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Weekend Post #1: One Possible Measure of Success

February 12, 2010

It OKURed to me the other day how few lottery picks the Jazz have had. We might be a whole lot more successful than the Clippers, but between 1984 (the greatest draft of all time) and 2009, the Clippers had 18 Top 10 draft picks, to our one. Yes, one. It’s not just about superstars or longevity: Chicago, despite having had Michael Jordan, had 17 Top 10 draft picks in that span.*

There are many ways to measure the success of an NBA team: attendance, revenues, Playoff appearances, championships, wins, dumbest bandwagon fans, jerseys sold, longest rap sheets, hottest wives, most All-Stars, etc. Today (not that I will be looking at the other measures on another day), I will look at which franchises have done the most with the least, i.e. which teams have done the best job of capitalizing on opportunity given via the draft, and which have squandered their opportunities. The flipside, of course, is which franchises have been able to (incredibly) find success without the draft.

First (1), I took a look at how many Top 10 draft picks* franchises had between 1984 and 2009. Second (2), for equalization purposes for expansion teams, I took into account how many years each team has been in the league. Third (3), the average win percentage of teams between 1984 and 2009 was introduced into the equation.

The results (click all images to enlarge):

In short, the house that Larry built–it’s a real good one. Meanwhile, the Clippers are a miserable excuse for an NBA team. (This conclusion has nothing to do with Kaman getting picked for All-Star over Boozer, in case that’s what you’re thinking–I’m not a Boozer fan, and I could care less about the All-Star Game. While we’re on this subject, however: for days, the Locked on Sports crew has been going on about how ridiculous [they think] it is that Kaman got the nod over Boozer. Now that Kidd got the call, I can’t wait to hear them talk about how Boozer humiliated Kidd the last time the Jazz played the Mavs, and how Boozer is a thousand times better rebounder than Kidd.)

Thanks to C for the help with Excel.

*including Draft Day trades.

The same calculation run with the Top 15 (instead of Top 10) draft picks between 1984-2009:

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 13, 2010 1:13 am

    This is just, wow.


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