Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com (Insider) breaks down the 2013 NBA Draft class using a Wins Above Replacement Player (WARP) projection.
I start by translating a player's college statistics to their NBA equivalents. That produces a per-minute rating, player win% (equivalent to PER), that projects how we can expect rookies to perform in the NBA next season. By adding age, I come up with a projection of how many Wins Above Replacement Player (WARP), on average, prospects will produce over their first five years -- the amount of time teams control a first-round pick between the four-year rookie contract and one year as a restricted free agent.
Three players who worked out for the Portland Trail Blazers at the Tualatin practice facility this year fared very well, ranking in the top five of Pelton's WARP rankings...
3. KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE, SG, GEORGIA
Caldwell-Pope rates atop a deep group of shooting guards thanks in large part to his versatility. With good size for the position, Caldwell-Pope contributes on the glass and has an excellent steal rate. As a pro, Caldwell-Pope may be more efficient than he was as the first option on offense at Georgia.
4. CODY ZELLER, PF, INDIANA
After a terrific freshman year, Zeller took a step backward lat season, so he benefits from research showing that performance early in college is more important. Zeller's rebounding is a bit worrisome, but he figures to be an efficient scorer right away.
5. C.J. MCCOLLUM, PG, LEHIGH
Because McCollum was the Lehigh offense, he has the highest translated usage rate of any player in the top 30. McCollum was still reasonably efficient thanks in large part to his accuracy at the line. And he's an excellent rebounder for a guard who also racked up steals against lesser competition.
Players who worked out or were interviewed by the Blazers that didn't fare as well: Kelly Olynyk (No. 16), Alex Len (No. 23), Mason Plumlee (No. 26) and Shabazz Muhammad (No. 27).
PS Thanks to GetOver in the FanShots for getting there first.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter