Approximately 5 years ago a certain individual in the basketball community made known his perception that the No. 1 Selection of the 2006 NBA Draft [i.e. Andrea Bargnani, C] would eventually fail to develop into a highly effective player for the Toronto Raptors. Unfortunately, when this perception was stated publicly many others in the on-line hoops community rejected it … because it was not supported at the time by some sort of so-called “legitimate proof”.
this no longer seems to be the case.
The fact is …
There is little skill involved with making summary judgments about a specific player’s ability, based on an “after-the-fact analysis of his individual performance statistics”, according to an already established metric.
That is what is commonly referred to as simplistic “paint-by-the-numbers” arithmetic, and involves no creation of “added value.”
In sharp contrast, being able to project correctly when something [or someone] is unlikely to develop at the rate others expect it to, or to the level others expect it to, or is likely to develop to a level beyond what most others expect it to, is a skill which generates a substantial amount of “added value.”
Those GMs in the NBA who need to wait to see what the “statistical analysis” says about a player’s actual ability level, in comparison with his peers, will almost always be operating at a competitive disadvantage … in effect, making personnel decisions once the proverbial cow has already left the barn with every GM in the league having access to the same information about a specific player, good, bad or indifferent.
When a team finds itself in this situation, it usually fits into “the loser” category, relative to its competition, as far as personnel decisions are concerned [e.g. drafting, making trades, and signing free agents].