ESPN’s computer model has a surprising No. 1 prospect in this year’s NBA Draft.
The NBA Draft will be held next month. Here is a look at the lottery order, which was released last night.
ESPN Analytics’ NBA draft model is back for another year. The model is “designed to project the NBA success of college prospects early in their careers, or, more precisely, it is projecting a player’s statistical plus/minus (SPM) in years two through five in the league. For more of a breakdown on how it works, click here.
One player the analytics model is very high on is Florida State forward Jonathan Isaac. A one-and-done prospect, Isaac is regarded as having unlimited potential. He is a consensus projected lottery pick, but this ESPN model has him as the No. 1 player in the whole draft.
Isaac has the top projected Statistical Plus Minus (SPM) for his first five years in the NBA, according to our model, which gives him a 64 percent chance to play at the level of a bona fide NBA starter or better. Isaac has the third-best adjusted defensive rebounding percentage in this draft class and a 55 percent adjusted effective field goal percentage, which is as good as any other small forward in this draft class. His college stats are most similar to those of Otto Porter, who was selected No. 3 by the Washington Wizards in 2013 and was a key piece for a team that finished a win away from the Eastern Conference finals this season.
It is unlikely that Isaac is going to work his way into the top three, but at No. 4, the Phoenix Suns could get a top-quality player should Isaac be available when they’re on the clock.
Our take? Isaac will not impact whichever team drafts him as a rookie the way some lottery picks will.
However, it is likely that, if he develops as expected, he will eventually end up out-achieving some players who were picked before him.
[ ESPN ]