Part I (10 through 6) of this list consisted generally of guys who weren’t particularly bad in college, but are projected as first round picks despite the fact that teams can snag much better players in their place. 5 through 1 consists of guys who are not only first round picks, but who were flat out unproductive, and frankly, whose numbers suggest that they have no business being drafted at all, let alone relatively high.
5. Tony Wroten
- Class: Freshman
- Position: Point Guard
- Draft Position: Late 1st Round
- Win Score (Adjusted for Strength of Schedule and Position): 3.9 (Turrrible)
I don’t have Wroten on this list just because I’m a Husky-hating Coug fan. He’s here because his production was abysmal. Sure, Wroten is super athletic. Indeed, he wins in all the athlete categories: he’s good at rebounding, creating turnovers, and blocking shots. But when you take into account his dismal shooting (and it’s really, really bad), his inability to pass, and his extremely high turnover rates, Wroten doesn’t look like a guy I’d want to take in the first round. His effective field goal percentage was 45% (much lower than the average point guard’s 49%), his 3-point percentage was 16% (SIXTEEN PERCENT!), and he only managed to make 58% of his free throws (that’s Shaq territory). Also, his 0.99 assist/turnover ratio was substantially lower than the 1.8 posted by the average point guard in this year’s draft class. Not exactly what you want from your first round point guard.
4. Perry Jones
- Class: Sophomore
- Position: Power Forward
- Draft Position: Mid 1st Round
- Win Score (Adjusted for Strength of Schedule and Position): 5.7 (Bad)
Before Baylor fans start sending me hate mail, let me start by saying that Quincy Acy is actually quite productive. Ok, now that that’s out of the way, Perry Jones is pretty bad. But, boy does he look like he’s good. Chad Ford praises Jones by saying he “runs the floor like a deer.” That sounds a lot like an aesthetic positive to me. I don’t care if a guy runs the floor like a rhinoceros if he can produce wins. But Jones runs like a deer and is not particularly good at shooting, rebounding, or creating possessions on defense. Yes, he’s super athletic and long. But to reiterate something I said in the comments of Part 1, there is no evidence that athletic guys or guys with great size improve more than their small, non-athletic counterparts early in their careers. The bottom line is that production in college is the best indicator of production in the NBA (not perfect, but the best). I’ll pass on Jones.
Who Should You Take Instead? Tyler Zeller.
3. Marquis Teague
- Class: Freshman
- Position: Point Guard
- Draft Position: Mid to Late 1st Round
- Win Score (Adjusted for Strength of Schedule and Position): 2.5 (Just Awful)
Marquis Teague isn’t just bad for a draft prospect. He is worse than the average college point guard. He is the 100th most productive player in Draft Express’s top 100 prospects. And he’s supposed to be a first round pick. What’s the big deal about this guy? In Chad Ford’s “positives,” he lists that Teague is fast four times, then argues that he is a good finisher and had has good court vision. Ok, he’s fast, so what? Tyson Gay is fast. Usain Bolt is fast. Maybe I should draft one of them with my first round pick. Maybe Teague does have good court vision. After all, he has slightly above average assist numbers. But he can’t rebound, he can’t steal the ball, he certainly can’t score (45% effective, 32% from 3, and only 12 points per 40 vs. the average PG’s 49%, 35%, 18 points/40), and he turns the ball over too much. Anthony Davis can make anyone seem good I guess. That and being fast.
2. Austin Rivers
- Class: Freshman
- Position: Shooting Guard
- Draft Position: Lottery
- Win Score (Adjusted for Strength of Schedule and Position): 3.1 (Just Awful)
Just for fun, here’s a list of college shooting guards who played at least 500 minutes and were more productive than Austin Rivers:
Aaron Graham, Alan Jones, Alex Marcotullio, Alzee Williams, Ameer Ali, Andre Dawkins, Andrew Ferry, Anson Winder, Anthony Downing, Anthony Marshall, Anthony Myers, Anthony Raffa, Antonio Barton, Arlon Harper, Austin Hollins, B.J. Young, Ben Brust, Ben Drayton, Bernard Thompson, Billy Baron, Blake Allen, Brady Heslip, Brandon Richardson, Brandon Thompson, Brandon Triche, Brandon Wheeless, Brandon Wood, Brayden Carlson, Brett Olson, Brian Bryant, Brian Walsh, Briante Weber, Bryce Cotton, Bryson Johnson, C.J. Harris, C.J. Williams, Cameron Ayers, Charles Abouo, Charles Winborne, Charlon Kloof, Chase Tapley, Chasson Randle, Chris Crawford, Chris McNealy, Chris Perez, Chris Smith, Christian Moon, Christophe Varidel, Christopher Tolson, Corey Maynard, Corey Wickware, Coron Williams, Corvonn Gaines, D.J. Brown, Dane Smith, D'Angelo Harrison, Daniel Mullings, Dantrell Thomas, Darian Norris, Darian Thibodeaux, Darien Brothers, Darion Rackley, Darius Johnson-Odom, Darius Miller, David Kyles, DaVonte Lacy, Daylon Guy, Deividas Dulkys, DeJuan Wright, Demetrius Ward, Derek Jackson, Deremy Geiger, Desmond Wade, Devoe Joseph, Dimitri Batten, Dion Dixon, Dion Waiters, D'Mitri Riggs, Dominic Cheek, Dominique Buckley, Dontay Hampton, Dorian Green, Doron Lamb, Doug Davis, Drew Hanlen, Dustin Ware, Dylan Royer, Dylon Cormier, Elijah Johnson, Eric Atkins, Eric Evans, Francisco Cruz, Frank Massenat, Gary Bell, Gary Browne, Gerardo Suero, Greg Gantt, Harold Washington, Hugh Greenwood, Ian Miller, Isaiah Sykes, Isaiah Wilkerson, Isiah Umipig, J.P. Kuhlman, J.R. Cadot, Jack Isenbarger, Jahenns Manigat, James Fields, James Kinney, Jared Cunningham, Jared Maree, Jarvis Jones, Jason Calliste, J'Covan Brown, Jean Harris, Jeff Early, Jeff Elorriaga, Jeff Jones, Jeremiah Kelly, Jeremy Ingram, Jeremy Lamb, Jerime Andersen, Jewuan Long, Joel Smith, John Jenkins, Johnny Dee, Johnny Moran, Jordair Jett, Jordan Burgason, Jorge Gutierrez, Joseph Young, Josh Johnson, Josh Jones, Justin Edwards, Justin Hawkins, Kaipo Sabas, Kannon Burrage, Karl Cochran, Keaton Cole, Keith Gabriel, Keith Pickens, Ken Cerroni, Kendall Anthony, Kendrix Brown, Kenny Boynton, Kevin Dukes, Kevin Foster, Kevin Foster, Kevin Pangos, Khalif Wyatt, Khris Middleton, Kyle Boswell, Kyle Fogg, LaMarcus Reed, Lamont Jones, Langston Galloway, Larry Anderson, Lasan Kromah, Lenzelle Smith Jr., London Giles, Lorne Merthie, Mackey McKnight, Malik Story, Marcos Knight, Mardracus Wade, Mark Lyons, Matt Brown, Matt Dickey, Matt Gatens, Matt Griffin, Matt Pressey, Michael Harper, Mike James, Mike McCall, Myles Mack, Nic Simpson, Nick Niernczyk, Nori Johnson, Oliver McNally, Parker Smith, Preston Medlin, Preston Purifoy, Raijon Kelly, Ramon Galloway, Randal Holt, Rayvonte Rice, Reggie Bullock, Reggie Chamberlain, Robert Olson, Robert Williams, Roberto Nelson, Ryan Boatright, Ryne Smith, Sam Maniscalco, Sammy Zeglinski, Sandro Carissimo, Scott Christopherson, Sei Paye, Seth Curry, Shane Gibson, Shane Larkin, Shaquille Johnson, Shay Shine, Sheldon Cooley, Stephen Holt, Stephon Carter, Steven Pledger, Stu Douglass, T.J. DiLeo, T.T. Carey, Taevaunn Prince, Tevin Svihovec, Tim Peete, Tony Nixon, Tony Wroten, Travis Smith, Trent Lockett, Trevon Harmon, Trevor Gaskins, Trevor Lacey, Trey Finn, Troy Taylor, Tyler Johnson, Tyler Lee, Tyrus McGee, TyShwan Edmondson, Walter Offutt, Warren Niles, Wesley Davis, Westly Perryman, Will Bogan, Worrel Clahar, Zach Bailey, Zach Filzen
And that’s not even considering the college small forwards that would play shooting guard if they were in the NBA. Ok, that’s fine, maybe Rivers is really bad at one stat that brings his win score down, but good in places that give him promise. Let’s look at how he compares to his peers:
Austin Rivers compared to Draft Express Top 100 Shooting Guards. All stats are adjusted to per 40 minutes.
|Player||DE Top 100 SG||Austin Rivers|
|Effective Field Goal %||0.538||0.505|
|True Shooting %||0.589||0.551|
|3 Point Shooting %||0.386||0.365|
|Free Throw %||0.772||0.658|
I haven’t seen that much red since, well since last time I argued that Austin Rivers is a bad draft prospect. This guy can’t even score points! at an above average rate, what exactly does he bring to the table? His dad was good? Chad Ford sums it up (unintentionally) hilariously well:
- Extremely confident
- Good shooter with deep range
- Sick crossover move, very quick
- Nice floater
- Skilled ball handler
- Has a killer instinct on the floor
Is that list serious? He’s extremely confident? Tupac was extremely confident, but I didn’t want him on my basketball team. He has a “sick” crossover move? That’s analysis? Hot Sauce had a sick crossover move, but I didn’t want him on my NBA basketball team. Rivers can’t be that great of a shooter or he’d have better shooting percentages. He has a nice floater? Great. So why doesn’t he shoot a higher percentage or score more? He has a killer instinct. The list sells itself. If you like watching shows like Ghost Hunters or Finding Bigfoot, take Austin Rivers in the lottery. I’ll stick with guys who are objectively good.
1. Harrison Barnes
- Class: Sophomore
- Position: Small Forward
- Draft Position: Top 5
- Win Score (Adjusted for Strength of Schedule and Position): 4.9 (Turrrible)
What’s worse than a terrible lottery pick from Duke? A terrible top 5 pick from UNC! Barnes isn’t quite as bad as *shutter* Rivers or Teague, but he’s expected to go top 5 – a pick that teams will intentionally destroy their seasons to get.
Barnes is everything a GM wants – he has great size, he is one of the most athletic guys in the draft, and he can score from anywhere (or at least that’s what they say) – except for one thing: he isn’t good. Let’s take a look at how Barnes stacks up against the competition:
Harrison Barnes compared to Draft Express Top 100 Small Forwards. All stats are adjusted to per 40 minutes.
|Player||DE Top 100 SF||Harrison Barnes|
|Effective Field Goal %||0.517||0.487|
|True Shooting %||0.559||0.539|
|3 Point Shooting %||0.359||0.358|
|Free Throw %||0.698||0.723|
Barnes is the epitome of the basketball player that fools the masses with everyone’s favorite stat. Yeah, he scores a lot of points. But it’s only because he shoots so much. His shooting percentages are poor. So in reality, he’s not a good scorer. He’s good at taking a lot of shots. But anyone can do that. And when you look deeper into his numbers, you see he’s not particularly good at anything. Obviously, that’s not what you dismantled your team for.
Who Should You Take Instead? Throw a dart at your draft board and it’s probably better.