Analytics: The role it plays during the draft, free agency and regular season

  1. I cannot speak for every team as every team operates a little different. I have been lucky and fortunate enough to work for three different NBA teams and have been involved with hiring different analytics people.
  2. On one of my teams, we had two full-time analytic guys. One came to the office every day and the other lived in NYC full time and reported weekly via phone/email.
  3. Every analytics model is a little different than the rest. There are some that focus solely on the NBA Draft process and some that focus only on NBA players for trade and free agent scenarios. Some are focused on NBA players/lineups and their specific efficiencies & trajectories. There are some that encompass all.
  4. Typically analytics models are based on many factors. One example is from one of the original analytics guys (Dean Oliver) and his “Four factors of basketball success”  Read more-


  •  Comparing team statistics
    • What are the team’s strengths and weaknesses?
    • Where does the team rank compared to other teams?
      • Example: team ranks for offensive & defensive FG% at the rim
  • Advance scout preparation
    • Where does the opponent team perform well? Where do they struggle?
    • Analyzing individual opponent player tendencies
    • What information is most pertinent for the coaching staff and players?
      • How will it be conveyed? Reports, video, etc.
      • The goal is not to stat overload!


  •  Player development purposes
    • Analytics to determine areas for improvement
    • Analytics to measure improvement of a player
  • Where do individual players rank amongst the league
    • Analyzing their strengths and weaknesses
  • Where do individual players rank amongst their position?
  • Consensus rankings on players
    • Subjective rankings from staff scouts


  • Stats are utilized to compare players when determining:
    • Trades
    • Signing players
      • Comparing players for salary/contract negotiations
      • Which players does he most compare to?
        • What is the financial value of the respective player?
  • Drafting players
    • Example: Historical anthropometric, strength and conditioning, agility test results from the NBA Combine to compare to players entering an upcoming draft


  • Analysis to keep players healthy
    • Practice: fitness monitors
    • Games: SportVU tracking data

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