Stanley Johnson ranked third best player in 2015 draft

Jun 25, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; General view of the full first round draft board at the conclusion of the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 25, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; General view of the full first round draft board at the conclusion of the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit has some awesome stuff. If you have some spare time I strongly suggest you take a look at the site.

One of their more interesting pieces involves their top 50 college players of the 2015 NBA draft and how they compiled their data. The results ended favorably for Detroit’s Stanley Johnson who–not surprisingly– rates very similar to Justise Winslow.

What is surprising however, is how high each forward ranks on the their big board. WInslow is second and Johnson third.

Take a look at how they came up with this list:

"Like other statistical draft projection systems out there, this model uses a player’s college numbers,3 demographic data such as height and weight, and his top 100 ranking, as a proxy for what the scouts think of him. (Check out all the data on GitHub.) But unlike most draft models, our method acknowledges that NBA data on draft prospects is strongly left-censored, because very few prospects actually get a chance to play in the NBA at all, much less stick around long enough to get a meaningful sample of playing time. It’s an important distinction because any method that simply regresses NBA performance against college predictors has already made the assumption that the player possesses whatever attributes will allow him to move past the league’s playing-time gatekeepers — an assumption that could mask important distinctions between successful and unsuccessful prospects.4Specifically, the model assesses the probability that a player’s early-career SPM will land him in each of four categories:1. Superstar: We’re talking players like Anthony Davis here (about one of these per draft class).2. Starter: This bucket includes solid players like Shane Battier and Kyle Lowry (about 10 per class).3. Role player: These are the Jarrett Jacks and Tony Allens of the world (25 per class).4. Bust: Hello, Michael Beasley! (This bucket consists of everyone not in the first three, including replacement-level players who will never actually appear in the NBA.)"

"Instead of this draft being a battle of big men at the top, then, the model thinks a pair of small forwards — Duke’s Justise Winslow and Arizona’s Stanley Johnson — are more likely to succeed in the NBA than Okafor is. Winslow, in particular, is fascinating: His overall projection is better than what the model gives to both mega-hyped wings from last year’s draft (Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker), although it’s driven not so much by his ceiling as by the low likelihood that he will bust out. While Wiggins and Parker both had roughly a 35 percent bust probability, Winslow’s is 23 percent, perhaps because he has no glaring statistical red flags.In that sense, Winslow’s profile might be symbolic of this draft class as a whole. While there figure to be fewer future superstars available this year than in 2014’s rookie crop, it might be a banner year for solid, above-average players. Even taking into account the superior star power of a year ago, the model projects this year’s class to contain about 10 percent more players who grade out as a future NBA starter or better."

Johnson and Winslow top three players? Winslow ahead of Johnson in yet another measuring tool–these guys just can’t get away from each other can they?

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I’m not shocked that Winslow ranks as a lesser risk compared to Johnson. I ranked Winslow ahead of Johnson for this very reason. Both players had elite traits: Winslow’s on the defensive end and Johnson’s work ethic off the court, but I see Van Gundy’s logic in selecting Johnson.

What is surprising to me is that Winslow ranks ahead of Johnson in chance of becoming a superstar. I know Winslow has an elite defensive game and upper-tier athleticism, but his offensive skills are severely lacking in comparison to Johnson’s. Johnson is also taller (though not by much), has a longer wingspan, and weighs 20 more pounds.

For those of you wondering where Detroit’s second round pick ranks, prepare to start scrolling. Darrun Hilliard is near the very bottom ranked as the 46th best player in the draft with a 51 percent bust rate.

The Johnson vs Winslow debate will go on for as long as both continue playing or one obviously surpasses the other. Only time will tell the outcome,  but it’s interesting how these advanced metrics have both players rated above players like D’Angelo Russell and Jahlil Okafor.

Would you be surprised if both ended up being the second or third best player in the 2015 NBA draft, or even both falling in the top five?

Next: Watch:Stanley Johnson's hilghights against Orlando White