Friday, April 27, 2012

Is Andrew Bogut A Bust?

It kills me to even ask this question – Andrew Bogut seems like a nice bloke and has one of the best Twitter accounts of any athlete. When he first entered the NBA and basically came out and said that he was a far better player than three-time NBA champion Luc Longley – drawing scorn from outraged Aussies in the process – I just nodded my head in agreement. But has he actually lived up to the expectation of being a No.1 draft pick?

According to the NBA Geek website, Andrew Bogut has averaged 0.133 wins per 48 minutes over his career. What on earth does that mean? Well an average NBA player accumulates 0.100 wins per 48 minutes, so according to this metric Bogut has been better than the average player.

I find it easier to think about this if you look at Bogut’s stats compared to the average center. Bogut’s career true shooting percentage is 53.8 per cent, compared to 55.0 per cent for the average center, meaning that Bogut is not as efficient at scoring as the average center. (One comment I heard from a commentator was that watching Bogut shoot free throws right-handed he thought Bogut must be left-handed). However, Bogut is a better-than-average rebounder (13.7 rebounds per 48 minutes compared to 12.9 for the average center) and assist-maker (3.4 compared to 2.3).

But does one expect more from a number one pick than just being ‘better than average’? Bogut has produced 37 wins in his seven-year career. From 1977 to 2006 the average number of wins produced over the first four years of their careers by number one draft picks was 34.6 wins. This suggests Bogut is below average for a number one draft pick. However, this group includes very productive players such as Magic Johnson, Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan, LeBron James and Dwight Howard, who would all bring up the average wins produced. Hence, without doing the detailed calculations, Bogut may well have been better than the ‘median’ number one draft pick.

In summary then Bogut appears to be a better-than-average player who was an OK but not outstanding choice as a number one pick. Whether or not that should be considered as ‘being a bust’ is up to you.

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