Analytics MVP 3.0: Who are the best players based on advanced analytics and impact metrics?

Analytics MVP 3.0: Who are the best players based on advanced analytics and impact metrics?


Analytics MVP 3.0: Who are the best players based on advanced analytics and impact metrics?

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As part of a new series at HoopsHype, we are examining who should win the NBA MVP award based on what we can learn from advanced analytics.

For this survey, each impact metric was included because it was considered among the most trustworthy by NBA executives when asked by HoopsHype during this past offseason.

The metrics pulled included Daily Plus-Minus (DPM), Estimated Plus-Minus (EPM), LEBRON (BBall-Index), RAPTOR (FiveThirtyEight), Regularized Adjusted Plus-Minus (RAPM), Player Efficiency Rating (Basketball-Reference), Box Plus-Minus (Basketball-Reference). We also added the model of Box Plus-Minus from as well as the newest impact metric, Daily-Updated Rating of Individual Performance (DRIP).

ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus was not included because the data has not been published yet this season. However, if it’s publicly available by our next update, RPM will also be calculated.

Because all of these metrics (except PER) are graded on a per-100 possession scale, we adjusted for playing time by multiplying their impact contribution on each metric by the percentage of possible minutes they have played for their team so far this season.

As with the official vote, the top player received 10 points, the second received seven points, the third received five points, the fourth received three points, and the fifth player received one point. If a player finished outside of the Top 5, they didn’t receive any votes from that measurement.

Only players that made the Top 5 on least one of these nine metrics were included in our rankings below. Some of the most notable omissions include Rudy Gobert, Karl-Anthony Towns, Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, Jarrett Allen, Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell, Devin Booker, and Ja Morant.

To see who is performing the best based on HoopsHype’s Global Rating, click here. All stats are accurate as of Feb. 17, 2022. 

Trae Young (Atlanta)

Share of the vote: 1.1 percent

Previous rank: Not Ranked

Atlanta’s Trae Young, who will start in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game, ranks fifth-best in PER. Although he has his defensive limitations, Young is undoubtedly one of the game’s top players on offense. This marks his first appearance on our analytics MVP leaderboard.

For the latest Trae Young rumors, click here.

Luka Doncic (Dallas)

Share of the vote: 1.1 percent

Previous rank: Not Ranked

Although he had a relatively slow start to the season compared to lofty preseason expectations, Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic has heated up of late. He ranks fifth-best in BPM (Basketball Reference), which also gives him his first appearance on our analytics MVP rankings.

For the latest Luka Doncic rumors, click here.

Darius Garland (Cleveland)

Share of the vote: 3.3 percent

Previous rank: No. 14

After helping the Cavaliers become one of this season’s biggest surprise success stories, Cleveland’s Darius Garland will make his first appearance in the NBA All-Star Game. He currently ranks fourth-best in RAPM.

For the latest Darius Garland rumors, click here.

DeMar DeRozan (Chicago)

Share of the vote: 5.6 percent

Previous rank: No. 8

Little did fans realize that when the Bulls acquired DeMar DeRozan via sign-and-trade, it would become the biggest move of the offseason. Even though Chicago has suffered various injuries, DeRozan has helped his team stay atop the standings in the Eastern Conference. He currently ranks third-best in PER.

For the latest DeMar DeRozan rumors, click here.

Fred VanVleet (Toronto)

Share of the vote: 7.8 percent

Previous rank: No. 7

The best ability is availability and Toronto guard Fred VanVleet is one of the few players to log more than 70.0 percent of minutes for their squad in 2021-22. The guard will become the fifth undrafted player in league history to earn an NBA All-Star selection. He ranks second-best in’s RAPTOR.

For the latest Fred Van Vleet rumors, click here.

LeBron James (Los Angeles)

Share of the vote: 7.8 percent

Previous rank: No. 5

All things considered, LeBron James is having an unimaginably impressive season for a 37-year-old basketball player. Although the season has otherwise been disappointing for the Lakers, James is still making a tremendous impact for his team. He ranks among the top five in DPM, DRIP, as well as BPM (Basketball-Reference). But he doesn’t presently rank among the top three in any category.

For the latest LeBron James rumors, click here.

Jayson Tatum

Share of the vote: 11.1 percent

Previous rank: Not ranked

Don’t look now but Boston’s Jayson Tatum is leading the Celtics to a wildly hot stretch of late. As his team continues to play well, Tatum’s excellence has become one of the more underrated stories of the season. He currently ranks third-best in both RAPTOR and RAPM.

For the latest Jayson Tatum rumors, click here.

Chris Paul (Phoenix)

Share of the vote: 18.9 percent

Previous rank: No. 10

After leading the Suns to the NBA Finals during his first season with the team, veteran guard Chris Paul has helped Phoenix secure the best record in the league thus far. He ranks in the top five for EPM, LEBRON, BPM (Backpicks), and RAPM. He ranks second-best in DRIP. He has the narrative of “best player on the best team” working his favor, too.

For the latest Chris Paul rumors, click here.

Joel Embiid (Philadelphia)

Share of the vote: 24.4 percent

Previous rank: No. 9

Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid is having an MVP-caliber season and it might get even better once he begins playing with a shot creator as phenomenal as his new teammate James Harden. He ranks in the Top 5 for DPM, EPM, LEBRON, PER, and both versions of BPM. Embiid currently has the second-best rating in LEBRON, too.

For the latest Joel Embiid rumors, click here.

Stephen Curry (Golden State)

Share of the vote: 43.3 percent

Previous rank: No. 3

From a shooting perspective, by his standards, Golden State’s Stephen Curry isn’t having as stellar of a season as he is accustomed to enjoying. However, his impact on the success of the Warriors is still magnificent. He ranks in the Top 5 for DPM, LEBRON, and BPM (Backpicks) while ranking second-best in EPM. Curry also currently leads all players in DRIP and RAPM.

For the latest Stephen Curry rumors, click here.

Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee)

Share of the vote: 47.8 percent

Previous rank: No. 2

Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo went from winning back-to-back MVP awards to then winning NBA Finals MVP. Among all the stats we surveyed, Antetokounmpo ranks in the top five in each of them except for RAPM – which is the only stat that doesn’t include counting stats like points, rebounds, and assists in its measurements. He leads all players in DPM and he currently ranks second-best in PER and both versions of BPM.

For the latest Giannis Antetokounmpo rumors, click here.

Nikola Jokic (Denver)

Share of the vote: 87.8 percent

Previous rank: No. 1

Denver’s Nikola Jokic won the league’s MVP in 2020-21 and this season, he is enjoying one of the most underrated campaigns in recent memory. Jokic ranks in the top five in each of the statistics we surveyed and only falls out of the top three in DRIP. He leads all players in EPM, LEBRON, RAPTOR, PER, and both versions of BPM. Advanced analytics suggest he should be the clear favorite to win Most Valuable Player once again this season.

For the latest Nikola Jokic rumors, click here.


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