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Wizards Similarity Scores: The Epic Fail Edition

 

So far, I've posted two sets of similarity scores for Wizards players: the Young Guns (Bradley Beal and John Wall), and the Oldsters (Emeka Okafor and Nene). Comparable players for Wall and Beal included a pleasing mix of future All-Stars and All-NBA producers. The comps for Okafor and Nene were solid pros past their primes.

Today is the "epic fail" edition -- a look at the team's recent first round picks: Jan Vesely, Kevin Seraphin and Chris Singleton.

Is it fair to apply the "epic fail" tag to these three? Well, while they're still young and have the potential to improve if they word hard enough and smart enough, their performance this past season doesn't suggest they'll become anything more than NBA bench-warmers.

In Player Production Average, my overall rating stat that accounts for pace, defense and the level of competition a player faces while on the floor, Vesely was the 5th least productive player in the league, Seraphin was 9th least productive and Singleton was 11th (minimum 500 total minutes played). Not encouraging.

Let's take 'em in order from least productive. First up, Vesely.

Quick note: The similarity scores are generated using per minute stats that have been standardized to a pace of 100 possessions per game. They include every 500-minute or more player season since the 1977-78 season, which is where my database stops at the moment. The "test" player is perfectly identical to himself, of course. His score is set at 100. The "sim scores" closest to 100 are more similar. I wrote a bit more about the method in the first post -- the one about Wall and Beal.

In PPA, 100 = average, higher is better and 45 = replacement level.

PLAYER  POS  SEASON AGE TEAM SIM
SCORE
PPA
SEAS
PPA
PEAK
AGE
PEAK
Jan Vesely  PF  2012-13  22  WAS  100  19 70  21 
Byron Houston SF  1993-94  24  GSW  94  21 60  26 
Corny Thompson PF  1982-83  22  DAL  93  5 22 
Jim Smith PF  1981-82  23  SDC  93  28 59  24 
Bill Curley PF  1994-95  22  DET  92  26 26  22 & 25 
Jim Petersen PF  1984-85  22  HOU  92  11 91  24 
Petur Gudmundsson 1981-82  23  POR  92  19 61  29 
Mike Peplowski 1993-94  23  SAC  91  45 45  23 
Clifford Rozier 1995-96  23  GSW  90  43 121  24 
Cedric Simmons PF  2006-07  21  NOK  89  19 19  21 
Hilton Armstrong 2007-08  23  NOH  89  12 61  22 
                 

This list of similars gives me no hope that Vesely will become a useful player. Improvement is theoretically possible, but players who produce as little as Vesely did this season typically don't grow into quality performers later. The highest peak season among this group was Rozier's 121 -- but it was over just 700 minutes, and it was followed by a swift reversion to his previous ineptitude.

Oddly (at least to me), Vesely's rookie season similars aren't much more encouraging. They include A.C. Green, who had a long and productive career, but Green didn't crater in his second season. Other names: Jim Petersen, Jason Collins, Peter Verhoeven, Kenny Dennard, Johan Petro, Kurt Nimphius, Scott Hastings, Jon Koncak... You get the point. 

Next up: Seraphin.

PLAYERS  POS  SEASON  AGE  TEAM  SIM
SCORE 
PPA
SEAS 
PPA
PEAK 
AGE
PEAK
 
Kevin Seraphin  2012-13  23  WAS  100  22  95  21 
Marcus Fizer PF  2000-01  22  CHI  90  26 80  24 
Doug Smith PF  1992-93  23  DAL  89  28 65  24 
Maurice Taylor PF  2002-03  26  HOU  88  27  82  24 
Clifford Robinson PF  1989-90  23  POR  88  14 143  32 
Byron Mullens 2011-12  22  CHA  88  61 73  23 
Reggie Johnson PF  1980-81  23  SAS  87  62 97  24 
Purvis Short SF  1978-79  21  GSW  87  69 121  28 
Doug Smith PF  1991-92  22  DAL  86  51 65  24 
Albert King SF  1986-87  27  NJN  86  35 105  23 
William Bedford 1986-87  23  PHO  85  22 66  27 
                 

A little more hope for Seraphin when looking at these comps, but not a ton. Robinson's career took off when he developed into a terrific defender. Short became a decent player after a so-so start, but he was a small forward -- not a big. Seraphin is more likely than Vesely to develop into a useful player -- a statement that's very much damning with faint praise. He'll probably hang around the league for a few years because he's tall and nimble and shoots a lot. The Wizards shouldn't expect much from him, however.

Last up: Singleton.

PLAYER  POS  SEASON  AGE  TEAM  SIM
SCORE 
PPA
SEAS 
PPA
PEAK 
AGE
PEAK
 
Chris Singleton  PF  2012-13  23  WAS  100  24 56  22 
Viktor Khryapa SF  2004-05  22  POR  93  31 71  23 
Donald Hodge F/C  1992-93  23  DAL  91  19 81  22 
Hanno Mottola 2001-02  25  ATL  90  23 23  25 
Michael Doleac 2001-02  24  CLE  90  34 69  26 
Loren Meyer 1995-96  23  DAL  90  35 35  23 
Bo Ellis PF  1977-78  23  DEN  89  47 81  25 
DeMarre Carroll SF  2009-10  23  MEM  89  24 100  26 
Joe Wolf 1989-90  25  LAC  89  23 55  26 
Linton Johnson SF  2003-04  23  CHI  88  58 76  26 
Brian Scalabrine PF  2003-04  25  NJN  88  43 68  26 
                 

Singleton's list is about as encouraging as Vesely's. The bright side is that most of his comps seem to peak at 25-26. The downside: none of 'em were much good. Carroll finally got to average this season -- the best performance of his career. At their best, Singleton's comps were a bit above replacement level. We're talking about maxing out as the 10th or 11th man.

So, no hope for Vesely, very little for Seraphin and next to none for Singleton. Quite the haul for a trio selected 6th, 17th and 18th overall.

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