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Visualizing 2014 NBA Draft Prospects

Feb 22, 2014; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks center Joel Embiid (21) and guard Andrew Wiggins (22) speak with media after the game against the Texas Longhorns at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas won 85-54. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

We’re proud to present this guest post from Andrew Johnson. Andrew has been contributor to Hickory-High and runs his own site, Counting The Baskets. He may be the sharpest tool in the drawer. You can also follow Andrew on Twitter, @CountingBaskets.

Over the past six months, I have created a couple of different statistical draft models, the base model being one called the P-AWS model. In explaining the draft models I usually create long tables with lists of prospects ranked in order and some verbiage explaining how I arrived at the numbers. There is nothing wrong with lists, they are the heart and soul of old media paragons like Forbes magazine and web click bait everywhere.

But, with the draft around the corner I created some visualizations that, I hope, will give the ranking lists a bit more meaning and context, as well as give readers a better feel for the relative strengths and weaknesses of the draft prospects.

The the first visualization shows the performance of 2014 NBA draft prospects from Draft Express’s top prospects in a number of measures entered in the P-AWS draft model, all in an equalized scale.  The measures are weighted the same as the models sees them, so, scoring is adjusted for efficiency, in rebounding, offensive rebounds are worth twice as much as defensive rebounds, steals are considered more valuable than blocks, and the age rating is based on my study of the typical development curve.

The higher a bar is above zero the better the prospect has performed in that category compared to the rest of the class, the lower below zero the worse he is compared to the class average.  The score in the P-AWS draft model is also shown as the grey ball floating generally above stats bars.

There are also tabs that break down where players score their points, two point shots, three pointers or at the free throw line, and one on usage and efficiency.

There are interactive filters for position, model ranking and player name.  Generally, I found this visualization more informative comparing players playing similar positions. Enjoy!

Hardwood Paroxysm