The average length of an NBA career spans just a few seasons. Due to the nature and size of the league, (450 total players can be on NBA rosters at once) it is very rare that players outside of a top 30 ranking in their draft class will make a substantial impact in the league. Additionally, only first round picks (the top 30 selections), receive guaranteed money in their contracts. Therefore, missing a draft selection outside of the top 30 picks carries far less consequence.
We also wanted to keep the size of an entry manageable in order to not deter potential participants who may be intimidated by the sheer amount of time it would take to develop informed rankings for more than 30 players.
For each draft, the number of win shares accumulated by a player over his career will be tracked utilizing the data provided by basketballreference.com. Players who appear in at least 25 games will qualify to be included in the win share rankings.
We will then calculate a score for each pick based on the difference of where a user ranked the player at the time of the draft versus where they rank in terms of win shares during their career. The scores for each pick will be weighted based on how high a player ranks in win shares i.e. forecasting the #1 ranked player correctly will earn a participant more points than doing so for the 30th overall player.
Winthedraft.com does not currently offer a prize based on a user’s performance in its competition. There are two reasons for this: 1) Draft scores will essentially update in real time throughout NBA seasons. However, it is very difficult to determine an “end date” for when a draft should be closed off to scoring, since the length of career for the players included is bound to vary. 2) Although the win shares data is a very helpful tool, there is no foolproof way to objectively “score” a draft. All we can look for is general guidance on which participants outperformed the others.
We hope the bragging rights, learning opportunities, and potential networking this platform can provide will be enough to incentivize people to participate. We will also make an effort to interview and publicly recognize the top draft performers every year.