Peak NBA Statline Projection (PNSP) is a model used to project NBA success for college and International basketball players. PNSP considers each player’s individual and team statistics, physical measurements, high school scouting ranking, and age/experience. The PNSP model returns a single rating value from 0 to 100, with higher values indicating a “better” NBA prospect. We provide a detailed article outlining how PNSP is formulated here, and PNSP rankings from previous years can be found here. Below are a few highlights from PNSP’s ratings for the 2018 NBA Draft Class.
First and foremost, it is important to remember that a player’s PNSP score is calculated relative to players within the same position. Ranking of players by PNSP across different positions is a different use than originally intended. For example, saying Luka Doncic is a “better” prospect than Jaren Jackson Jr because his 99.5 PNSP rating is higher than Jackson’s 97.1 is not necessarily true because they play different positions.
Anyway, PNSP’s 2018 top NBA Draft prospect is Luka Doncic. Doncic is a 6’8″ Combo Guard from Slovenia who recently became the youngest player to win the EuroLeague MVP. Following Doncic in PNSP rating are three big men: Jaren Jackson Jr. also known as Triple J, DeAndre Ayton, and Wendall Carter Jr. Lefty big man Marvin Bagley III ranks out at number 8 by PNSP. Bagley’s hype and pre-college scouting had him penciled in as a top 3 pick by many social media outlets, but former Duke teammate Wendall Carter Jr. rates higher by PNSP because his versatility projects better to today’s NBA by PNSP. While Bagley might rate lower relative to other top players, he still projects as a solid NBA prospect with a PNSP of 83.5.
Kenrich Williams and Jontay Porter are the biggest surprises in PNSP’s top 10. Williams is a 6’7″ forward from TCU that demonstrated the coveted ability to make plays and score the ball in many facets while still providing productive rebounding. Porter is a center from Missouri and brother to top-ranked prospect Michael Porter Jr. Similarly to Williams, Porter has shown an ability to knock down outside shots, distribute the ball, and play solid team defense. Big men with Williams’s and Porter’s skill sets have been (rightfully) rewarded by higher PNSP scores, but PNSP seems to have had a difficult time determining which players have enough functional athleticism to thrive in the NBA.
Overall, the 2018 NBA Draft doesn’t appear to have the depth of the 2017 Draft, notably in the lottery. PNSP agrees, ranking only 10 players with a PNSP above 80 compared to 13 players in 2017 (or, 12% of players in 2018 compared to 16% in 2017). Note that Michael Porter Jr. is not included in our models, as he only played 53 minutes this season.
Over the next couple days, we will be releasing our NBA Role Probability Model and Similarity Scores for 2018 Draft prospects. Following that, we will break down some of the top prospects by piecing together our three components in our Prospect Profiles, and ultimately create a consensus Model 284 draft board.
|2||Jaren Jackson Jr.||PF/C||97.1|
|4||Wendell Carter Jr.||C||90.0|
|7||Marvin Bagley III||PF/C||83.2|
|24||Bruce Brown Jr.||SG||64.8|
|56||Lonnie Walker IV||SG||37.1|
|69||Gary Trent Jr.||SG||23.6|