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Which Jayhawk currently has the most NBA value?
All right, let’s try this again.
Last week in the ‘Hawks in the NBA blog, we looked at — and even criticized — a blog by ESPN.com’s John Hollinger, who focused on each NBA player’s PER: Player Efficiency Rating.
Hollinger’s PER stat measures the per-minute productivity of more than 300 NBA players and is based purely on statistics. The result, although interesting, left a jumbled mess of potential confusion, as loads of bench players who shined late in games in limited minutes last season found themselves ranked substantially higher than starters and sixth-men who played big minutes and small roles.
As we examined where the former Jayhawks in the Association fell on the list, I began to wonder if there was a better way to rank the current KU alums in the NBA. We all know that Paul Pierce is the most valuable former Jayhawk currently playing pro ball and can assume that Darnell Jackson — because of his role not his ability — is probably the least valuable.
But I figured why not quantify that in some way?
With that, the PVR was born. Please don’t confuse it with PBR, the tasty beverage popular in dive bars, or PAR, any hack golfer’s dream. The PVR is this blog’s Player Value Rating and it takes five things into account: Experience, Ability, Productivity, Intangibles and Potential.
***Please note that this formula was created as a way to generate discussion and should in no way be taken as a scientific formula that measures anything other than one man’s opinion.
I won’t bore you by rating the non-KU guys out there, although it should be pointed out that LeBron James is a perfect 25 in PVR. Big surprise, right?
Anyway, without further ado, I give you this year’s PVR. Remember, the numbers listed below are based on a 1-to-5 scale, with 5 being outstanding and 1 being Ugh.
2009 Hawks in the NBA PVR
Mario Chalmers — Although Chalmers doesn’t have the experience in terms of longevity, that’s the only thing holding him back at the moment. When it comes to second-year players, though, few have as much experience as Chalmers, a starter for the Heat all of last season. In addition to earning a starting spot, Chalmers was near the top of the league rankings in steals and contributed solid numbers on the offensive end as well. It’s clear by now that Miami got a steal with this guy. He’s going to be a starting point guard in the NBA for many years to come. Experience: 2, Ability: 4, Productivity: 4, Intangibles: 4, Potential: 5, Total: 19.
Paul Pierce — There’s no doubt that Pierce is the better and more accomplished player. But when you consider that he’s at the end of his career and Chalmers is at the beginning of his, the hero of the 2008 national championship game gets ranked ahead of Pierce on the list. Pierce still has a few solid years left, but a large chunk of his current value comes from what he’s done and not what he still can do. Experience: 5, Ability: 4, Productivity: 4, Intangibles: 4, Potential: 2, Total: 19.
Kirk Hinrich — Mark my words, one of these days some team will trade for Hinrich claiming that it was seeking a veteran presence to balance out a youthful lineup. It almost happened this summer with Portland, but Hinrich remained in the Windy City. Because Ben Gordon has been moved, the Bulls clearly still have hopes and expectations for Hinrich. This much we know, he’s experienced, talented (particularly on defense) and possesses a boatload of intangibles. He, too, is on the back end of his career, though, which hurts him in the potential rating. Experience: 5, Ability: 3, Productivity: 3, Intangibles: 4, Potential: 2, Total: 17.
Julian Wright — One of just a few former Jayhawks with a sky-high ceiling in terms of potential. The word from New Orleans is that Wright will get the chance to start this season. Head coach Byron Scott has committed to starting the small forward for the entire preseason. After that he plans to evaluate how it went and move forward from there. Despite his two years in the league, Wright still has very little actual experience. What he does have is a freakish talent, a fresh body and incredible upside. It’s this year or never for Mr. Wright. Experience: 2, Ability: 4, Productivity: 2, Intangibles: 3, Potential: 4, Total: 15.
Drew Gooden — The experience is there and the numbers are, too. Despite bouncing around from franchise to franchise, Gooden has put up plenty of good numbers during his time in the NBA. He still has solid skills that would help any team out, but he’s not as young as he once was, which limits his potential. I’d expect a career year in Dallas this season but things might start to decline after that. Experience: 4, Ability: 3, Productivity: 3, Intangibles: 2, Potential: 2, Total: 14.
Darrell Arthur — It’s still early and maybe it’s nothing to panic about, but after landing Arthur in the 2008 NBA Draft, the Memphis Grizzlies sure have stockpiled a lot of big men after him. Typically, that’s not a good sign. But just because he does not fit in with Memphis doesn’t mean Darrell won’t get a shot. With his athleticism and skill set, Arthur is a budding NBA star waiting to emerge. It might not be this year, but my guess is that some day soon he’ll be a big-time pro player. That will push his experience and productivity numbers up and land him higher on this list. Experience: 1, Ability: 4, Productivity: 2, Intangibles: 3, Potential: 4, Total: 14.
Nick Collison — Facts are facts and in this case they seem to say that Collison will never be an NBA star. But can he be a guy with a 10-year career or near double-double averages? Sure. If given the chance. Thus far he’s gotten a pretty fair shake. He’s not the kind of player that will ever be featured but he’s started a lot, played a lot and delivered a little. Things probably won’t fluctuate much from the nice, steady line that has represented Collison’s career so far. But when it’s all said and done, he’ll likely be pretty pleased with what he delivered. Experience: 3, Ability: 3, Productivity: 2, Intangibles: 3, Potential: 2, Total: 13.
Brandon Rush — This one makes little sense to me. I really think Rush is going to be an excellent pro. But when I did the numbers, I just couldn’t justify elevating his PVR. His experience is small, his overall skills are limited and his productivity has yet to take off. If it does, his 2010 PVR could be considerably higher. Experience: 1, Ability: 3, Productivity: 2, Intangibles: 3, Potential: 3, Total: 12.
Darnell Jackson — No experience, little chance for serious playing time anytime soon and no numbers to speak of thus far. Jackson’s one of those guys who could go either way down the road. He’ll either be that guy you always see at the end of a bench or he’ll pop up out of nowhere and become a solid role player. His ability is high and his intangibles are great. He just won’t get much of a chance to do much this year. Experience: 0, Ability: 3, Productivity: 1, Intangibles: 3, Potential: 2, Total: 9.
Others to consider:
Jacque Vaughn — Like LaFrentz, Vaughn is a free agent without a team. Reports from his agent say that Vaughn is interested in playing again this season but he likely will be picky about what team he signs with. Because of that and his veteran presence and poise, his potential rating remains above water. Experience: 4, Ability: 3, Productivity: 1, Intangibles: 3, Potential: 1, Total: 12.
Raef LaFrentz — In Tuesday’s paper, our own Gary Bedore reported that LaFrentz’s career might very well be finished. Still, the free agent has somehow scraped together a decent 11-year career. Experience: 4, Ability: 2, Productivity: 2, Intangibles: 3, Potential: 0, Total: 11.
Billy Thomas — Thanks to his good size and deadly shot, Thomas has hung around the league for a number of years with a number of teams. Unfortunately for Billy T, the only number that might currently matter is his age. Experience: 2, Ability: 3, Productivity: 2, Intangibles: 2, Potential: 1, Total: 10.
Keith Langford — Langford, who recently inked a two-year deal to play in Russia, spent last season playing with the Italian League team Virtus Bologna, where he was the team’s leading scorer and helped lead them to the playoffs. Though he’s locked up for the next two seasons, Keith Freeze continues to work on his game and continues to pop up on NBA summer rosters. Experience: 1, Ability: 3, Productivity: 0, Intangibles: 2, Potential: 2, Total: 8.
Aaron Miles — Recently cut from the Atlanta Hawks, Miles probably has little shot of ever catching on with an NBA team. Experience: 0, Ability: 3, Productivity: 0, Intangibles: 3, Potential: 1, Total: 7.
Russell Robinson — The Cleveland Cavaliers have Russell Robinson listed as one of the choices in an on-line poll question that asks fans who the final roster spot should go to. Although no official decisions are tied to the poll, this clearly demonstrates that Russ-Rob’s NBA career has a pulse. Experience: 0, Ability: 3, Productivity: 0, Intangibles: 3, Potential: 1, Total: 7.