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NBA ROOKIE STATISTICAL PROJECTIONS - by Shawn Siegel


 

2005 NBA Draft Stat Projections

2004 NBA Draft Stat Projections

2003 NBA 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 extent. 

 

Here is a list of some of the more interesting projections we've made, some good, some bad, some ugly:

 

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 hops again.

 

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 different.

 


 

 

 

 


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