Before the NBA draft, prospect comparisons to players who have already stepped foot on a professional court help us understand what’s next for them.
One way to determine this is via NCAA statistics from players who are in the league now. In a recent thread on Reddit, u/kip_chelly posted about his research to find the most comparable NBA players to the upcoming draft prospects (via Reddit):
I computed two cosine similarity values between all of those seasons and each prospect’s season. One was for their per 40 minutes stats and the other was for their advanced stats. Overall, I inputted 446 NCAA seasons from NBA players.
This showed two sets of the 30 most similar seasons per 40 minute stat lines as well as the 30 most similar seasonal advanced stat lines to find some of the most comparable players.
Lonzo Ball, UCLA
Lakers legend James Worthy said Ball reminds him of Kidd and Magic Johnson and this statistic backed it up with evidence.
Best Case Scenario—Jason Kidd
Worst Case Scenario—Michael Carter-Williams
Realistic Projection—Rajon Rondo
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