It's always a hot topic in Warriors land to debate whether we should have drafted Ekpe Udoh over Greg Monroe. Monroe and Udoh couldn't be more different in terms of box score stats (Monroe gets them, Udoh doesn't) — as Kevin Pelton pointed out just today (and you, dear reader of my blog, know I've been on the case for a long time already).
Box score stats are nice, and sometimes they lineup with team-level results, but the latter are what we really should care about the most. How does a player impact team-level results? To answer that question, advanced stat guys like myself look at team-level metrics, such as adjusted +/- (APM/RAPM) and my new A4PM (adjusted four factor +/-). With that in mind, today I wanted to take a look at how Udoh stacks up against some of the alternative draft choices the Warriors might have made. I'm focusing solely on the players that were talked about leading up to the draft as being possibilities for GSW at the #6, and the ones that have had enough playing time by now to have some confidence in their +/- data. These two criteria narrowed the list to 5 players: Greg Monroe (#7), Al-Farouq Aminu (#8), Paul George (#10), Cole Aldrich (#11), Ed Davis (#13), Patrick Patterson (#14). I also threw in Gordon Hayward (#9), since he was in the middle of that pack (but not ever rumored to go to GSW, as far as I can recall).
The tables below lists these players in descending order according to overall offensive and defensive ratings:
Recall that O1...O4 represent the weighted contribution of each offensive factor — eFG% (O1), TOV% (O2), OREB% (O3), and FTA/FGA (O4), respectively — to A4PM.
Recall that D1...D4 represent the weighted contribution of each defensive factor — eFG% (D1), TOV% (D2), OREB%(OPP) (D3), and FTA/FGA (D4), respectively — to A4PM.
So, it's early in their respective careers, and Udoh was an older rookie compared to guys like Monroe and George. Maybe those guys will show tremendous improvement soon. But right now, Udoh is hands-down the leader of the group in terms of the adjusted four factors metric. It's not even really close on either side of the ball. Some of these stats may turn out to be a result of small sample size, but the same could be said of any of the 7 players at this point in time. Although like many GSW fans, I was disappointed by the choice on draft day 2010, I've liked Udoh from the first few moments I saw him in the NBA, and I still like him today.