Knicks morning news (2018.08.12) knickerblogger.net

And I didn’t assemble that list to prove Jowles a charlatan. Just to objectively compare the Knicks picks vs the “advanced stat bot” picks during those years. It doesn’t appear there is a sliding doors parallel story where the advanced stat bot guides the Knicks to a future via the draft. Lawson, Blair, Bullock, or Speights wouldn’t have been much different from what we got out of Gallinari, Hill, or Hardaway. But Faried was a lot better than Shumpert during that small window where the Knicks fielded a decently competitive team, so who knows what may have happened differently in 2012…

Exactly. And sure, WCS could have a better career than the oft-fatigued and injured KP, although right now there is no comparison regarding the strategic asset value of the picks.


What could you trade WCS for right now? Maybe a top-20 protected #1, if that? My guess is, rightfully or wrongly, nothing remotely close to what you can get for KP.

And as much as I like KP, if someone feels that his stamina, injury and efficiency issues are likely to keep him from ever being the max player he is surely going to be paid to be, then I would have no problem with the suggestion that he’s at his peak value right now and should be traded for multiple assets. I said as much when Phil was trying to trade him to Boston for, what was it, 2 #1s and Brown?

I’ve been reading the debate over the Knicks’ drafting prowess with interest. I tend to agree with the people who think the Knicks have drafted well, or at least not badly. But Jowles did actually cite a statistic, and it’s not a statistic I know very well, so I did a little digging. I downloaded the VORP values for every NBA player last season from basketball-reference.com. I then calculated a mean and a median and did a histogram. The distribution is quite skewed. The arithmetical average VORP is 0.46. I think people tend to assume the numerical average player is a typical player, but the median VORP is actually zero, because the distribution is so skewed. That is, literally half of NBA players have a VORP of zero or below. The most common VORP is zero or slightly below. The mean value of 0.46 is actually the 70th percentile player. That means that in terms of percentiles, the VORPs that Jowles cited are as follows:

I draw two conclusions from this data. One, the Knicks did draft well, or at least, not badly at all. Two, the stat VORP is named misleadingly. It purports to be “value over replacement player”. That should mean if you have a VORP of zero, a D league call up would be just as good. But if that were true, the actual statistics say that literally half of the NBA could be replaced with G league call ups and the league would get better. I don’t think anyone here believes that to be the case.

Jowles, it’s not exactly a counting stat, since counting stats can’t actually be negative and many players have a negative VORP, but it doesn’t really matter. You chose it as the stat to evaluate Knicks draft picks by, and claimed the numbers you showed represented poor results for Knicks drafting. I just figured out how it compared to the typical NBA player. My main conclusion was that the VORP stats you cited don’t indicate that the Knicks draft badly.

Of course, if you replace some NBA player who never plays with a G-Leaguer, it won’t affect the quality of league play. But 2/3 of players on NBA rosters usually see reasonable playing time during a season (eight to ten players are in a regular rotation and then injuries add numbers to this). That leave only 5 players per team you could change with a D-Leaguer and have no effect. So you can’t change half the players in the NBA without actually affecting who plays. I guess you could claim that NBA bench warmers are the actual “replacement players” in the NBA (which would be far from the original definition), but, from the statistics I looked at, probably all of them are in the negative as far as VORP goes. If the numerical value of a “replacement player” is significantly below zero, then it’s still labeled in a basically lying way as far as I am concerned.