The Euro Rankings

“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

This offseason has progressed for me like a personal checklist:

  • Rank all the draft prospects and rank them (Check)
  • Prepare a list of all the free agents (Check)
  • Create a full historical database using new Wins Produced and rank all the players (Check , Double Check and Triple Check)
  • Quantify the running value of a win under the new CBA (Check)
  • Develop an improved Age Model (Check)

What’s the point of all this? We’re building towards the ability to quickly project and forecast all teams and players for the coming season in the offseason and evaluate offseason moves. It’s part of our continuing efforts to build and create a better framework and model for what we do. I’m not the only one building in that direction either. Better tools are coming (as well as some other gadgets).

With that in mind, I really had one big gap remaining to be addressed: the European situation.

Not that one. At least not today.

Actually what I need is to build a model to map performance in European basketball leagues to NBA performance. This is not a new need. What’s kept me from doing it before is the lack of consolidated available data sources. In short, I had to do it all by hand. Additionally, I had to come up with a map from the available data to new Wins Produced. The time investment and the lack of sources had stopped me before.

No longer. Thanks to the database at draftexpress (which covers all prospects playing in the Euro league, Euro Cup, Spanish,Italian,Greek or Adriatic league) and the previously mentioned historical database I had the tools I needed to get it done, with a little bit of effort on my part of course.

The map has always been the biggest problem actually. The main challenge coming from the lack of data. That said I looked for all the players I could find making the transition from 2006 on and the shift in overall production. The result was an average drop of -.075 in raw productivity per 48 minutes or in simpler terms, players coming from Europe drop a level (i.e. Superstar to Star, Star to Average, Average to Scrub, Srub to,well, Bargs).

But that skipped a couple of steps. Let’s get to them before the payoff.

Let’s start with mapping the available stats to Wins Produced. For that I used the historical Wins Produced database since 1978 and worked out Win Score per 48. The equations for Wins Score per 48 are

Win Score =  PTS + STL + ORB + 0.5*DRB + 0.5*AST + 0.5*BLK – TOV – FGA –0.5*FTA – 0.5*PF

Win Score per 48 (WS48) = 48* Win Score/Minutes played

Then I mapped it to Raw Wins Produced per 48 (ADJP48). The result looks like so:

That gives me a nice, nifty little equation for simply converting WS48, which is easily calculated from simple boxscore stats to ADJP8 with a very high correlation.

The next step is to download all the data from draftexpress for 2012 and calculate the estimated WP48 for all the listed player. That data is here or if you feel like playing:

Euro Data

Then I added the totals across all competition, threw in the calculated adjustment to NBA numbers and for grins threw in projections for ex or current NBA players based on their numbers. Anyone else feel an infograph coming at them?

Some thoughts on this.

  • Andrei Kirilenko was the best player in Europe. He will be very good in the NBA next year. The Twolves are legit.
  • The signing with the most potential for impact next year other than AK47 is Dionte Christmas for the Celtics. He was fabulous in Europe last year and has a chance to be a legit replacement for Ray Allen for the Celtics. I am very happy about this.
  • A dark horse could be Pablo Prigioni, a legit vet signed by the Knicks. Pablo was not as good last year as he’s been previously but could surprise. Can you Pablo-sanity?

I leave you with the list of the best remaining free agents in Europe in the draft express database:

Player Team Position WP48
Games MP WP48 NBA
Zack Wright Rethymno 1 0.257 22 640 0.178
Linton Johnson Avellino 3.5 0.220 30 930 0.141
Drake Diener Sassari 1.5 0.216 35 1232 0.137
Taylor Rochestie Le Mans 1 0.210 36 1219 0.131
Viktor Sanikidze Virtus Bologna 3.5 0.174 33 1079 0.095
Marcus Slaughter Bamberg 3.5 0.168 10 259 0.089
Milan Macvan Partizan 4.5 0.168 10 316 0.089
Blake Schilb Chalon 2.5 0.168 30 876 0.089
Bo Mccalebb Siena 1 0.166 51 1345 0.087
Dimitris Diamantidis Panathinaikos 1.5 0.165 52 1340 0.086
Brent Petway Rethymno 3.5 0.164 26 689 0.085
James Augustine Murcia 4.5 0.164 34 935 0.085
Ricardo Greer Strasbourg 3.5 0.158 30 951 0.079
Lamont Hamilton Paris-Levallois 4.5 0.156 28 812 0.077
Romel Beck Ikaros 2.5 0.154 16 402 0.075
Jon Diebler Panionios 2 0.154 33 858 0.075
Vladimir Panic Lasko 2 0.152 8 283 0.073
David Simon Radnicki 4.5 0.150 26 759 0.071




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