively in the NBA I see him as at best a 3rd wing (sg/sf). I do think he can play a good reserve role in limited minutes just like coach k showed.Defenitely think he will find his way into the league.

arambone
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TJ Warren at 6'8.5" has great

TJ Warren at 6'8.5" has great sized for small forward, and is going to be a star.

u2nloth
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im a huge warren fan but

im a huge warren fan but he also has a short wingspan and is limited speed wise and vertically.. however he has very quick hands and excellent body control. i am not worried about his 3pt shot he has shown great work ethic and has a very soft touch he should be able to fix his shot from deep. he actually shot .314 for his career so not as bad as everyone says. if he can fix his 3pter i can see he becoming paul pierce esque.... i dont think his career will be as good as pierces but it is a possibility

arambone
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Yeah Warren was known for his

Yeah Warren was known for his 3 point shooting in hs and freshman year. And his wingspan doesn't really concern me. His inbetween game seems to be as elite as Tony Parker or Ginobli.

I just love those rare players that can shoot with confidence and great touch in any situation and from any angle and at any speed. Nothing mechanical about it, just playing on instinct and supreme confidence and knowing he can get a great shot off from anywhere with a high likelihood of making it. I think he shot 58% from 2 on extremely high volume. U Can't Touch This!

And his game seemed to be hitting another level towards the end of the season. Two straight 40+ point games

in ACC play is nothing to sneeze at, nor is the run he went on in the ACC Tourney and NCAA Tourney.

The last 19 games of the season Warren averaged over 27 ppg, without a single off game.

I think Jabari Parker's season high was about 30 points.

I think TJ Warren is going to be this year's Kelly Olynyk, the not-so-athletic guy who put up huge numbers in college but was still underrated, who goes on to show plenty of signs of being a big-time scorer in the NBA in his rookie year.

u2nloth
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yep

completley agree i am a huge state fan and went to every game i really think he is very much like pierce.. his inbetween game is great he lets his floater go when you least expect it. i think floater really are a lost are nowadays.. and his touch is so soft i think he will fix his shot quickly. his problem was not being set or fading when it wasnt necessary. i think he has all star potential. he also has the rare knack for being able to goo from cold to onfire quickly which few players have. he is also underrated on defense.

arambone
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Yeah, the floater is an

Yeah, the floater is an underappreciated art. I know Warren had David West and West's brother coaching him up in high school. I wish somebody taught me the value of the floater when I was a kid.

Warren also doesn't have wide shoulders, so even though his wingspan isn't great, his vertical reach is going to measure out slightly better than expected, just like Kelly Olynyk's.

arambone
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I think LaVine could measure

I think LaVine could measure a 6'9" wingspan. One thing I've noticed over the years is that a prospect's wingspan seems to grow a bit more after the player stops getting taller. LaVine has grown at least an inch in height since he measured a 6'7" wingspan, so 6'9" wingspan seems just about right.

I really like LaVine as a scoring off-ball point guard. Just give him a big green light to fire away and he'll regularly get hot and take over games.

One of the most underrated shots is the pull up 3 pointer from the pg after crossing half court early in the shot clock. The player can plan his shot 5 seconds in advance, and even give his teammates a heads up to box out beforehand. He can square himself up very nicely, and even sync up his breathing perfectly.

Most pgs and other players rarely get the green light to fire away with the pull up 3 early in the clock, because it doesn't get the rest of the team involved and most pgs don't have that lights out 3 point shot.

Guys like Lillard and Kyrie can be effective with this shot, and so can Zach LaVine. At 6'5"-6'6" with a 6'8-6'9" wingspan and a 40+" vertical, along with a streaky but excellent 3 point stroke, LaVine would be impossible to stop in this situation, if regularly given the green light and if his teammates bought in.

And having this ability and this green light would also open up lanes to drive towards the hoop as outmatched point guards try to take away this pull up 3 from LaVine.

This is how LaVine played pg in high school, and there's nothing stopping him from being effective as a gunner scoring pg, especially if he plays alongside good passers.

tuck243
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I love this

I hope this give people a little hope into the players they love... Especially, Kyle Anderson and Julius Randle for me... I always said there are a few 6'10 to 6-11 players like Vonleh that never really make it in the league. But yet teams always seem to pass up great talent for them... Out of all the starting productive PF's in the league, Vonleh doesn't look like any of them outside of Bosh (physical attributes)... Majority are strong as hell... Milsap, Randolph, Love, Griffin... I think Randle will be fine...

DefenseWinsChamps
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Agreed. Two inches is not the

Agreed. Two inches is not the main determination for a player's potential, especially for a big man.

King Calucha
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Thank you for sharing this.

Thank you for sharing this. One of the best threads in a long time.

ncballer
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This bodes very well for PJ

This bodes very well for PJ Hairston at the SG spot. Despite my UNC homerism I will continue to say he is going to make a lot of GM's angry for passing on him.

DefenseWinsChamps
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Agreed, especially

Agreed, especially considering his wingspan and strength. If he can get out of the way of himself, he really could turn into a James Harden-LITE type of player. Other strong, long, and physical off-guards come to mind also, like Wesley Matthews, Marcus Thorton, Dion Waiters, Lance Stephenson, and Rodney Stuckey.

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