Re-Drafting the 2011 NBA Draft Using Advanced Analytics
To recap, here are the top 10 picks of the 2011 NBA Draft, including each player's career measures in value over replacement player (VORP), nERD, win shares per 48 minutes, and total win shares.
Leading into the draft, it's very fitting that the only question about Irving was his health.
He was coming off a freshman season in which he missed 26 of 37 games with a toe injury, so teams had a very small sample size to go off of. What they did have in front of them was nothing short of impressive, so it's not surprising that Irving still became the first name called on draft night.
As for the other names on this list of 10, they were all the names everyone was talking about. From the standout college stars (Derrick Williams, Tristan Thompson, Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker and Jimmer Fredette) to the young international prospects (Enes Kanter, Jonas Valanciunas, Jan Vesely and Bismack Biyombo), everything stuck to chalk for the most part.
Five years later, these guys haven't exactly set the world on fire. They have, nonetheless, been at least notable contributors to the NBA. Irving's now an everyday name, and Walker is poised to become an All-Star, while the foursome of bigs -- Kanter, Thompson, Valanciunas and Biyombo -- have all gotten paid over the last two years.
Having bounced around between three teams in five seasons, Knight is the 'tweener of the group. We're still unsure what he can produce in a full, healthy season in one place. The numbers and flashes of brilliance are there, though.
As for the other three, to date, they have failed to put a stamp on the league in any remarkable way.