2011 NBA Draft: Team needs determined by positional production

I’m a little ahead of schedule here, but last night I calculated each NBA team’s Marginal Win Score production by position to determine what each team’s primary needs will be going into the draft and the off-season.

Hat tip to Brian Burke of AdvancedNFLStats — I stole the idea for this post from the posts he wrote in the run-up to the NFL Draft wherein he determined each NFL team’s offensive and defensive needs according to performance at each position as measured by his football performance metric (EPA).

Here is the chart. I have boldened and colored each team’s most pressing need.

  PG SG SF PF C
Atlanta -0.71 -0.43 -0.52 0.47 0.73
Boston 1.27 1.82 1.77 1.12 -1.02
Charlotte 0.17 -0.05 0.08 -1.25 -0.52
Chicago 1.57 1.02 1.01 1.11 1.92
Cleveland -0.67 -1.02 -2.17 -2.12 -0.97
Dallas 1.17 0.29 0.72 1.37 0.92
Denver 1.45 0.39 1.41 -0.55 0.12
Detroit -1.22 -0.12 0.01 -2.21 -0.61
Golden St 0.25 -0.31 0.01 -1.87 -1.77
Houston 0.32 1.22 0.72 -0.07 -0.22
Indiana  -1.05 0.72 -0.05 -0.25 -0.11
LA Clippers -2.55 -0.97 -1.27 1.72 0.31
LA Lakers -1.82 2.15 0.07 1.72 2.62
Memphis -0.85 -1.35 0.19 1.82 0.87
Miami 0.22 2.45 2.71 1.65 -0.39
Milwaukee -0.05 -1.22 0.05 -0.27 -0.02
Minnesota -2.11 -2.27 -2.28 2.55 -1.19
NJ Nets -0.52 -0.97 -1.87 0.81 -1.87
NO Hornets 1.67 -0.75 -0.65 -0.35 0.45
NY Knicks 0.72 1.22 0.51 -1.45 -1.15
Okla City 0.58 1.32 2.55 -0.15 -0.85
Orlando -0.25 0.22 -0.55 0.59 4.95
Phila -0.15 0.67 1.27 -0.52 -0.62
Phoenix 1.22 0.22 -0.81 -0.62 -0.75
Portland 0.92 -0.17 -0.42 -0.81 1.42
Sacramento -0.41 -0.72 -1.05 -0.81 -0.42
San Antonio 1.14 1.57 0.71 0.03 1.37
Toronto 0.01 -1.72 -1.41 0.88 -2.75
Utah -0.21 -1.42 0.17 0.23 0.41
Washington -1.22 -1.47 -0.97 -2.32 -0.31

A couple of disclaimers here. First, I am not taking into account injured players who will be slated to return next season. For example, Detroit’s most pressing need appears to be at power forward, but they have a pretty productive power forward returning from injury next season, Jerebko, so they may want to instead draft a point guard — their other pressing need.

Second, I didn’t account for in-season moves. For example, Carmelo Anthony provided above average production for Denver, but he is no longer on the team. Thus, that position may be a hidden need position, I don’t know. On the other side of the ledger, OKC appears to need a center, but that may have been filled by the late season acquistion of Kendrick Perkins (although, doesn’t he become a free agent?)

Positional Demand is skewed to the Frontcourt

According to my chart, front court prospects ought to be in the highest demand this summer. Strangely, point guards seem to be the least necessary players. I would have reckoned it would have been the shooting guards.

Speaking of which, will the Lakers finally address their point guard situation? The Derrick Fisher Era must end.

The Bucks appear to have a need at shooting guard. But they just invested heavily at that position last off-season. Will they be willing to draft the same position? Word of warning, though. Shooting guard seems to be the sketchiest position to project. There have been a lot of busts at that position who appeared to be decent college producers.

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9 Responses to “2011 NBA Draft: Team needs determined by positional production”

  1. brgulker Says:

    And the Pistons are negative at every position. Excellent.

    • tywill33 Says:

      The Bucks don’t look like world beaters either.

      The Twolves are like an unbalanced teeter-totter. They are brutal at 3 positions, real good at one, and pretty bad at the fourth.

  2. jbrett Says:

    Perkins signed an extension; four years, I think. Lakers don’t have a first-round pick; see any sleeperswho might last until #50 or so?

    • tywill33 Says:

      There’s always that one guy you had no idea would be good who falls to round 2.

      See, Landry Fields.

      I haven’t really looked at the Draftees yet. The class thinned out, I think, due to the impending labor dispute.

  3. Chicago Tim Says:

    Interesting and unusual that the Bulls are good at every position. Their shooting-guard-by-committee does okay. But they are only well above average at two positions, point guard and center.

    I think they have to hope Boozer improves and that his performance in the playoffs was correctable, because they can’t trade him for value. I think they need a star at shooting guard but I don’t think they will get him.

    To me it seems most likely that they could get a quality back-up for Deng at small forward. I doubt that Rasual Butler is the solution, and I don’t like it when they play the shooting guards out of position. I don’t think Thibs does either, which is why Deng played so many minutes. That’s another reason to get a quality back up — what if he went down?

    I’m assuming that Deng’s stellar play is counteracted by the fact that he doesn’t really have a back up. Or is Deng not as good as I thought?

    • tywill33 Says:

      That point was made by — I think — Arturo in a post on the Wages of Wins a while back. He discovered that the Bulls had unusually good balance.

      You picked up on another good point. Sometimes its an issue of depth, not lack of a decent starter.

  4. Devin Says:

    And which position on which team is lowest by a mile? Centre on the Raptors.

    Is anyone surprised?

  5. Blake Says:

    Check out Alec Burks of Colorado! Apparently that’s who the Bucks want badly. Remember how we took Larry Sanders to dinner last year? And Brandon Jennings? And Joe Alexander? Yeah… we did that with Burks too. If he’s on the board at #10, that will be the Bucks’ pick. Has a lot of similarities to Dwayne Wade in college, just can’t hit a jumpshot to save his life! At least we’re looking into drafting a SG though.

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