NBA ROOKIE STATISTICAL PROJECTIONS
- by Shawn Siegel
2005 NBA Draft
NBA Draft Stat Projections
Draft Stat Projections
Each year, CHN releases statistical
projections for potential first round picks. All statistical
projections are made prior to the draft itself, and thus were made
without knowing which team the player would end up on. CHN projects
the prospect's rookie season, 2nd year, and their max career
potential. These projections can be a surprisingly good
indicator of a player's future success, although each season, CHN
clearly overrates and underrates a few players to a particularly large
Here is a list of some of
the more interesting projections we've made, some good, some bad, some
Lebron James - Lebron has
clearly exceeded our expectations in terms of his scoring prowess.
We knew he could pass and rebound (predicting 8 boards and 7 assists
per game for his 2nd season as compared to 7 and 6 in reality), but we
only thought he'd be scoring 15 per game by this point. Lebron
seemed to be scoring 15 per half on a regular basis and ended up
scoring 27 per game last year.
Carmelo Anthony - Carmelo
had himself a fine rookie year, averaging 21 per game, as compared to
our prediction of 16 per game. However, his 2nd season was more
in line with our prediction of 19 per game, as he dropped slightly to
20.8 ppg in his sophomore campaign. We felt Carmelo would max
out at 25 per game in his career season, and I still have little doubt
Carmelo could eventually put up such numbers down the line.
Darko Milicic - Everybody
loves to rag Darko. Clearly the player we statistically
overrated the most, Darko has career averages of 1.6 points and 1.2
rebounds per game. I felt that by year two, Darko would be
putting up 13 and 9. I have not lost complete faith in this
former #2 pick, and you have to figure in the post Larry Brown era,
Darko will be an NBA contributor.
Dwyane Wade - Wade has far
surpassed everyone's expectations, including my own. I felt
projecting Wade to scorer 13 per game as a rookie and 15 as a
sophomore was generous at the time. Flash has exploded in his
sophomore campaign, averaging 24 points, 5 boards, and 7 assists per
game. We also had no clue Wade would make such a smooth
transition to the point guard role, and figured he would never average
more than 4 or 5 assists per game in the best year of his career.
Mickael Pietrus - I was
really high on Pietrus coming into the Draft, thinking he would be the
biggest sleeper in 2003. His projections of 13 ppg for his
rookie year and 16 for his sophomore year seem a bit excessive now.
However, after a slow rookie campaign in which he averaged only 5 per
game, Pietrus came on last year to average 9.5 per game in just 20
minutes of action. If he continues to improve like he did last
year, perhaps he will end up making me look good for thinking he'd be
one of the more prolific scorers to enter the 2003 Draft.
Ben Gordon - Gordon was one
of our better predictions last year, as we felt he'd average 14
points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists per game on his way to making the
all-rookie team. In reality, he averaged 15.1 per game to go
along with 3 rebounds and 2 per game. This projection not only
looks good because the numbers were relatively close, but because very
few analysts felt he would have such an impact last year.
Luke Jackson - Our worst
projection from last year was clearly Luke Jackson. I felt he'd
come in and contribute from day one, averaging 12 per game.
Injuries clearly plagued his season, but in his limited minutes, he
averaged only 3 points in the 10 games he played. We projected
Jackson would score 13 per game in the 05-06 season, but at this point
the Cavs would be very happy if he could contribute just half of that.
Josh Smith - Unlike Jackson
who we overrated, we completely underestimated Josh Smith. After
seeing Smith play many times in high school, I simply had no clue his
game would translate so well into the NBA. I figured Smith would
ride the pine his rookie year, and then never average more than 8 ppg
in his best ever NBA season. Well, this was way off, as Josh
went on to average 10 points and 6 boards per game in his rookie
campaign. We will never underestimate the importance of good
Emeka Okafor - Last year's
Rookie of the Year was not surprisingly our ROY prediction as well.
Our statistical projections were pretty close to reality, as we felt
Emeka would average 14 and 8, with one assist per game. In
reality, he averaged 15 per game, with 11 rebounds, and 1 assist.
It seems that on average, we tended to slightly underestimate the
statistical contributions of the top NBA rookies, and Okafor was no