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NBeh?: Another "Bargnani Is A Bust" Post

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  • NBeh?: Another "Bargnani Is A Bust" Post

    In a previous post, I compared Bargnani's Wins Produced numbers to the last 12 years of first overall picks. This time, I've added all the advanced numbers, such as PPS, per 48 minute stats, and even PER and Win Shares (note: I do not condone use of Win Shares or PER - especially PER). I've also extended the comparison down to Olowokandi and included Darko Milicic (who was actually a second overall pick), because those are the two players Bargnani apologists inevitably claim were worse than picks than Bargnani. And remember: these numbers only include the first four seasons of each player's career. Here are the more complete numbers (spreadsheet here), this time in the form of a handy little gadget which (if it works correctly) should allow you to sort by whatever category you want.
    What do the numbers tell us? Well for one, Andrea Bargnani does not compare very favourably to the rest of these players. Ranked by WP48 he is dead last behind Olowokandi, Milicic, and Brown. If for some reason you don't "agree" with Wins Produced, ranked by PER (worth repeating: I do not condone use of PER) he is 11th (ahead of Brown, Milicic, and Olowokandi), and ranked by Win Shares (worth repeating: I do not condone use of Win Shares) he is 12th, ahead of Olowokandi and the small sample size of John Wall. If you weigh all three metrics (WP, WS, and PER) equally (which, again, I do not) and take the cumulative rank - 'Combo Rank' - Bargnani comes out 2nd last, behind Milicic and ahead of Olowokandi. Regardless of how you slice it, Bargnani was bad for a first overall pick.
    But something interesting happens when you sort these players by points per 48 minutes; all of the sudden Bargnani moves up to 7th place, ahead of notably better players like Dwight Howard, Greg Oden, and Andrew Bogut. As David Berri has mentioned over and over, the popular way of evaluating NBA players is by points scored, so it should be no surprise that so many fans (and certain GMs) have problems recognizing that Bargnani is not very productive. Casual fans are blinded by the relatively large amounts of points that Bargnani scores, failing to notice his lack of production in other areas - such as rebounding - or his shooting efficiency (Bargnani is also 4th in FG attempts.
    As the most comprehensive 'Bargnani is a bust' post I've written to date, hopefully it will help more people realize that Bargnani is not a very productive player. The Raptors need to trade Bargnani as soon as possible, before the rest of the league catch on to his lack of production and while his value is at its highest. Exchanging Bargnani for a more productive Centre would do wonders for the franchise and is something that should be GM Bryan Colangelo's number one priority.
    For all you stat heads out there the OP uses advance stats (PPS, PER, PER 48, WinShare) even though he, like I, doesn't condone their (PER, WinShare) use to convincingly back up his claims on the Bargnani illusion.

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited by SirChillyMost; Mon Nov 8, 2010, 04:48 PM.