Luka Doncic (the 'LET'S RE-LITIGATE THE PICK UNTO PERPETUITY~!' thread)

Eh, I think that whether or not this argument holds up depends on whether you believe that, no matter how much anyone else from the 2018 draft class improves, they'll always be a step behind Doncic.
They start from a step behind because the value of their skillset and role is lower.

Is it, though? I'm not convinced that Doncic is that far ahead of his peers. Ahead, sure, but he doesn't seem so far ahead as to be uncatchable. 2018 wasn't like the 1997 draft, where the talent differential between the best player in the draft and, say, the fourth-best player in the draft is completely insurmountable. And it doesn't even require a so-called drop-off, like what people talk about with Tyreke Evans: Victor Oladipo won ROY in 2014, and was considered at the time to be the best player in a bad draft class. If you re-did that draft, he'd probably be 2nd or 3rd, depending on how much you value a player like Gobert. But the thing is, Oladipo never actually fell off: if anything, he started out good, and has continued to get better. It's just that he was caught and surpassed by Antetokuonmpo. Just like John Wall never really fell off: Paul George just became better than him.
Personally, I've always said that obviously anything can happen. Luka could regress, Trae Young could turn out to be Steph Curry and so on. What I'm saying is that based on what we know atm, Luka is most lilely going to become the most valuable player of this draft class. Thats based on what we know now and imo this is quite reasonable opinion with a solid argument backing it up. Its the most probable outcome.

What makes the pick re-litigation a worthwhile discussion to have is whether you believe that a player like Ayton, Bagley or Jackson can ever develop the skills that Doncic already has? Because one side of the argument is rooted in the belief that they can't, and the other side is rooted in the belief that, if they can, you'd rather have a guy who can do all (or most) of what Doncic can do, but is also bigger, faster and stronger. What detracts from the discussion is the tendency of some to overemphasize weaknesses to the point of making it seem like they are trivializing strengths, and the tendency of others to be more focused on making people answer for their takes.
Ayton, Bagley and Jackson can never develope the skills Luka has. None of them are ever going to be a ball handling offensive creator. Or at least it would be extremely unlikely. They are big men. Statistically the most important skillset for a center is defense. In general thats how they contribute to winning the most. But thats slightly a different conversation so I'm not going to get into it more. The point is, the value of their role and position is less than for Luka. They will never possess the most valuable skillset and thats why they start from step behind. That doesnt mean that those guys couldnt become very good players but they are different players and most likely not as valuable as Luka since Luka is already a lot better and has more value to his game.
 
Weak case? I guess it depends on what perspective you're looking from.
My perspective is that I take the information available and form and opinion based on that. In this case the information is for example the performance of these rookies so far and Lukas has been superior to other rookies. Also how valuable their skillset and role is in general and Lukas skills and role are as valuable as they can be. Based on those things I would say its a pretty weak case if you argue that the most probable outcome is something else that Luka being the most valuable player. Something else could happen but if we are talking about the most probable outcome, its hard to make a case against Luka.

This is a thread to re-litigate the draft. You seem focused looking strictly on how Luka is doing. That's great for Luka and the Mavericks. But does that make it a mistake for the TEAM called the Kings? We don't know what would've happened with Luka but we do know what happened with Bagley. The team is winning and maybe after all these years of futile to have turned a corner. IF they continue their current trajectory they will have the first winning season in over a decade. Even if and there's a good chance they won't make the playoffs I'm not sure that arguing that it wasn't a mistake is such a weak argument. At least not from what is actually happening with the Kings.
This argument is a lot like that tiger repelling rock argument. I wouldnt say that we are winning because we have Bagley as a backup. I would say that its a mistake to pass on the most valuable player of the draft class. Maybe its just me but that qualifies to me as a mistake
 
My perspective is that I take the information available and form and opinion based on that. In this case the information is for example the performance of these rookies so far and Lukas has been superior to other rookies. Also how valuable their skillset and role is in general and Lukas skills and role are as valuable as they can be. Based on those things I would say its a pretty weak case if you argue that the most probable outcome is something else that Luka being the most valuable player. Something else could happen but if we are talking about the most probable outcome, its hard to make a case against Luka.



This argument is a lot like that tiger repelling rock argument. I wouldnt say that we are winning because we have Bagley as a backup. I would say that its a mistake to pass on the most valuable player of the draft class. Maybe its just me but that qualifies to me as a mistake
You continue to look at from a individual perspective and I'm saying from a team perspective it's no cut and dry. The Kings have been bad, really bad for a long time. The team has made a remarkable change in fortunes and you are classifying that as a mistake. We have seen how the team performs without Bagley, he is a big part of how the team goes. We know how they were and we know how they are when missing him. And you clearly claim mistake.
 
You continue to look at from a individual perspective and I'm saying from a team perspective it's no cut and dry. The Kings have been bad, really bad for a long time. The team has made a remarkable change in fortunes and you are classifying that as a mistake. We have seen how the team performs without Bagley, he is a big part of how the team goes. We know how they were and we know how they are when missing him. And you clearly claim mistake.
Yes, I claim mistake. You can argue how big that mistake was but for a team like Kings who are not (yet) a championship caliber team, passing on the most valuable player is a mistake.

But, when have I ever "classified the change of fortunes" for us as a mistake? No, never. Your whole argument is based on that its specifically Bagley that is making us win games. I can show you advanced metrics that suggest otherwise. Per espn, from all the power forwards in the Nba, Bagley has the second lowest rpm (-3,32). Bagley is not a good Nba player atm. He is young, he can/will develope into one but atm his performance isnt making his team win games. He is a rookie and rookies usually dont contribute (as I've said over and over again) so I dont hold it against him at all. But that just basically proves that Bagley isnt the reason we are winning games atm.

Briefly, we are winning games because 1)Fox developed into a legit ball handling creator (the most important player for the team). 2)Joeger changed his horrible scheme from last year to a scheme that suits our players and modern Nba better. 3. We play a lot more 4out-1in system (four shooters on the floor spaced out) and it creates more efficent offense itself. 4. Lot of our role playing guys has improved due to a system change and developement. And btw just to toot my own horn, I vocally demanded that items 2 and 3 should absolutely happen and I'm glad they did.

Again, my point is that the most probable outcome is that Luka will be the most valuable player of this draft class. To me it should've been the obvious pick @2 and since this is the situation now, I absolutely consider passing on that player as a mistake.
 
Yes, I claim mistake. You can argue how big that mistake was but for a team like Kings who are not (yet) a championship caliber team, passing on the most valuable player is a mistake.

But, when have I ever "classified the change of fortunes" for us as a mistake? No, never. Your whole argument is based on that its specifically Bagley that is making us win games. I can show you advanced metrics that suggest otherwise. Per espn, from all the power forwards in the Nba, Bagley has the second lowest rpm (-3,32). Bagley is not a good Nba player atm. He is young, he can/will develope into one but atm his performance isnt making his team win games. He is a rookie and rookies usually dont contribute (as I've said over and over again) so I dont hold it against him at all. But that just basically proves that Bagley isnt the reason we are winning games atm.

Briefly, we are winning games because 1)Fox developed into a legit ball handling creator (the most important player for the team). 2)Joeger changed his horrible scheme from last year to a scheme that suits our players and modern Nba better. 3. We play a lot more 4out-1in system (four shooters on the floor spaced out) and it creates more efficent offense itself. 4. Lot of our role playing guys has improved due to a system change and developement. And btw just to toot my own horn, I vocally demanded that items 2 and 3 should absolutely happen and I'm glad they did.

Again, my point is that the most probable outcome is that Luka will be the most valuable player of this draft class. To me it should've been the obvious pick @2 and since this is the situation now, I absolutely consider passing on that player as a mistake.
Couple things. First, I was disappointed that we didn't take Luka. That being said, I'm tickled by where the Kings are now.

While you may be pretty certain that Luka is and will be the best of his class, while true now too early to say going forward. While I may say it wasn't a mistake because of the results for the team now, it is also too soon to say it won't be in hindsight if the team plautoes and the team's potential never is fulfilled.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
They start from a step behind because the value of their skillset and role is lower.
Value as determined by whom?

Personally, I've always said that obviously anything can happen. Luka could regress, Trae Young could turn out to be Steph Curry and so on. What I'm saying is that based on what we know atm, Luka is most lilely going to become the most valuable player of this draft class. Thats based on what we know now and imo this is quite reasonable opinion with a solid argument backing it up. Its the most probable outcome.
I don't agree and, as I already pointed out, Doncic being surpassed doesn't even have to have anything to do with him. I'd say that you're creating a false ultimatum here; it's not zero-sum. Those other guys getting better doesn't require Doncic to get worse.

Ayton, Bagley and Jackson can never develope the skills Luka has. None of them are ever going to be a ball handling offensive creator.
Why? Because you decided? I haven't seen anything in their games to convince me that they can't develop those skills. Ayton is already showing flashes of that; the other two guys haven't been called upon to do that. I need a more convincing argument than, 'they can't do it, because centers.' DeMarcus Cousins is a center, Nikola Jokic is a center, Joel Embiid is a center. None of them, with the arguable exception of Embiid, looked like they do now as rookies. Ayton's assists per-36 are a match for what Cousins' were in his rookie season. Bagley and Jackson's numbers aren't as impressive but, again, they aren't being asked to do more. You can interpret that as evidence that they can't do it, I choose not to.

The point is, the value of their role and position is less than for Luka. They will never possess the most valuable skillset and thats why they start from step behind. That doesnt mean that those guys couldnt become very good players but they are different players and most likely not as valuable as Luka since Luka is already a lot better and has more value to his game.
Their perceived value is not static, would be my point. Less than a decade ago, the conventional wisdom in the NBA was that you could not win a championship without a player like DeAndre Ayton or Marvin Bagley III. Then the paradigm shifted. All it would take for the paradigm to shift again would be for a player like Jokic or Embiid to lead a team to a championship.
 
Value as determined by whom?
Value determined by many different matters. Elite ball handling creator generates more value to his team than elite catch and shooter or an elite perimetet defender or an elite rebounder. Supply and demand suggest that great ball handling creators are the most valuable players. These players are hard to get since they have a very high demand compared to their supply, thus they cost a lot to trade for or demand huge contracts. Also most of the players considered top players in this league are in fact ball handling creators. Advanced metrics suggest that these type of players generate the most value. I could go on but basically everything suggest that great ball handling creators are in general the most valuable players, analytics, common knowledge ect agree with that.

I don't agree and, as I already pointed out, Doncic being surpassed doesn't even have to have anything to do with him. I'd say that you're creating a false ultimatum here; it's not zero-sum. Those other guys getting better doesn't require Doncic to get worse.
I know and I didnt claim that Luka has to regress in order for someone to surpass him. I just gave a couple of examples on how that surpassing might happen. One other example is that JJJ becomes just an absolute monster defensively while developing his offensive game that his overall value surpasses Lukas. Its not an impossible scenario, not very probable but I would say that its the most probable out of the alternatives.

Why? Because you decided? I haven't seen anything in their games to convince me that they can't develop those skills. Ayton is already showing flashes of that; the other two guys haven't been called upon to do that. I need a more convincing argument than, 'they can't do it, because centers.' DeMarcus Cousins is a center, Nikola Jokic is a center, Joel Embiid is a center. None of them, with the arguable exception of Embiid, looked like they do now as rookies. Ayton's assists per-36 are a match for what Cousins' were in his rookie season. Bagley and Jackson's numbers aren't as impressive but, again, they aren't being asked to do more. You can interpret that as evidence that they can't do it, I choose not to.
Well, because they are centers. Centers arent really ball handling creators. Jokic is the best passing center that the league has seen in decades. A lot of Embiids value comes from him being an absolute monster on defense. There was a brilliant post made by "tyguy" that explained the positional value with centers. I suggest that you read it (and everyone else too), it explains this a lot:

JJJ has an elite skill (defense) what elite skill does bagley have? It certainly isn't defense. The chance of him becoming an elite offensive player are slim to none also. The only players that are high impact game altering offensive players A. Create shots for themselves B. Create shots for others. B is out of the question, it's extremely rare for a big and Bagley has not shown the chops. As far as creating offense for himself, post offense is inefficient.

In fact, offense creation is the domain of wings and guards. Very, very few “bigs” can be high impact offensive game changers because they cannot create for themselves and they usually cannot create for others. There is historical proof of this.

—In NBA history having a Box Plus/Minus (OBPM) of +5 is the mark of an elite offensive player and +6 is the domain of the game changing offensive players. There have been 243 individual seasons in which a player has posted a Box +/- of +5 or higher and only 116 in which a player has had a +6 season.

Here are all the non wings/guards to have a Box Plus/Minus season of +6 or higher

Barkley 4 times, Shaq 2, KAJ 1, KLove 1, DROB, Jokic, Karl Malone. That’s only 11 out of 116 times or about 9.5% of all such player seasons.
If you look at all the bigs who had a Box +/- of +5 or higher, you wind up with a total 32 out of 243 or about 13.2% of all such player seasons.

Wings and guards have created the best offense (especially since 1980) but teams just didn’t know it. The highest all time OBPM for non wings and guards is Barkley at #13 and #21 all time. This was when he was in Philly and played like a big since he had far fewer assists than those at the top of this list. Kareem at #36 is the highest ranking traditional Big big.

The story is the same for offensive RPM.

2018: 16 players over +3 (Jokic and KAT the only bigs), 10 Over +4 (Jokic the only big), 5 Over +5 (ZERO bigs), 2 Over +6 (ZERO bigs).

2017: 24 players over +3, ( Blake, KAT, BOOGIE, Jokic), 14 over +4 (Jokic), 7 over +5 (ZERO bigs), 4 over +6 (ZERO bigs), 1 Over +7 (ZERO bigs)

2016: 16 players over +3 (Jokic), 9 over +4 (ZERO bigs), 7 over +5 (ZERO bigs), 4 over +6 (ZERO bigs), 2 over +7 (ZERO bigs)

2015: 22 players over +3 (LMA, AD), 13 over +4, (ZERO bigs), 5 over +6 (ZERO bigs), 3 over +7 (ZERO bigs). 1 Over +8 (ZERO bigs)

2014: 24 players over +3 (Ryno, Love, dirk, Frye), 13 over +4 (Dirk), 6 over +5 (ZERO bigs), 4 over +6 (ZERO bigs), 1 Over +8 (ZERO bigs)

ORPM TOTALS from 2014–2018: There’s never been a big with an ORPM over 5.

+3 ORPM: 92 player seasons overall, only 13 bigs (14.1%)
+4 ORPM: 59 player seasons overall, 3 bigs (5.1%)
+5 ORPM: 33 player seasons overall, ZERO bigs
+6 ORPM: 19 player seasons overall, ZERO bigs
+7 ORPM: 7 player seasons overall, ZERO bigs
+8: ORPM: 2 player seasons overall, ZERO bigs


A big HAS to become a defensive force to become a game changer because he won’t be on offense. A guy like KAT who can post (least useful in today’s game) and shoot like a guard (look at his %s on open threes) is going to cap out at a +4ish on offense unless he can create for others which seems unlikely. A guy like Jokic is a +4 to +5 Player on offense because of his passing ability. KAT isn’t a defensive anchor but is actually a liability relative to other centers. If KAT were a better defensive player, he’d be a top 3-5 player.
Their perceived value is not static, would be my point. Less than a decade ago, the conventional wisdom in the NBA was that you could not win a championship without a player like DeAndre Ayton or Marvin Bagley III. Then the paradigm shifted. All it would take for the paradigm to shift again would be for a player like Jokic or Embiid to lead a team to a championship.
It actually is pretty static as the post made by "tyguy" suggest.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
@Gguod,

I do not agree with @tyguy's assessment. His thesis can be distilled to two points:

  1. Declare Metric X to be The Most Important Metric™
  2. Use Metric X to demonstrate how Attribute Y is The Most Important Attribute™
I mean, I guess his argument makes plenty of sense, if you stipulate that OBPM is indeed "the mark of an elite offensive player." My rebuttal would be that any metric which declares that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is only the thirty-sixth-best offensive player in NBA history is a metric that hasn't been sufficiently scrutinized. So, since I don't accept the premise, I'm obviously not going to agree with the conclusion.
 
@Gguod,

I do not agree with @tyguy's assessment. His thesis can be distilled to two points:
  1. Declare Metric X to be The Most Important Metric™
  2. Use Metric X to demonstrate how Attribute Y is The Most Important Attribute™
I mean, I guess his argument makes plenty of sense, if you stipulate that OBPM is indeed "the mark of an elite offensive player." My rebuttal would be that any metric which declares that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is only the thirty-sixth-best offensive player in NBA history is a metric that hasn't been sufficiently scrutinized. So, since I don't accept the premise, I'm obviously not going to agree with the conclusion.
OBPM is one way to look at this whole thing statistically. Its not a perfect system but it certainly provides a lot of usefull information. You not agreeing with the validity of OBPM 100% doesnt or shouldnt mean that the whole statistical analysis is useless. The amount of information it provides is certainly usefull and it can be used as a one way or as a one tool to look at positional value and the value of different skillsets
 
Last edited:
The Ringer’s NBA Show podcast from yesterday had a pretty long segment on Dennis Smith Jr. wanting out of Dallas. The discussion evolved into commentary/debate on how difficult it might be to have a second ball dominant player to be paired up with Luka at this stage of his career, and then the closest admission that I’ve heard out of national media that there may have been some merit in Sac prioritizing fit with the MBIII selection. It’s an interesting discussion (very similar to what has been on this forum since draft night). Basically, Fox is much better than Dennis Smith jr. so not a direct comparison, but it does shed some light around the fit with Fox. And, while in theory they could work together, it will take some amount of sacrifice on the part of each player which is extremely hard to convince to young players trying to establish themselves in the league. In essence, fox and Luka are both good, team oriented leaders who want the best chance at success, but at this stage in their careers also want to be “the man”.

Like I said, the content is not anything that hasn’t been said in this thread (one of the guys on the podcast also said regardless of that concern he would have still liked to see if they could have worked together in Sac....so you get both sides of the argument), but I found it a good listen.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
OBPM is one way to look at this whole thing statistically. Its not a perfect system but it certainly provides a lot of usefull information. You not agreeing with the validity of OBPM 100% doesnt or shouldnt mean that the whole statistical analysis is useless. The amount of information it provides is certainly usefull and it can be used as a one way or as a one tool to look at positional value and the value of different skillsets
I didn't say it was useless, I said that it required additional scrutiny. It's certainly useful, and it's certainly a tool for looking at positional value; I never challenged that. My objection is to the fact that his entire thesis is built around the notion that it's the most important tool for looking at positional value.
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
I mean, I guess his argument makes plenty of sense, if you stipulate that OBPM is indeed "the mark of an elite offensive player." My rebuttal would be that any metric which declares that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is only the thirty-sixth-best offensive player in NBA history is a metric that hasn't been sufficiently scrutinized. So, since I don't accept the premise, I'm obviously not going to agree with the conclusion.
I don't have a great feel for OBPM, but in defense of it:

1) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is 26th overall, not 36th (probably just a typo/slip on your part)

2) OBPM is a rate-based stat rather than a cumulative stat. Cumulative advanced stats typically have Abdul-Jabbar at the top. For instance: Win Shares (#1); Offensive Win Shares (#1); Defensive Win Shares (#3); Value Over Replacement Player (#7 - BUT due to several stats [blocks, steals, o-rebs, d-rebs] not being kept before 1973 four years of his career are left out of VORP calculations and he would clearly end up #1 or #2 if they were calculable)

For looking at OBPM specifically, VORP is the interesting stat above. The reason for that is that VORP is effectively the cumulative translation of the rate-based OBPM/DBPM. So, in essence, by placing Kareem somewhere at #1/#2 (with LeBron) in total career value, VORP shows that its underlying rate stats do have some sort of validity.

Kareem specifically suffers in his OBPM numbers for two reasons. One is that his first four seasons, including his top three seasons by other advanced stats that can be calculated (e.g. Win Shares), are not counted in OBPM due to the box scores of that era not having the right data. It's not a fault in OBPM's calculations that it can't be calculated on a great player from a long time ago (not that it's wrong a long time ago, you just don't get a number at all).

The second is that unlike cumulative stats, rate-based stats can be dragged down by the tail end of careers. Abdul-Jabbar played into his 40s, but in his last three seasons he was not really very good, particularly compared to his own career standards. In cumulative stats, that just means that you accrue value slower. In rate-based stats it drags you down. It's interesting that in OBPM, among the top eleven current players, only three are retired: Jordan, Magic, and Barkley. And that's probably largely due to the fact that the other 8 guys haven't had a decline phase yet in their careers - some of them will likely slide down as they age. The back-of-the-envelope estimate says that if Abdul-Jabbar's OBPM could be calculated in his early career, he would end up fourth on the list of retired players behind Jordan/Magic/Barkley.

Ultimately, I think that the above makes a good case for why Abdul-Jabbar's career OBPM looks anomalously low, and why he really isn't a good example to argue the eye-test of the stat.

Edit: Since you posted while I was composing this, I am NOT saying that OBPM is "the most important tool for looking at positional value", a position that you challenged above. I make no claim for or against that proposition. I am merely saying that KAJ's low career OBPM is explained by something other than fundamental problems with the statistic.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
^^^^ Do we know where guys like Petit, West, Baylor, Chamberlain and Mikan rate, according to that metric? And, that question considered...

Edit: Since you posted while I was composing this, I am NOT saying that OBPM is "the most important tool for looking at positional value", a position that you challenged above. I make no claim for or against that proposition. I am merely saying that KAJ's low career OBPM is explained by something other than fundamental problems with the statistic.
We appear to disagree on terms. Based on your analysis for both how the metric penalizes players who played all or part of their careers in an era in which certain statistics were not recorded, and how it penalizes players who, for lack of a better way to say it, choose not to "go out on top," I would consider those to be as close to "fundamental" problems with the metric as makes no odds.
 
Last edited:
^^^^ Do we know where guys like Petit, West, Baylor, Chamberlain and Mikan rate, according to that metric? And, that question considered...


We appear to disagree on terms. Based on your analysis for both how the metric penalizes players who played all or part of their careers in an era in which certain statistics were not recorded, and how it penalizes players who, for lack of a better way to say it, choose not to "go out on top," I would consider those to be as close to "fundamental" problems with the metric as makes no odds.
If you are critical of OBPM based analysis, you could go and check for the last ~10 years or at least the years on tyguys post and see how the OBPM ranks players and wether there are multiple "errors/mistakes" in that system. I think that system demonstrated pretty well that big men are rarely the most productive offensive players. The system isnt perfect but imo it demonstrates that pretty well.
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
We appear to disagree on terms. Based on your analysis for both how the metric penalizes players who played all or part of their careers in an era in which certain statistics were not recorded, and how it penalizes players who, for lack of a better way to say it, choose not to "go out on top," I would consider those to be as close to "fundamental" problems with the metric as makes no odds.
We clearly do disagree on terms. What you are considering "problems" I would consider more "limitations". Imagine the ideal hammer. Best hammer you can possibly have. Works great on nails. It would still suck at driving screws. That's not a problem with the hammer, it's a limitation to what the hammer can do.

BPM-based stats (OBPM/DBPM/BPM/VORP) have a limitation - you can't use them before 1973. If one is interested in comparing across eras going back 45+ years, BPM is not a good tool. But if one is interested in looking across only the last, say 10 years (or looking at single-year performance, etc.) that limitation doesn't apply. (I don't know what eras @tyguy was interested in as I missed the original post and I can't find it in the last couple of pages.)

All rate-based stats (not just OBPM, but also fundamental things like FG%) are limited in that a career-based version of the stat penalizes players who choose not to go out on top. But of course, if one is looking at single-season values, then on-top seasons are on-top seasons, regardless. Again, because a tool has a limitation, doesn't mean it has a problem.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
If you are critical of OBPM based analysis, you could go and check for the last ~10 years or at least the years on tyguys post and see how the OBPM ranks players and wether there are multiple "errors/mistakes" in that system. I think that system demonstrated pretty well that big men are rarely the most productive offensive players. The system isnt perfect but imo it demonstrates that pretty well.
@Capt. Factorial explained how the calculations for OBPM appear to be done; I trust his math. That doesn't refute my rebuttal: knowing how the metric is calculated does not convince me that it is a metric that should be valued more than any other metric in particular. And, again, a metric which ranks Abdul-Jabbar that low due, in no small part, to the fact that certain statistics - vital to the calculation of the metric - were not recorded during part of his career, means, to me, that the metric is insufficient in determining offensive value.

But that's almost besides my point, which is that positional value is relative, not static. The value of a "playmaker" at the point guard position is higher when your two best players are Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins than it is when your two best players are LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Just like the value of a playmaker at the center position is higher when your guards are Jamal Murray and Malik Beasley than it is when your guards are Chris Paul and James Harden. OBPM appears to be most useful for comparing the relative positional value for a given era. But, when you have to consider rule changes, statistical additions, coaching styles, et cetera, it doesn't seem as useful for determining anything resembling an absolute positional value, which I believe doesn't exist.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
We clearly do disagree on terms. What you are considering "problems" I would consider more "limitations". Imagine the ideal hammer. Best hammer you can possibly have. Works great on nails. It would still suck at driving screws. That's not a problem with the hammer, it's a limitation to what the hammer can do.

BPM-based stats (OBPM/DBPM/BPM/VORP) have a limitation - you can't use them before 1973. If one is interested in comparing across eras going back 45+ years, BPM is not a good tool. But if one is interested in looking across only the last, say 10 years (or looking at single-year performance, etc.) that limitation doesn't apply. (I don't know what eras @tyguy was interested in as I missed the original post and I can't find it in the last couple of pages.)

All rate-based stats (not just OBPM, but also fundamental things like FG%) are limited in that a career-based version of the stat penalizes players who choose not to go out on top. But of course, if one is looking at single-season values, then on-top seasons are on-top seasons, regardless. Again, because a tool has a limitation, doesn't mean it has a problem.
And I agree, within those parameters, but in the thesis presented by @tyguy, they are clearly (to me) speaking in terms of the totality of NBA history. Which makes the metric substantially less useful.

EDIT - Oh yeah, the post in question wasn't from this thread: it was quoted from a pre-draft thread, dated June 7, 2018.
 
Last edited:
At this point, I’d give the edge to Doncic over Fox as a franchise piece, which makes the fit issue of less substance. It would be about whether Fox could acclimate to Doncic, not the other way around
 
@Capt. Factorial explained how the calculations for OBPM appear to be done; I trust his math. That doesn't refute my rebuttal: knowing how the metric is calculated does not convince me that it is a metric that should be valued more than any other metric in particular. And, again, a metric which ranks Abdul-Jabbar that low due, in no small part, to the fact that certain statistics - vital to the calculation of the metric - were not recorded during part of his career, means, to me, that the metric is insufficient in determining offensive value.
I would think that closer to this date, the more accurate the metric is. But that doesnt matter so much to me because the game has changed because of rule changes and better understanding of analytics and efficency ect. The metric still creates a big enough, fairly accurate sample size to draw some conclusions on.

But that's almost besides my point, which is that positional value is relative, not static. The value of a "playmaker" at the point guard position is higher when your two best players are Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins than it is when your two best players are LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Just like the value of a playmaker at the center position is higher when your guards are Jamal Murray and Malik Beasley than it is when your guards are Chris Paul and James Harden. OBPM appears to be most useful for comparing the relative positional value for a given era. But, when you have to consider rule changes, statistical additions, coaching styles, et cetera, it doesn't seem as useful for determining anything resembling an absolute positional value, which I believe doesn't exist.
"Point guard" or "playmaking position" is exactly what Lebron James and Dwyane Wade are. Thats what positional value means, it isnt literally the value of pg, sg, sf, pf and c. Its the value of the role a player plays in. Lebron James is listed as SF but is in fact a ball handling creator. Same as with Harden, Durant, Luka ect. If BPM is the most accurate when its used in a specific "era", then it sound accurate enough for me to draw some conclusions on, especially when we are talking about players in current "era". I would say that if that metric is fairly accurate within 10-20 years of a time period, you can certainly use it as a tool for evaluating the value of different positions/skillsets.

Also there is such thing as absolute positional value. Even if you dont believe in OBPM suggesting it, common knowledge suggest that ball handling offensive creators have always been and are way more valuable than spot up shooters, 3&D wings or rebounding centers. There can be some variance but the basic principles has remained the same for a very long time and its fair to estimate that they will somewhat continue to do so.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
I would think that closer to this date, the more accurate the metric is. But that doesnt matter so much to me because the game has changed because of rule changes and better understanding of analytics and efficency ect. The metric still creates a big enough, fairly accurate sample size to draw some conclusions on.
I would challenge the notion that there is, in fact, truly a "better" understanding of analytics: analytics have been an industry of its own, for close to two decades. Arguably the biggest breakthrough in the history of sports science. Some of the most intelligent people in the industry have been paid seven-figure salaries for for years, and the best that most of them have managed to figure out with all of that data is "Three is more than two." It makes me think of Ultron's monologue from Avengers 2: the most versatile metal on the planet, and they use it to make a frisbee.


"Point guard" or "playmaking position" is exactly what Lebron James and Dwyane Wade are. Thats what positional value means, it isnt literally the value of pg, sg, sf, pf and c. Its the value of the role a player plays in.
Roles are not positions.

Lebron James is listed as SF but is in fact a ball handling creator. Same as with Harden, Durant, Luka ect. If BPM is the most accurate when its used in a specific "era", then it sound accurate enough for me to draw some conclusions on, especially when we are talking about players in current "era". I would say that if that metric is fairly accurate within 10-20 years of a time period, you can certainly use it as a tool for evaluating the value of different positions/skillsets.
  1. You're better off sticking to 10-year chunks, at the longest. There is no 20-year period in the NBA's history in which rule changes didn't result in drastically different perceptions of the relative value of players at opposing ends of the period.
  2. The thing about the "current era" is that it can shift on a dime. It already has, in the somewhat recent past.

Also there is such thing as absolute positional value. Even if you dont believe in OBPM suggesting it, common knowledge suggest that ball handling offensive creators have always been and are way more valuable than spot up shooters, 3&D wings or rebounding centers.
"Common knowledge": is that a new way to spell "data"? Can that data be expressed without relying on that metric?
 
I would challenge the notion that there is, in fact, truly a "better" understanding of analytics: analytics have been an industry of its own, for close to two decades. Arguably the biggest breakthrough in the history of sports science. Some of the most intelligent people in the industry have been paid seven-figure salaries for for years, and the best that most of them have managed to figure out with all of that data is "Three is more than two." It makes me think of Ultron's monologue from Avengers 2: the most versatile metal on the planet, and they use it to make a frisbee.
Obviously there is much more to analytics than a OBPM based analysis but that doesnt mean that this analysis isnt legit.

Roles are not positions.
Thats how the Nba has changed, or at least the perception of it. Roles and positions cross each other nowadays. Lebron James and James Harden are prime examples. Thats why the most valuable role isnt point guard, its ball handling creator. Wether you are marked as Pg, Sg, Sf, if you are an elite ball handling creator, you are one of the most valuable players in the league.

  1. You're better off sticking to 10-year chunks, at the longest. There is no 20-year period in the NBA's history in which rule changes didn't result in drastically different perceptions of the relative value of players at opposing ends of the period.
  2. The thing about the "current era" is that it can shift on a dime. It already has, in the somewhat recent past.
You can pick the 10 year chunk you want, OBPM suggests that centers have very rarely in that 10 year chunk been the most productive offensive players. You can expect radical shifts in the future if you feel like it. Currently most of the teams are so in depth with analytics that they understand the value of 3pointers and open layups compared to midrangers and contested hooks shots. A shift could happen but I would assume it takes a really long time before anything radical happens.

"Common knowledge": is that a new way to spell "data"? Can that data be expressed without relying on that metric?
To me common knowledge is based on all the analytical data/metrics available. If you disagree and claim that for example post scorer is a more valuable player type than ball handling offensive creator then please say so and we can have that discussion.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
Obviously there is much more to analytics than a OBPM based analysis but that doesnt mean that this analysis isnt legit.
Legit in terms of determining what? I'll stipulate that it may be a useful tool in terms of determining something, but if it's not useful in determining what I'm talking about, I don't really care about what it does determine. Have that debate with somebody who's interested.

Thats how the Nba has changed, or at least the perception of it. Roles and positions cross each other nowadays.
No it isn't, and no they don't. Roles are roles, and positions are positions. I'll stipulate that the current era of NBA basketball has ostensibly led to a return to the sixties-era G/F/C paradigm, where the designation of "point guard" or "shooting guard" isn't as meaningful as it was in the eighties or nineties; those lines have been blurred by "positionless" basketball to where "guard" is clear enough. "Ball handling creator" is a role, not a position.

Lebron James and James Harden are prime examples. Thats why the most valuable role isnt point guard, its ball handling creator. Wether you are marked as Pg, Sg, Sf, if you are an elite ball handling creator, you are one of the most valuable players in the league.
Lonzo Ball is a ball handling creator; Kyle Kuzma is not. Who is more valuable? Kemba Walker is a ball handling creator; Paul George is not. Who is more valuable? Damian Lillard is an "elite" ball handling creator; Anthony Davis is not. Who is more valuable?


You can pick the 10 year chunk you want, OBPM suggests that centers have very rarely in that 10 year chunk been the most productive offensive players...

... To me common knowledge is based on all the analytical data/metrics available. If you disagree and claim that for example post scorer is a more valuable player type than ball handling offensive creator then please say so and we can have that discussion.
  1. Whom does OBPM suggest was more productive offensively than Wilt Chamberlain, during the "10 year chunk" between 1959-1968?
  2. Whom does OBPM suggest was more valuable to the Celtics dynasty, Bill Russell, or Bob Cousy?
  3. Whom does OBPM suggest was more valuable to the lakers dynasty, Shaquille O'Neal, or Kobe Bryant?
  4. Whom does OBPM suggest was more valuable to the 1970-71 Bucks, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, or Oscar Robertson?
 
Legit in terms of determining what? I'll stipulate that it may be a useful tool in terms of determining something, but if it's not useful in determining what I'm talking about, I don't really care about what it does determine. Have that debate with somebody who's interested.
Legit in terms of looking at value of different positions/roles/skillsets. Im not sure what you want to be determined but there usually isnt a one tool or metric that completely determines everything so I dont know how I can help you on this.

No it isn't, and no they don't. Roles are roles, and positions are positions. I'll stipulate that the current era of NBA basketball has ostensibly led to a return to the sixties-era G/F/C paradigm, where the designation of "point guard" or "shooting guard" isn't as meaningful as it was in the eighties or nineties; those lines have been blurred by "positionless" basketball to where "guard" is clear enough. "Ball handling creator" is a role, not a position.
The game isnt played by simply pg,sg,sf,pf,c positions so the analysis shouldnt be done simply like that either. Lebron James, even if listed as a Small forward is a ball handling creator, James Harden even if listed as a sg is a ball handling creator. Thats exactly why its important to regognize the skillsets and roles these players play in even if they are not traditional point guards. If you dont want to call this exact scenario as "positional value" then fine, call it whatever you want. "Positional value" is a usefull term because it seperates ball handling creators from play finishers like centers and catch and shooters but if you dont feel comfortable with it, change it to whatever you like. It still doesnt change the fact that certain roles/skillsets/positions are more valuable than others.

Lonzo Ball is a ball handling creator; Kyle Kuzma is not. Who is more valuable? Kemba Walker is a ball handling creator; Paul George is not. Who is more valuable? Damian Lillard is an "elite" ball handling creator; Anthony Davis is not. Who is more valuable?
I assume you are a smart person so I also assume that you understand the difference between a great ball handling creator and Lonzo Ball. Obviously you also understand the difference of value that a great ball handling creator brings compared to player like Lonzo so we really dont even have to discuss about this.

  1. Whom does OBPM suggest was more productive offensively than Wilt Chamberlain, during the "10 year chunk" between 1959-1968?
  2. Whom does OBPM suggest was more valuable to the Celtics dynasty, Bill Russell, or Bob Cousy?
  3. Whom does OBPM suggest was more valuable to the lakers dynasty, Shaquille O'Neal, or Kobe Bryant?
  4. Whom does OBPM suggest was more valuable to the 1970-71 Bucks, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, or Oscar Robertson?
You can look these thing up if you want, you dont need me or anyone else to do this for you. You disagree with tyguys post, fine. If you could find some specific examples in the 2000's that you disagree with, it would be great. To me the most interesting part of this statistical analysis is the past 15-20 years. Positional value (or a value of different roles whatever you want to call it) is real. The value of big men being more dependent of defense is real. You disagree with those things, yeah we can talk about it. You disagree with this statistical analysis, it would be beneficial if you could point out some examples that took place under 50 years ago
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
Legit in terms of looking at value of different positions/roles/skillsets. Im not sure what you want to be determined but there usually isnt a one tool or metric that completely determines everything so I dont know how I can help you on this.
But only in terms of isolated points chunks of time, and only after a specific watershed in NBA history, prior to which, the metric can't be effectively calculated. Which directly contradicts @tyguy's thesis that it can be used to determined who had the most offensive value of the course of the entire history of the NBA.

I assume you are a smart person so I also assume that you understand the difference between a great ball handling creator and Lonzo Ball. Obviously you also understand the difference of value that a great ball handling creator brings compared to player like Lonzo so we really dont even have to discuss about this.
You can't have this both ways: you can't argue that there is an absolute value to these roles, and then come back around with, "... but only if you're elite, tho." Either the value is absolute, or it ain't. And yes, I am aware that Lonzo Ball is not a "great" ball handling creator. But he is a ball handling creator, and there is a reason why, in the example where I used Ball, I made it specific to the lakers. Who is more valuable on the LeBron-less lakers, relative to the lakers: Lonzo Ball, or Kyle Kuzma?

You can look these thing up if you want, you dont need me or anyone else to do this for you. You disagree with tyguys post, fine. If you could find some specific examples in the 2000's that you disagree with, it would be great. To me the most interesting part of this statistical analysis is the past 15-20 years. Positional value (or a value of different roles whatever you want to call it) is real. The value of big men being more dependent of defense is real. You disagree with those things, yeah we can talk about it. You disagree with this statistical analysis, it would be beneficial if you could point out some examples that took place under 50 years ago
I asked you a specific example from the 2000s: I asked you about the lakers three-peat, 2000-2002. And, as it happens, I already looked up the answer. I asked you, because I want to know what you think the answer is?
 
But only in terms of isolated points chunks of time, and only after a specific watershed in NBA history, prior to which, the metric can't be effectively calculated. Which directly contradicts @tyguy's thesis that it can be used to determined who had the most offensive value of the course of the entire history of the NBA.
Then use the metric for ~20 year periods. Last 20 years is the most important period anyway since the game was so different back in the 70's due to many reasons. These type of metrics arent 100% truth or 0%truth. You take what the metric suggest, make your conclusion and use it as one tool amongst others to look at the one specific thing.

You can't have this both ways: you can't argue that there is an absolute value to these roles, and then come back around with, "... but only if you're elite, tho." Either the value is absolute, or it ain't. And yes, I am aware that Lonzo Ball is not a "great" ball handling creator. But he is a ball handling creator, and there is a reason why, in the example where I used Ball, I made it specific to the lakers. Who is more valuable on the LeBron-less lakers, relative to the lakers: Lonzo Ball, or Kyle Kuzma?
Of course I can argue that Lonzo Ball isnt very valuable player. The argument has never been for me that EVERY ball handling creator is more valuable than every other player. Of course not. The argument is that in general, a great ball handling creator is more valuable than for example a great rebounding center or a great catch and shooter.

I asked you a specific example from the 2000s: I asked you about the lakers three-peat, 2000-2002. And, as it happens, I already looked up the answer. I asked you, because I want to know what you think the answer is?
I would say without looking it up that Shaq generated more value because during his prime he was one of the most dominant offensive players the league has seen and Kobe isnt much of a "create to others" type of player. I dont have any idea on where you got the perception that the argument is that the ball handling creator position/role guarantees that the player is automatically very valuable. Not at all, I never have said that, the metric doesnt suggest that since it acknowledges that centers are included in those "elite obpm seasons". Much less than guards and wings and thats the point of the metric but they still exist. The value of different roles/positions exist but in order to be a valuable player you obviously have to be good and productive in that role/position.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
Then use the metric for ~20 year periods. Last 20 years is the most important period anyway since the game was so different back in the 70's due to many reasons...
Well... isn't that convenient.

And honestly, even a 20-year period would be a poor use of the metric, because the way that the game was being played in 1999 is appreciably different from how it's being played right now.

Of course I can argue that Lonzo Ball isnt very valuable player. The argument has never been for me that EVERY ball handling creator is more valuable than every other player. Of course not. The argument is that in general, a great ball handling creator is more valuable than for example a great rebounding center or a great catch and shooter.
That is not what you said. I said that absolute positional value doesn't exist, and you said it does:
Also there is such thing as absolute positional value. Even if you dont believe in OBPM suggesting it, common knowledge suggest that ball handling offensive creators have always been and are way more valuable than spot up shooters, 3&D wings or rebounding centers. There can be some variance but the basic principles has remained the same for a very long time and its fair to estimate that they will somewhat continue to do so.
Disregarding for the moment that we disagree on the definition of the term "positional," according to the term, as you are defining it, the value is absolute. Absolute is static, it is a constant. It does not depend on variables, it either is, or it isn't. So, if a player is a ball handling creator, and the value of a ball handling creator is absolute, then that means that he's the most valuable. "Unless he's not great" is not a factor, or else the thesis fails.
 
Well... isn't that convenient.

And honestly, even a 20-year period would be a poor use of the metric, because the way that the game was being played in 1999 is appreciably different from how it's being played right now.
You dont have to act like this metric is supposed to be some absolute truth that you can compare players from 50's to this date. It very hard to compare players from different eras but this is a very solid tool to support an argument if the argument is that most of the time guards and wings are the ones that generate efficent offense. I dont care that much how a single metric values players in the 70's or the 80's since it was a different game. You can use it however you want but its fairly accurate for a single metric when its being used while comparing performances from the same era

That is not what you said. I said that absolute positional value doesn't exist, and you said it does:
Disregarding for the moment that we disagree on the definition of the term "positional," according to the term, as you are defining it, the value is absolute. Absolute is static, it is a constant. It does not depend on variables, it either is, or it isn't. So, if a player is a ball handling creator, and the value of a ball handling creator is absolute, then that means that he's the most valuable. "Unless he's not great" is not a factor, or else the thesis fails.
The value of positions being absolute doesnt mean that a bad ball handling creator is more valuable than an elite rim protecting center. Absolutely not. The value being absolute means that if you only compare the value of different positions/roles or what you want to call them, there are positions/skillsets that are more valuable than others. That is an absolute and that is static. The "theisis" does not fail wether you agree with one definition or not.

You can agree or disagree with the definition, to me it doesnt matter at all because I have clearly stated my point numerous times to you. A great ball handling creator is more valuable than a great catch and shooter or a great rebounding center or a great 3&D wing. Also in general, most valuable players in todays league are in fact ball handling creators. Choose whatever metric you want if you disagree with this point, I'm ready to discuss about it.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
You dont have to act like this metric is supposed to be some absolute truth that you can compare players from 50's to this date. It very hard to compare players from different eras but this is a very solid tool to support an argument if the argument is that most of the time guards and wings are the ones that generate efficent offense. I dont care that much how a single metric values players in the 70's or the 80's since it was a different game. You can use it however you want but its fairly accurate for a single metric when its being used while comparing performances from the same era
Hey, you brought @tyguy into this, not me: when the thesis is that a particular role has the greatest offensive value, over the course of the entire history of NBA, according to Metric X, and then you specifically rank players that the metric cannot accurately quantify, because the metric relies on statistics that were not recorded during all or part of that player's career, then I can absolutely do that. You invited the comparison, by citing @tyguy's post as a frame of reference.

The value of positions being absolute doesnt mean that a bad ball handling creator is more valuable than an elite rim protecting center.
Well, then it's not absolute. If you have to include all these qualifiers, then it's not absolute. Absolute unless one is elite, and the other is not, isn't absolute at all. That would also then invite a debate (one which EYE am not interested in participating in) about how do you define "elite"? For some values of elite, both Kemba Walker and Joel Embiid could be described as elite in their respective roles, and so an argument could be made that Walker is more valuable offensively than Embiid. Are you prepared to make that argument?

And I specifically asked you about two players at the same level (Ball and Kuzma), and you did not answer me.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
And another thing:
You can pick the 10 year chunk you want, OBPM suggests that centers have very rarely in that 10 year chunk been the most productive offensive players. You can expect radical shifts in the future if you feel like it. Currently most of the teams are so in depth with analytics that they understand the value of 3pointers and open layups compared to midrangers and contested hooks shots. A shift could happen but I would assume it takes a really long time before anything radical happens.
Could?!

I don't know how a reasonable person can feel, with anything resembling confidence, that it takes a "really long time" for radical shifts to occur in the NBA? If you're over the age of fifteen, you've already seen this happen in real time. If you're over the age of thirty, you've seen it happen twice, and if you're over the age of forty, you've seen it happen at least three times. Of course it's going to happen again, and history would suggest that it's going to happen a lot sooner than you'd expect it to.