The Denver Nuggets are deep into the process of evaluating prospects for the upcoming NBA Draft. Over on Bleacher Report, Adam Fromal sits down with Tommy Balcetis, the Nuggets’ Manager of Basketball Analytics, to discuss some of the methods the team uses to dissect the skills and potential of the members of this year’s highly touted draft class.
The full article is worth a read, if for nothing else to get a sense for just how ingrained in NBA culture analytics and advance stats have become. But here are a couple of interesting quotes from Balcetis that really jumped out at me.
On the stats that are truly comparable between the college game and the NBA:
“Rebounding. Rebounding translates really well. There’s a reason why Kenneth [Faried] is with us. His rebounds back at Morehead State were great, and he’s with us now, and he’s continuing that trend.”
On the strength of this year’s draft class:
“It’s very strong. The top five are all franchise-altering players, and that’s definitely big. In my opinion, the top 30 are solid players who will be very beneficial to your team.”
On his favorite player in the draft class:
“I love certain things about certain players. If I could build one perfect player, I feel like I could do that based on some of the skills of this draft class. Julius Randle has the toughness and mentality of a winner. [Jabari] Parker is just extremely talented overall. [Dante] Exum has that amazing upside. If I had to choose one, I probably couldn’t, to be quite honest with you. But I feel like there’s something very elite about each and every one of them. [Nik] Stauskas shooting, for example.”
Again, the article is packed with stuff that most Nuggets fans and NBA fans in general should find interesting, so I encourage you to click over and check it out. Personally, I’m pumped to see Balcetis mention Nik Stuaskas specifically, if for no other reason than it keeps alive my hope of the Nuggets taking him at the 11 spot!