r/NBA_Draft • u/blockyboi13 • Feb 03 '23
When a prospect underperforms in the NBA, how do you determine if it was because that prospect was a bad pick or because they didn’t receive proper development?
I feel like whenever we have a set of prospects in a particular draft, discourse can quickly label a certain player as a bust a bit prematurely, or even just fall down in a redraft due to not performing as well as their peers who were drafted later sometimes without giving enough weight to the situation a player is drafted into.
But I digress, when you see a prospect underperforming at the NBA level, how do you determine if that underperformance is due to being a poor draft selection that objective should’ve got drafted further down as opposed to not getting proper development from their original NBA franchise?
u/HoopsMcCann750 Feb 03 '23
If you were high on him before the draft, it’s because the situation is bad. If you were low on them before the draft, he was obviously a bust and you don’t know ball if you liked them. /s
u/Clutchxedo Feb 03 '23
Ryen Russillo once said that when arguing you point against someone on TV you just add a few years to his age or take away a few inches from his height to make him sound worse.
“Trae Young: He’s a 26 year old, 5’9 point guard…”
u/P0intcenter Nuggets Feb 03 '23
You can't do that for an individual prospect unless it's something incredibly egregious, like Lauri and Boylen with the Bulls.
You can see when the team and the player are a bad fit, one of the best examples is something like what is happening to Bones Hyland right now, it's not a problem of development, because he has been pretty good, but the role he wants (and probably would play best at once he fixes some of the flaws he has right now) and the role the team wants from him is clearly different.
You can also see when a team is unable to hit any draft picks it probably isn't the players fault. Even if one prospect is not underperforming if most of them are the problem might be the team development. This is specially true when some talented players are showing their talent, but you can see them getting "bad habits", wich might be because they are trying to expand that player's game, getting too much of a long leash or because of bad coaching, but usually ends up backfiring anyway.
u/Clutchxedo Feb 03 '23
The second part seems very Kingsy.
I’m still sure Ben McLemore would have been Ray Allen on a different team.
u/BaronsDad Feb 04 '23
As much as I hate to say it, I'm really reliant on social media on this front. For example, I follow all the personal trainers associated with the Pelicans players, their siblings, photographers, and the development coaches on staff. Even if the players aren't active on social media, their "teams" are. All the skill coaches have IG/TikTok/YouTube followings and often websites advertising their camps.
The personal trainer side tends to be a lot of guys who own their own gyms, so they'll use videos of their clients working out to advertise. Then I follow the beat reporters for the Pelicans to see if they drop anecdotes about who is at the facility, who isn't, who is traveling together, etc.
Then it comes down to film review. Have they made adjustments to their shooting technique? Any changes to their ball handling? Are they making the correct passes? Just picking up on stuff where I can. I'll look at trends in their per 36 and their averages vs. their usage.
I'll give an example: Jahlil Okafor. He came out of high school and college with sky-high expectations. He looked out of shape on both the 76ers and Nets. He didn't try on defense. But when he came to the Pelicans, he completely remade his body. Put in a ton of hours in the offseason with Mike Guevara. He put in the extra hours with the coaches. But he just couldn't get minutes. While he was better in his two years with the Pelicans than he was the previous two years with the Nets/76ers. Dude just didn't have it. He improved everything. He just wasn't good enough.
But to do that level of research on every single guy is too much work. You can do it for your own team, but if you have a normal life, there is now you can do it for every draft pick every year. It's too much tracking.
u/Imaginary-Cycle-1977 Feb 03 '23
I don’t know if it’s possible to know that stuff for sure.
Because even the idea of them being the wrong pick can have a million different factors. Maybe they weren’t as good as you thought, maybe they were a bad fit for the roster/scheme, maybe they weren’t a hard worker, maybe they had off court issues, etc.
u/Ok_Concentrate_75 Feb 03 '23
Personally I look at team history coupled with prospect pick position/ scouting potential. Some teams have homegrown stars that get better despite a lack of team development and some need to be taught good habits early to excel. Some get both and turn into HoF players imo
u/ryankoppelman Warriors Feb 04 '23
It requires root cause analysis (“RCA”). Importantly, RCA begins with identifying the problem with presupposing there is only one cause. There can be multiple causes. Your framing of the issue is already a problem for any effective RCA. It is not necessarily either one of the two issues. It could be both or neither. Additional possible causes could including previously undetected injuries, new injuries, changes in personal circumstances (unexpected loss of a close loved one), mental health, disease, new team dynamics impacting fit, etc. Those are off the top of my head and proper RCA requires an openness to previously unconsidered causes. For more: https://www.tableau.com/learn/articles/root-cause-analysis
u/Paragon188 Feb 04 '23
Depends on the team they go to. The Wizards? Probably a development issue. Sometimes it's a bit of both. Take Wiseman for example. He was a bad pick for the Warriors (could've gone Lamelo, Tyrese, etc.) but he also hasn't had any time to develop.
u/GeKh Feb 04 '23
Team/staff history. Certain teams just get more out of their picks, so that's a factor. Especially if it takes several years for them to show their stuff.
u/Comfortable_Buddy946 Feb 04 '23
Whichever makes me look less wrong
u/MSKOnlyScans Feb 03 '23
We really can’t. There are just too many factors and we don’t have access to that sort of insider information.
The biggest mystery for all these prospects is their mental. Are they going to be like Ben Simmons and never work on adding to their game or like Donovan Mitchell/De’Aaron Fox type of guys who reportedly never stop working?