Value Add Ranks ND Star No. 1 Returning Player, Lonzo No. 1 Prospect After Hilarious Father’s Day Rip

Lonzo Ball
AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Value Add Basketball indicates Lonzo Ball, who just pulled off a hilarious Father’s Day rip on his overbearing Dad, should receive $21 million for the next three seasons as the No. 1 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, while Notre Dame’s Bonzie Colson edges Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ as the best of the 3,704 players still playing for free at the college level.

Value Add Group 1: Top 2017-18 Freshmen and How Many Points Each is Worth
Value Add Group 2: Top Returning Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors
Value Add Group 3: Top-ranked Transfers
Value Add Group 4: Top JUCO Transfers: Projected Value for 2018, and Best Since 2011
Value Add Group 5: NBA Prospects for Thursday’s Draft

The experts believe Markelle Fultz (the No. 2 prospect in the Value Add-based rankings) will be selected ahead of Ball and be the greater NBA player. Scouts usually nail the best players, while analytics like those at find gems among the 4,000 players who take the college court each year.

For example, Paul Millsaps, Draymond Green, Carlos Boozer and Jae Crowder, who all became stars after not being picked in the first round, were ranked 7th, 3rd, 3rd and 2nd respectively in Value Add Basketball. Finding a star after the first round is rare.

More than two-thirds of the players picked through the 40th pick play in the NBA, while the 41st to 60th picks are much less likely to ever step on an NBA Court.

Only the top 30 picks get a guaranteed three-year deal from $21 million for the top pick to the mere $4.2 million for the 30th pick, where the analytics suggest Syracuse’s Tyler Lydon should be picked. Any player not picked in the first round must scramble to make a team, and could work for as little as $490,000 per year.

You can click on the historic Value Add database of 61,019 players who played from 2001-02 to now, and type “NBA” in the notes field to see the 2,195 seasons played by players who ended up the the NBA, a reminder that only 3.5% of Division I college players ever see an NBA court.

In addition the system just finished projecting values for 3,391 players projected to have Value Add in the upcoming 2018 season (click for the breakdown of how rankings are compiled and the top player in the four categories of players for 2018 – incoming freshman, returning players, transfers and junior college players).

A total of 3,704 players are listed on the projection page because it includes 313 players who will sit out the coming season but project to add value in 2019. You can type “2018” to look only at the players and values for the upcoming season for any player.

A player’s Value Add ranking indicates how many points a game he improves his team over a replacement player, much like WAR (Wins Above Replacement) in WAR.


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