Wizards Doppelgangers: The Enigmas

otto porter

In case you missed them, I’ve done two installments using my Statistical Doppelganger Machine to look at the player seasons most similar to Wizards (similar production at similar age):

Here’s a look at low-minute Wizards for whom finding comps was challenging because of their scant playing time: Otto Porter, Glen Rice Jr., and Garrett Temple.

Let’s start with the guy likely to play the biggest role for the team this season: Porter.

PLAYER POS SEASON AGE TEAM SIM SCORE PPA SEASON PPA PEAK
Otto Porter SF 2013-14 20 WAS 100 15 15
Lance Stephenson SG 2011-12 21 IND 87 14 116
Cory Joseph SF 2011-12 20 SAS 86 18 94
Jumaine Jones SF 2003-04 24 BOS 86 24 98
Quincy Pondexter SF 2010-11 22 NOH 86 38 67
Shawne Williams SF 2006-07 20 IND 85 39 53
Kareem Rush SG 2002-03 22 LAL 85 3 53
Brandon Bass PF 2005-06 20 NOK 85 37 116
Kevin Martin SG 2004-05 21 SAC 84 32 162
Kedrick Brown SF 2002-03 21 BOS 84 44 97
Gerald Henderson SG 2009-10 22 CHA 84 36 99

Wizards fans know Porter had what amounts to a lost rookie season. He missed training camp with a hip injury, barely played, and was terrible when he did play. When I post my projections Wednesday, I’ll go through a couple different ways I dealt with predicting his performance, but the exercise today is NBA similars.

The list of similars was something of a pleasant surprise. It’s basically a list of players who had a disastrously bad season and then (for the most part) went on to become contributors. That said, “contributors” is a broad term. As a group, Porter’s similars tended to peak young (average age 23.4) and low (average peak PPA: 88). But, they all improved the following season — generally by a bunch.

And, the list includes Kevin Martin, who’s been a good player for nearly a decade, and Lance Stephenson who became an above average performer this season — and is likely to continue improving.

PLAYER POS SEASON AGE TEAM SIM SCORE PPA SEASON PPA PEAK
Glen Rice Jr. SG 2013-14 23 WAS 100 20 20
Scott Padgett PF 1999-00 23 UTA 90 20 96
Will Barton G/F 2012-13 22 POR 87 28 60
Quincy Douby SF 2006-07 22 SAC 86 34 34
Orlando Johnson SG 2012-13 23 IND 85 60 60
Reggie Jackson G 2011-12 21 OKC 84 32 101
Bostjan Nachbar SF 2003-04 23 HOU 84 24 84
Ronnie Price G 2006-07 23 SAC 84 40 54
Thabo Sefolosha SG 2006-07 22 CHI 84 31 129
Nolan Smith G 2011-12 23 POR 84 10 10
Kevin Brooks SF 1992-93 23 DEN 84 18 34

While Porter’s comps were somewhat comforting, it’s difficult to say the same about Rice’s. Like Porter’s list, Rice’s similars tended to peak early (average age: 24.0), but even lower (average peak PPA: 62). But, Will Barton and Reggie Jackson are both still works in progress. And, a few more had a productive season or two in which they helped their team, and one (Sefolosha) became a decent role-playing starter.

All that said, Rice played just 109 total minutes last season. The players who performed like him (similar age, similar production) isn’t a list all-time greats, but that shouldn’t be expected from a second round pick. There’s little reason to think Rice will be unable to work himself into being a contributor.

PLAYER POS SEASON AGE TEAM SIM SCORE PPA SEASON PPA PEAK
Garrett Temple G 2013-14 27 WAS 100 24 60
Rick Carlisle G 1985-86 26 BOS 89 28 28
Pace Mannion SF 1987-88 27 MIL 88 30 61
Pace Mannion SF 1983-84 23 GSW 88 32 61
David Wingate SG 1994-95 31 CHH 88 32 89
Dudley Bradley SG 1985-86 28 WSB 86 60 102
Jason Hart PG 2005-06 27 SAC 86 13 119
Ronnie Price PG 2012-13 29 POR 86 14 54
Randy Brown PG 1995-96 27 CHI 86 50 86
Royal Ivey PG 2006-07 25 ATL 86 38 38
Reece Gaines PG 2003-04 23 ORL 85 11 20

Temple may have been the most difficult player to project because so many of the guys who produced like he did last season didn’t have a follow-up year. In other words, the league took a collective look at players like Temple, and decided to sign Someone Else.

Players like Temple peaked low (average peak PPA: 65) and fairly young (25.5). Two of the 10 most similar got significantly worse the following season, four got better, and four stayed about the same. The list certainly doesn’t offer much hope for improvement.

Later today: Bump and Bruise.

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