NBA Player Body Type Similarities

I'm back with another dendrogram! This time I took all the pre-draft measurements for drafted players that are available on DraftExpress and used the height (w/o shoes), weight, standing reach, and wingspan to calculate a similarity metric (using R, of course). I needed to do this because I am planning to use both the physical measurements and college stats for this year's draft class to improve the similarity analysis I did previously. Just waiting on the combine measurements in a couple weeks.

Here is a PDF of the body type similarities. Remember the closer two players are on a branch, the more similar they are in terms of body type (at least, according to this metric). In general, you see going around clockwise (starting after Andrew Bogut), the players go from bigger to smaller (ending at Nate Robinson). You can actually search for players by downloading the PDF and then opening it up in Acrobat. This is useful, since the text is so small, although you can also zoom in and scroll with the mouse.

Just to show you how this works, if you look at the lower left corner of the dendrogram, you will find Thaddeus Young and Xavier Henry next to each other. Thad is a lot bigger now (I think), but look at their pre-draft measurements:

NAME YEAR HEIGHT WEIGHT WINGSPAN REACH
Thaddeus Young 2007 77.75 210 83.5 106
Xavier Henry 2010 77.25 210 83.25 105

Here are the raw data, which you might find useful. I wrote a Ruby script to convert the measurements into inches (i.e. from 6'7" to 79). The last few columns also contain the skills measurements, which I didn't use here.

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