(No pun intended.)
So, once I get an interesting new idea in my head, I tend to obsess about it (perhaps, too much). Yesterday, I wrote about a way to compare players to each other using a “distance” measure of statistical similarity. Some time after I wrote that, I had a Eureka! moment and thought, hey, I should just put current NBA players into the model, and see who the current draft compares to. This is my first stab at it, using college stats from the last six draft classes (going back to 2006). I only used the basic pace-adjusted stats this time around, so I think there’s a lot of room for improvement. But I wanted to put something up, because I think the results are neat. There are definitely some head scratchers (Anthony Davis compared to Demar DeRozan?!). Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Jae Crowder is the next Jeremy Lin.
A couple of things. 1) It’s better to normalize each stat, so that scales are similar. 2) A polar dendrogram save a lot of space.