Month: May 2011

What’s It Worth?

When Jimmy Johnson was running the Dallas Cowboys, he directed a staffer to develop a system that placed values on draft picks. That “draft pick value” sheet became the basis for how the Cowboys evaluated draft-day trade proposals and became the de facto standard for the league.

If such a chart exists for the NBA, I’m not aware of it. So, using Neil Paine’s work at basketball-reference, I created an NBA Draft Value chart setting the top pick to 100 and scaling all other picks below.

Is it “exact”? Of course not. This is based on historical averages — the actual value of a pick is likely to vary year to year depending on who’s in the draft. The number one pick when Lebron was available was a more valuable commodity than the number pick this season.

But, for an approximate value measure to evaluate trades of picks — it could be a useful tool. The idea is that by comparing outgoing and incoming DV points, we can tell how a team is doing with its trade. For example, let’s say the Wizards want to trade for 3rd pick in the draft. That pick has a DV of 74. So, to get that pick, the Wiz would have to come up with 74 DV points (or equivalent NBA veterans) to pry the pick from Utah.

What the chart below suggests is that it would be reasonable for Washington to offer the 6th pick (57 DV) and the 34th pick (16 DV) for the 3rd. The Wiz would be trading 73 DV for a pick worth 74. If the Wiz wanted to offer a “premium” to persuade Utah to move down, the Wiz could offer a future 2nd round pick.

Without further ado, here’s the chart:

Pick DV

1

100

2

83

3

74

4

67

5

62

6

57

7

54

8

51

9

48

10

45

11

43

12

41

13

39

14

37

15

35

16

34

17

33

18

31

19

30

20

29

21

28

22

26

23

25

24

25

25

23

26

23

27

22

28

21

29

20

30

19

31

18

32

18

33

17

34

16

35

15

36

15

37

14

38

14

39

13

40

12

41

12

42

11

43

11

44

10

45

9

46

9

47

8

48

8

49

8

50

7

51

6

52

6

53

6

54

5

55

5

56

4

57

4

58

3

59

3

60

3

I’ll likely be refining this chart a bit in the future, but it seems okay to Ye Olde Eyeball Test.

Let me know your thoughts.

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