Re-Drafting the 2009 NBA Draft Using Advanced Analytics
In case you don't have this committed to memory, this is how the top 10 played out in 2009 NBA Draft. Each selection is accompanied by their career measures in value over replacement player (VORP), nERD (our in-house measure of a player's overall contribution, in terms of efficiency), win shares per 48 minutes, and total win shares.
|1||Los Angeles Clippers||Blake Griffin||23.5||52.5||57.7||.180|
|2||Memphis Grizzlies||Hasheem Thabeet||0.4||0.1||4.8||.099|
|3||Oklahoma City Thunder||James Harden||37.0||91.4||84.2||.211|
|4||Sacramento Kings||Tyreke Evans||10.7||-18.3||23.3||.076|
|5||Minnesota Timberwolves||Ricky Rubio||8.2||-4.5||19.4||.095|
|6||Minnesota Timberwolves||Jonny Flynn||-2.7||-19.7||-1.1||-.015|
|7||Golden State Warriors||Stephen Curry||38.2||79.8||77.5||.201|
|8||New York Knicks||Jordan Hill||0.1||0.9||16.4||.103|
|9||Toronto Raptors||DeMar DeRozan||4.5||-0.5||40.0||.101|
|10||Milwaukee Bucks||Brandon Jennings||10.9||-10.4||29.0||.088|
Outside of his recent injury issues, Blake Griffin has proven his worth as the number one overall selection. He started it off by winning Rookie of the Year and has since followed it up as a four-time All-NBA performer with five All-Star appearances in six-plus seasons. He has made a very effective sidekick for Chris Paul in the Los Angeles Clippers' rise in the Western Conference.
In disparity, Hasheem Thabeet played just five seasons in the NBA and hasn't made an appearance since the 2013-14 season. The former Connecticut product played for four teams, never averaging more than 13 minutes or 3.1 points per game. Can you say bust?
One player who is certainly not a bust? James Harden. After the Oklahoma City Thunder were forced to trade the Beard, he's taken up residence in Houston as one of the most offensively-gifted players in the Association.
After the top three, we get to two middle-of-the-road players in Tyreke Evans and Ricky Rubio. Evans has played for two teams in his time in the league while Rubio has stuck with the Minnesota Timberwolves throughout. What they have in common, though, is that they have yet to develop into top-five caliber players.
Jonny Flynn joins Thabeet as the most disappointing picks of the top 10. He, like the aforementioned big man, is no longer in the league and hasn't played basketball professionally since 2014.
Picks 7 through 10 are all still active NBA players and have enjoyed successful careers thus far. The difference between them is that Stephen Curry and DeMar DeRozan are All-Stars whilst Jordan Hill and Brandon Jennings -- both respectable rotation players -- have fallen short of expectations.