Re-Drafting the 2006 NBA Draft Using Advanced Analytics
Since Dirk Nowitzki was drafted back in 1999, we haven't seen an international superstar of his kind in the NBA. However, the flashes of brilliance and recent play of Kristaps Porzingis provide hope that we're finally seeing the growth of "the next Dirk." The same could be argued for Giannis Antetokounmpo, as well.
In the 14 to 15 years between, we saw a lull in international stardom. There have been some really good players, like the Gasol brothers, but not one top-notch superstar.
Analysts and draft gurus expected a lot of players to fill that bill, but they never panned out. A lot of them failed to make it in the NBA, period. That wasn't any more true than in the 2006 draft, when the Detroit Pistons learned the risk to the promise of reward the hard way.
That being said, in retrospect, what would happen differently?
With the aid of advanced analytics -- including an emphasis on value over replacement player (VORP), a box score estimate of the points per 100 possessions a player contributed above a replacement-level player translated to a league-average team -- here's what would change.