It's that joyous time of year for NBA basketball fans where every pundit or sports blogger comes out with a mock draft or will tell you who they think will be a good player/steal. To correspond with this everyone has their reasoning for why that player will be good. Some will say they use to eye test, some watch game film, or go off of a players stats (metric or not).
One thing that really irks me about all of this is the terminology that gets overused. Words like Athletic (ex. he's so athletic, he can jump out of the gym), skilled (ex. he can't run very fast but he more than makes up for it with his skills and footwork) and possibly the most thrown around word: Upside (ex. look at the upside on that PF). They no longer hold much if any meaning because of how much they are thrown around.
In the long run we really don't know whether a player will be good or not. There are so many factors that come into play with a 20 year old becoming a pro that that we can only make an educated guess. With that in mind I decided to make my own rating system for my educated guess. It's based off of factors that aren't normally thought of in the evaluation process and have little to do with the players on court play. They do have a lot to do with factors I think are awesome or can be awesome about any given player. I present to the good, upstanding citizens of Blazersedge HD's SSAT (Super Serious Awesomeness Tracking) Draft Ratings!
First off let's cover the fields that these players are being judged on:
College Jersey Number: Pretty self explanatory. It's the rating that is garnered by how great of a number did the player rock in college. Based on a rating from 1-10 (1 being lowest and 10 being highest). They are judged on: how high is the number (bigger numbers are cooler, it's a fact. so they get more higher rating), even or odd (odd is clearly better), and how common is that number worn( do a lot of players wear that number? if so way to be a sheep, you get a lower rating). The perfect number in my eyes is 75, if any player were to wear that they would get a 15 in this category.
Facial Expression( aka Dunk Face): This category was the most difficult to rate because half way through I kinda changed the variables (it's my system I can do whatever I want). It initially was a 1-10 rating of whether the player looks like a winner or at the very least a fighter. The main parameter being: if someone was to punch this player in the face what would be his response? would he say "why did you do that?" followed by tears(as I imagine Al-Farouq Aminu would) or would he say "it's on sucka!" and punch him back. I decided this was a lame parameter and instead made it about something much more amusing Dunk Faces. This is a Dunk Face:
Hopefully you get it. A good Dunk Face is a player that looks like he has been there before when dunking. Example:
That is a pro Dunk Face. Another good Dunk Face is when you can feel the awesomeness of that moment while looking at the picture of that dunk. Example:
That guy with the mustache below Gani's foot is saying "Dayyum! this moment is almost as great as my mustache, ..almost."
A major downside of the Dunk Face is that some of these players don't have any pictures of them dunking on the internet (Dougall can't be at every game) or that player can't dunk (I'm looking at you Jerome Randell). So instead I had to settle with Action Face, which isn't as great and was rated lower. This would be the ultimate bad Action Face:
and this would be a better one:
This picture says "Even though I am floating in the air, I am in control of this moment." or "I really had to fart but didn't want to be noticed so I decided to take a shot. Everyone will be watching the play and not hear it. Also I get to fart of the opposition." either way advantage Xavier Henry.
Undershirt: This phenomenon was explained and chronicled best by Tingeyga in his NO T-Shirts PLEASE! post.
Simply put it doesn't transition well to the NBA. A 5 was awarded to players who avoided t-shirts and 0 was given to those who apparently make bad decisions by wearing t-shirts under their jerseys. A few players were found to wear t-shirts in high school but not in college. Those players were given a 3.
Name Rating: Does the player have a name that sounds like he would make a great NBA player? All the great players have a recognizable name and it's not by chance. Smart people give their kids good names and that leads to a higher chance of that kid being a smart player. I decided this was an important field when Cablinasian made a comment about how he thinks some people believe Derrick Favors is going to be good because he has a great name for an NBA player. He was dead on. Derrick Favors just sounds like a future star in the NBA. Sometimes a name just comes together so well that this player just can't fail. That name can also just be a perfect fit for that player ( Trevor Booker looks and plays like someone named Trevor Booker you can't convince me otherwise). Inversely a name can force a player into obscurity (Elliot Williams screams "I'M MEDIOCRE!"). Also, as someone who many people consider to have two last names I am jealous of people with two first names and therefore rate them lower (how come Paul George gets two first names and I don't get any? It's just not fair!).
Hair: I knew DR. J was awesome the second I saw that powerful afro of his. Brian Grant is amazing for a lot reason. One of them is his fantastic dreads (did I mention Greg is growing dreads? No. Well he is and it's only going to make him more awesome of a player). I also considered facial hair into the equation because this is unacceptable:
Also chinstraps are a big no no (it's like saying "hey broski" with your face). Just to recap: dreads, and afro's are a plus. Chinstraps, goatees and whatever it is that's on Greivis Vasquez's face are a negative. Easily the most common looks was the clean shaven with short hair or a fade. That is pretty mediocre, so it was given a mediocre score of 5 (there is nothing wrong with it, just not very fun). Some were awarded a higher score for keeping their hair, as the kids say it, "fresh." Keeping well groomed is always good. This, on the other hand, is really bad:
I know you don't got much to work with in the hair department but dude just keep it short (it's like a porcupine got stuck on his head as he ran into a wind tunnel).
Attractiveness: Do the ladies love this player? Would more ladies go to your games if this player was on your team? (also known as the Rudy Fernandez effect). Seeing as how I am a guy I didn't feel like I was fit to rate this so I turned to one of this cites many ladies Portlandgirl91 for assistance. She ranked them on a scale of one to ten( and if I do say so myself was rather harsh with her ratings, but hey can't fault the girl for having high standards). She also had this to say about the overall draft class "none of em were dime pieces...not the best looking draft class =/." Here's hoping things turn out better next season.
Now I would like to look over the players being thrown around as names the Blazers could potentially be drafting:
Larry Sanders- 1(1)- 9- 0 -5- 7- 6- total:
"We get it, you like the number one"
Analysis: Not a particularly high score and the undershirt is a big red flag but most of his problems are fixable. The number one is pretty much the most common number you can have (with 23 being second). Hopefully you will get to the pros and pick something more awesome, like 75 maybe? He does have a fantastic Dunk Face as shown here:
that should translate well to the pros. But he was also caught wearing a t-shirt which can completely sink a career. He has a pretty generic name so that's not helping. His hair isn't anything to write home about but he keeps it low and I would say it's probably his best look. All he really needs is a better number and maybe a sweet nickname and he could have a really nice career.
Patrick Patterson- 9(54)-10-5-5-6-7-42:
"you are so awesome, flying isn't out of the question."
Analysis: 54 is a really solid number. The only real knock on it is that is even (very easily fixable) and that it's already in use by Jason Maxiell. His Dunk Face is very professional:
"I'm done dunking so can you please get out of the way."
No undershirts in sight. Name is rather average. Hair has room to grow (there is a sweet fro just waiting to come out), and apparently he is a pretty good looking dude. Overall he is well rounded, his name could hold him back from ever being a star but he is almost assured to be a rotation player.
Damion James- 4(5)-7-0-3-3-6-23:
"who tucks their shirt into their underpants?"
Analysis: Stay away from Damien! This is kind of a bad picture because he does show a solid Dunk Face in other pictures( some might say he is inconsistent with his Dunk Face, which is somewhat worrisome but I have faith that this picture is an outlier not the norm). The undershirt, chinstrap, somewhat common name , and low number are all red flags. Some fixable problems but overall he is a project at best.
"Sorry Luke, those socks can't save you."
Analysis: Unlike Damion James who appears to be vary up and down in his ratings Luke Babbitt is very mediocre at everything. The number leaves more to be desired, and according to google he has never dunked in his life( and his Action Face isn't very strong to lead you to believe he has potential in that area). No undershirt is nice and his name isn't something you hear everyday (although I do believe it is a good college name and doesn't transition well to the pros much like Adam Morrison and JJ Reddick's names). He seems to have improved his hair but I'm not sure if there is any room for improvement and looks are only okay. He's probably exactly what he is going to be for the rest of his career right now. Okay at everything with no Dunk Face.
Solomon Alabi- 9(32)-6-5-7-5-5-37:
"So much Dunk Face potential."
Analysis: Pretty solid all around, and I feel like there is still a lot of room to improve. 32 is a swell number that could turn into something along the lines of 37( a ten) real easily. His Dunk Face has the right idea (make sure the ball goes into the hole) but could use more seasoning and attitude. No undershirt and a really nice name that rolls off the tongue. He also seems like a guy that would be a nice fit for a good nickname. Hair might not ever improve but it's not inconceivable for an afro to develop later in his career. He could end up being a really good value pick.
"Lose the sleeves and we'll talk."
Analysis: Avery Bradley is just a strong name all around. It has solid rotation name written all over it. 0 may not blow anyone away but it is an under utilized number that can lead to a very good number in 00. His Dunk Face is nice but it looks to mechanic. To quote Huey Freeman "you need emotion content." That's not to say it won't get better as he matures. His hair is clean cut with some understated facial hair (could potentially have dreads but don't hold your breath). Easily his biggest downfall is his constant use of t-shirts. They aren't just a sometimes thing for him. The big question for him is can he overcome his big weakness (sleeves) and fine tone his strengths (name and number) while maybe adding one more strength from his mediocre traits (hair and Dunk Face) to make him more than just a rotation player.
After the jump are the total results( names in order of Draftexpress's 2010 mock draft):
(hope you enjoy)