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 for the 2020 NBA Draft Class, and a listing of each player’s PNSP.
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 Tyrese Haliburton is a “better” prospect than James Wiseman because his 82.9 PNSP rating is higher than Wiseman’s 77.1 is not necessarily true, because they play different positions.
PNSP’s top NBA Draft prospect for 2020 is LaMelo Ball. LaMelo’s modestly high projection is driven primarily by his high usage, playmaking (AST:TOV and AST), and great size for his position. Further, by our metrics, the NBL is actually ranked as a better league than the NCAA. Surprisingly, the funky shooting Tyrese Haliburton ranks 2nd ahead of more heralded prospect Anthony Edwards. If you take a look at Sports Reference, you will see that Haliburton absolutely filled up the box score on an average Iowa State team. Beyond LaMelo, there is not much that separates the top 10 by PNSP, fitting the narrative that many prospects have wide ranges and there is little consensus.
Obi Toppin and Patrick Williams are the two prospects that PNSP rank’s furthest from consensus. Toppin’s heavily discounted for his age and lack of profile out of high school. Further, his rebounding, BLK%, FT shooting marks are below average relative to his position. Patrick Williams, on the other hand, just did not play enough to be rated highly by a metric like PNSP. For those not familiar, Patrick Williams came off the bench for a really good Florida State team this past season. Lastly, I wouldn’t read too much into PNSP’s ranking of James Wiseman. He barely played in college making it extremely difficult to give an accurate projection.
The consensus opinion of the 2020 NBA Draft is that it lacks top-end talents. PNSP agrees, ranking no players above 90, typically PNSP’s mark for an elite prospect. Every draft except 2013 has had a prospect ranked higher than 90. However, the draft might be deeper than people think. For example, PNSP has 15 players above 70 whereas last year PNSP only had 11 prospects above 70.
|2||Tyrese Haliburton||PG/SG||Iowa State||82.9|
|5||Devin Vassell||SG/SF||Florida State||79.9|
|13||Kira Lewis Jr||PG||Alabama||73.2|
|22||Patrick Williams||PF||Florida State||65.7|
|25||Cassius Winston||PG||Michigan State||63.8|
|27||Sam Merril||SG/SF||Utah State||61.9|
|29||Malachi Flynn||PG||San Diego State||60|
|31||Justinian Jessup||SG||Boise State||57.7|
|42||Jahmius Ramsey||PG/SG||Texas Tech||51.9|
|47||Myles Powell||PG||Seton Hall||45.5|
|49||Reggie Perry||C||Mississippi State||43.6|
|56||Vernon Carey Jr||C||Duke||36.1|
|60||Xavier Tillman||C||Michigan State||29.6|
|63||Lamar Stevens||SF/PF||Penn State||22.3|
|66||Kaleb Wesson||PF/C||Ohio State||13.9|