Prior to the last two NBA Drafts I have visited team offices, sent draftee info and built databases for teams, and worked with projection guru Rob Lowe to calculate how many wins each player would be worth to an NBA team. In the midst of political campaigns I was even mocked by fellow Marquette alums for lack of effort in even following my alma mater (see mock interview of me here based on my actual Fox News interview), and am only now reviewing each pick against my last mock draft on May 22.
However, in reviewing each pick on the table below against our May 22 mock and the www.valueaddbasketball.com database, one thing that is clear is that Kyle Anderson was the luckiest player in this year’s draft.
Only Jabari Brown and Deonte Burton dropped further than Anderson did from the May 22 mock draft (14th pick) to the actual draft (30th pick). Why is Anderson so lucky?
1. If Anderson had dropped one more spot he would have been in the second round – meaning he would have been guaranteed exactly $0. As the last pick he is guaranteed $1,863,800 give or take 20% even if he never makes the roster – and in fact he is very likely to get over $2 million.
2. He also landed in Texas, with no sales tax, meaning he should actually net more money than the four picks that went in front of him – including if the Clippers had kept him in California to cost him a couple of hundred thousand in state tax.
3. He went to the Spurs, who seem to make players much better than before they got them.
Damien Inglis was picked next by the Bucks, and will have to make the team and try to get a little more than half what Anderson makes if he makes the squad.
While international players are hard to predict a month out, the following are the other players who shot way up from where they were back on May 22 in the draft:
- SG Nik Stauskas shot up to the 8th pick from 22nd on May 22nd. Michigan State fans balked when Value Add pegged the Michigan star as better than any Spartan early in the year, but NBA teams agreed.
- PG Elfrid Payton went from 26th to 10th. Value Add already had him in the top 5% of all players last year despite playing in the obscurity of Lousiana Lafayette, but he was even better this year.
- SG Zach LaVine went from 33rd to 13th. The UCLA product could not get many minutes in the loaded Bruins backcourt, but blew everyone away with his athletic ability at the combine.
- PF Adreian Payne went from 35th to 15th. The Michigan State star was in the top 2% of all Value Add players last year, but seemed to regress slightly in his senior season before showing the ability and length to be a potential NBA starter.
- Value Add Player of the Year PG Shabazz Napier only went up one spot to 24th, but with the Heat viewing him as a key after LeBron James called him his favorite player in the draft his stock is sky high. National media questioned Value Add’s selection as one of the top players in the country early in his career, then Value Add shocked all by pegging him as the 6th best player in the country his junior year. He finished this season as the No. 1 ranked Value Add player in the land, instilling confidence the UConn play maker and two-time national champion can overcome his small size.
- SG CJ Wilcox went from 45th to 28th. Value Add showed the Washington Huskie’s steady improvement as in the top 15% of players his freshman season, top 8% his sophomore year, top 3% his junior year and top 2% this season.
- SF Joe Harris was taken 33rd. The UVa star was in the top 5% of all players his final two seasons according to Value Add, but on the very balanced team this year did not stand out until scouts could view him on his own.
- C Johnny O’Bryant went from 59th to 33rd. The LSU player never really dominated in college, but teams seemed to go back and forth between him and Florida’s Patric Young as the two physically dominant centers – and eventually it was O’Bryant who was picked.
- SG Markel Brown went 44th. The second half of the dominant Oklahoma State backcourt along with Marcus Smart, Brown was rated in the top 3% of all players last season and top 2% this year in Value Add.
- SG Lamar Patterson went 48th. Pitt’s go-to player was in the top 3% of all players two years ago, top 2% last year and well within the top 1% this year as the 18th best college player in the land and third best in the ACC behind NC State’s TJ Warren and Clemson’s KJ McDaniels.
- PF/C Cameron Bairstow went 49th. The New Mexico player via Australia was in the top 1% of all players in Value Add.
- C Alec Brown went 50th. Breitbart featured Brown on January 23 and credited him with making UW-Green Bay the most surprising team in the country as a 7-footer who could shoot the three-pointer.
|Team||Player||Guaranteed||State Tax||May 22 Mock||Improve|
|Cavaliers||Andrew Wiggins SF||$9,391,100||$501,232||1||0|
|Bucks||Jabari Parker SF/PF||$8,402,500||$635,573||2||0|
|76ers||Joel Embiid C||$7,545,500||$231,647||3||0|
|Magic||Aaron Gordon PF||$6,803,100||$0||12||8|
|Jazz||Dante Exum PG/SG||$6,160,600||$308,030||6||1|
|Celtics||Marcus Smart PG||$5,595,300||$290,956||4||-2|
|Lakers||Julius Randle PF||$5,108,000||$633,132||8||1|
|Kings||Nik Stauskas SG||$4,679,400||$576,128||22||14|
|Hornets||Noah Vonleh PF||$4,301,600||$249,493||5||-4|
|Magic||Elfrid Payton PG||$4,086,300||$0||26||16|
|Bulls||Doug McDermott SF/PF||$3,882,000||$194,100||9||-2|
|76ers||Dario Saric PF||$3,688,000||$113,222||10||-2|
|Timberwolves||Zach LaVine SG||$3,503,500||$336,857||33||20|
|Suns||TJ Warren SF/PF||$3,328,500||$149,036||13||-1|
|Hawks||Adreian Payne PF||$3,161,800||$188,028||35||20|
|Nuggets||Jusuf Nurkic C||$3,003,900||$139,081||7||-9|
|Celtics||James Young SG/SF||$2,853,600||$148,387||21||4|
|Suns||Tyler Ennis PG||$2,710,900||$120,997||11||-7|
|Nuggets||Gary Harris SG||$2,588,900||$119,866||20||1|
|Raptors||Bruno Caboclo SF/PF||$2,485,300||$152,900||NI||NI|
|Thunder||Mitch McGary C||$2,385,900||$124,839||18||-3|
|Grizzlies||Jordan Adams SG||$2,290,600||$114,530||16||-6|
|Jazz||Rodney Hood SF||$2,199,000||$109,950||27||4|
|Heat||Shabazz Napier PG||$2,110,900||$0||25||1|
|Rockets||Clint Capela PF/C||$2,026,600||$0||17||-8|
|Hornets||PJ Hairston SG||$1,959,300||$113,639||15||-11|
|Suns||Bogdan Bogdanovic SG||$1,902,800||$84,309||31||4|
|Clippers||CJ Wilcox SG||$1,891,200||$205,298||45||17|
|Thunder||Josh Huestis SF||$1,877,400||$98,143||NI||NI|
|Spurs||Kyle Anderson SF||$1,863,800||$0||14||-16|
|Bucks||Damien Inglis SF||$0||34||3|
|76ers||KJ McDaniels SF||$0||24||-8|
|Cavaliers||Joe Harris SF||$0||NI||NI|
|Knicks||Cleanthony Early SF/PF||$0||41||7|
|Jazz||Jarnell Stokes PF||$0||32||-3|
|Bucks||Johnny O’Bryant C||$0||59||23|
|Raptors||DeAndre Daniels SF||$0||44||7|
|Pistons||Spencer Dinwiddie SG||$0||40||2|
|76ers||Jerami Grant SF||$0||36||-3|
|Timberwolves||Glenn Robinson SF||$0||28||-12|
|Nuggets||Nikola Jokic C||$0||46||5|
|Rockets||Nick Johnson SG||$0||47||5|
|Hawks||Walter Tavares C||$0||29||-14|
|Timberwolves||Markel Brown SG||$0||NI||NI|
|Hornets||Dwight Powell PF||$0||53||8|
|Wizards||Jordan Clarkson PG/SG||$0||48||2|
|76ers||Russ Smith PG||$0||37||-10|
|Bucks||Lamar Patterson SG||$0||NI||NI|
|Bulls||Cameron Bairstow PF/C||$0||NI||NI|
|Suns||Alec Brown C||$0||NI||NI|
|Knicks||Thanasis Antetokounmpo SF||$0||39||-12|
|76ers||Vasilije Micic PG||$0||23||-29|
|Timberwolves||Alessandro Gentile SG/SF||$0||NI||NI|
|76ers||Nemanja Dangubic SG||$0||NI||NI|
|Heat||Semaj Christon PG||$0||56||1|
|Magic||Devyn Marble SG||$0||42||-14|
|Pacers||Louis Labeyrie PF/C||$0||NI||NI|
|Spurs||Jordan McRae SG||$0||NI||NI|
|Raptors||Xavier Thames SG||$0||57||-2|
|Spurs||Cory Jefferson PF||$0||55||-5|
|Not Drafted||Kristaps Porzingis||$0||19||ND|
|Not Drafted||Artem Klimenko||$0||30||ND|
|Not Drafted||Jabari Brown||$0||38||ND|
|Not Drafted||Deonte Burton||$0||43||ND|
|Not Drafted||Jahii Carson||$0||49||ND|
|Not Drafted||Patric Young||$0||50||ND|
|Not Drafted||Isaiah Austin||$0||51||ND|
|Not Drafted||CJ Fair||$0||52||ND|
|Not Drafted||Rasmus Larsen||$0||54||ND|
|Not Drafted||Khem Birch||$0||58||ND|
|Not Drafted||Moussa Diagne||$0||60||ND|