Posted: 8/24/2014 8:41 AM
Projected 2014-15 WARP: 14.3 | Win%: 66 percent
Davis has already blossomed into the kind of player the Pelicans hoped he'd be when they won the 2013 draft lottery and, at 21, he can still get much better. Davis' offensive game exploded last season as he put up the usage rate of a high-scoring wing and the true shooting percentage of a solid, close-to-the-basket big man. Add it all up and Davis' 15.1 WARP ranked fifth in the league. The other players to hit that WARP before reaching age 22: Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Shaquille O'Neal and Tracy McGrady.
While Davis claims the top projection by our new methodology, this system does hurt him a bit because his real plus-minus (RPM) values, while positive, suggest his impact doesn't quite boost his teammates as much as his production suggests it should. Don't worry, that part of his game will come next, along with a lot of MVP votes.
Projected 2014-15 WARP: 14.2 | Win%: 69 percent
Love's 20.2 WARP ranked third in the league behind James and Kevin Durant in 2013-14. The new methodology used for ranking purposes generates WARP scores a bit lower at the top end of the scale, but even though it's RPM-based that doesn't mean Love is penalized by an inability to impact a team's bottom line. His plus-6.4 RPM was elite, and he was positive on both ends of the floor. There are a lot of reasons Minnesota never made the playoffs with Love, but he was in no way one of those reasons.
Projected 2014-15 WARP: 13.3 | Win%: 65 percent
In many respects, including both statistically and stylistically, Griffin has evolved little as a professional player. Which is mostly fine, as his 37.2 WARP over the past three seasons puts him ahead of 98.5 percent of all NBA players. Griffin's one weakness is his performance has generally dropped off in the playoffs. Not much, but a little. For L.A. to eventually break loose on a title run, Griffin needs to explode when he's needed most. When Chris Paul was out last season, Griffin raised his level of play, especially as a playmaker, so it's good to know he has more in reserve if it's needed.
Projected 2014-15 WARP: 10.3 | Win%: 61 percent
Millsap was just as good last season in Atlanta as he was the season prior in Utah, which is plenty good, but for whatever reason he seemed to garner more attention after moving to Atlanta. His offensive arsenal evolved in Mike Budenholzer's system, as Millsap turned many of his midrange shots into 3-point attempts, which he converted at right about the league average. His usage rate jumped by 3.4 percent, which is why his true shooting percentage was stagnant despite the improved shot selection. Hopefully Millsap can ratchet up the efficiency with Al Horford back in the lineup. Even if he doesn't, Millsap is an extremely valuable two-way player.
Projected 2014-15 WARP: 9.8 | Win%: 59 percent
Smith has enough of a track record that his 1.6 WARP disaster from last season doesn't wreck his forecast going forward. He's still just 28, and healthy, so there is little reason he can't return to his days as a double-digit WARP performer -- if used correctly. That means putting a stop to habits like finishing 17 percent of his possessions with 3-point attempts, even though he made just 26 percent of them. One thing saving Smith's outlook is his RPM profile; it actually was positive on the offensive end and was again well in the black on defense. Stan Van Gundy will figure this out.
Projected 2014-15 WARP: 9.7 | Win%: 58 percent
Aldridge has had better seasons, but few seem to realize it after his volume shot up in the 2013-14 regular season and he left us with some breathtaking performances in the playoffs. He has to be careful, as his 30 percent usage rate is high for a big man, and his .507 true shooting percentage doesn't justify it. Not that it's that cut and dry. His offensive RPM was plus-2.6, and with his offensive arsenal focused on all those baseline face-ups, his turnover rate was very low. As long as Aldridge is impacting the team in a positive way, who's to complain?
Projected 2014-15 WARP: 8.8 | Win%: 58 percent
If the rumored trade does finally go down, you can see that in going from Love to Young, Minnesota would be losing about six wins of value from its starting power forward position. Young turned into a do-it-all performer toward the end of the Sixers' horrid 2013-14 season after Evan Turner was traded, showing heretofore unseen passing skills and using more possessions than ever. However, that's not his game on a good team.
Projected 2014-15 WARP: 8.6 | Win%: 57 percent
This ranking seems low for Ibaka, who has put up 9.6 or more WARP in three straight seasons, and is still at an age (24) when his numbers should be expected to improve. The disconnect is a product of RPM, where he was plus-0.4 on the offensive end -- the first positive season of his career -- while his defensive RPM slipped from plus-3.5 to plus-1.9. The hidden narrative is that it seems like the more Ibaka tries to do, the less he helps his team. That's a trend worth watching.
Projected 2014-15 WARP: 7.4 | Win%: 57 percent
With Faried eligible for an extension, there has been some debate about just how valuable his style of play actually is. There are legitimate reasons for the concern. He's turned into a high-volume offensive performer, and his percentages mostly justify that approach. He's good off the offensive glass and gets to the foul line, keeping his offensive RPM positive. However, his defensive profile is disappointing, and last season his RPM on that end sank to minus-1.6. The bottom line is that while Faried's style of play has evolved considerably over three seasons, his overall value has been stagnant.
Projected 2014-15 WARP: 7.3 | Win%: 57 percent
Johnson is among the players benefiting the most by our reliance on RPM in the new ranking methodology. Johnson's 3.7 WARP last season was nothing special, but he was getting 29 minutes per game on a Raptors team enjoying its best season, so he must have been doing something right. Indeed, his plus-6.1 RPM was outstanding, and he split that up on both ends of the floor. In fact, he's been plus-3.2 or better on defense for three seasons running. He fits in well with Toronto's collection of underappreciated standouts.
Next five: Dirk Nowitzki, Ryan Anderson, Derrick Favors, Tim Duncan, Terrence Jones
Come on now, Nowitzki and Duncan are a combined 76 years old. The aging curves are what drags down their projections, though their level of play has never fallen off from elite. They're old, they're good and you shouldn't head to Vegas to wager that either one will indeed finish out of the top 10.
Also notable: Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic, David West, Zach Randolph, David Lee, Kevin Garnett
Some big names are projected to succumb to the ravages of age, and all have already shown signs of slippage. Mirotic, on the other hand, is just getting started and projects better than any other rookie to make an immediate impact.
Last edited 8/24/2014 8:42 AM by NardDog41
Posted: 8/24/2014 8:48 AM
Posted: 8/24/2014 9:33 AM
Last edited 8/24/2014 9:36 AM by MavsFanRy
Posted: 8/24/2014 9:51 AM
Last edited 8/24/2014 9:54 AM by vg2011
Posted: 8/24/2014 9:55 AM
There you have it...HAL is justified in saying Dirk is an avearage player now.
Posted: 8/24/2014 10:13 AM
Posted: 8/24/2014 10:18 AM
Last edited 8/24/2014 10:20 AM by markus1234
Posted: 8/24/2014 11:30 AM
Posted: 8/24/2014 12:04 PM
Posted: 8/24/2014 2:25 PM
Posted: 8/24/2014 3:13 PM
Last edited 8/24/2014 3:17 PM by stowfan
Posted: 8/24/2014 3:23 PM
Posted: 8/24/2014 3:37 PM
Posted: 8/24/2014 3:50 PM
Posted: 8/24/2014 3:51 PM
stowfan wrote: My list would go:ADLMABGDirkDuncanLove
Posted: 8/24/2014 4:07 PM
Benskix2 wrote: Well at least now we know we can ignore WARP.
Posted: 8/24/2014 4:20 PM
Posted: 8/24/2014 4:43 PM
Posted: 8/24/2014 4:47 PM
markus1234 wrote: Anthony Daviesespn.go.com/nba/boxscore?id=400489422Lamarcus Aldridgeespn.go.com/nba/boxscore?id=400489171and Blake Griffinespn.go.com/nba/boxscore?id=400490001...are still not better than Dirk.
Posted: 8/24/2014 5:07 PM