DETERMINING THE VALUE OF NBA DRAFT PICKS USING ADVANCED STATISTICS
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractEach year the NBA draft provides an opportunity for NBA teams to strengthen their rosters by drafting new players or trading draft picks for established players. The NBA draft plays a vital role in building an NBA roster. Small market teams that do not have the power to attract star free agents heavily rely on the draft to improve their roster. The objective of this study is to determine the value of NBA draft picks by evaluating the average production of players selected at each draft pick. This paper establishes the average value of a player that you can expect to draft at each pick. Advanced statistics of each player drafted in the first and second round between the 1979 and 2015 NBA draft are used to determine the value of draft position. The average Player Efficiency Rating (PER) and Win Shares (WS) of a player during their 5 prime years are used to determine the value yielded by each player. The results of this study suggest that the value of the 1st overall pick is much greater than all other picks. The value of draft position decays very quickly between the 1st and 10th pick,and then begins to decay at a slower rate. This study results in a model that is able to predict the value of a draft pick with almost 90% accuracy. The study also found that it is much easier to predict that value of a first-round pick than a second-round pick.This study also took a further look athow well teams have drafted, and which draft classes have been the best. The San Antonio Spurs have been the best drafting team since 1979, and the 1984 draft class ranks highest in PER and WS. The data from this study assigns a relative value to each draft pick. This knowledge may help NBA teams when trading draft picks to determine if the return is worth the value of the draft pick they are trading away.
Degree ProgramManagement Information Systems