John Hollinger unveils his new system for evaluating the pro potential of college basketball players. His system would have corrected for Carlos Boozer having been picked 26th in the 2002 draft (Hollinger's system had him ranked #1 in that draft), and would've suggested a pass on Adam Morrison and J.J. Redick in the 2006 draft. Of course, if you develop a system based on the past several years of draft data, then the system should do well by those measures, so we'll have to wait a few years to see how the system holds up. Still, the thinking behind the system seems solid, and I'm a big Hollinger fan so I'm giving the system the benefit of the doubt.
The big news, of course, is what the system says about this year's draft, and it gives Kevin Durant a big edge over Greg Oden (Bill Simmons will be pleased). In fact, Durant ranks as the top NBA prospect in the last half decade, besting Carmelo Anthony's raw score in 2003. Other findings: Conley ranks third, just behind teammate Oden, and Corey Brewer, Acie Law, and Spencer Hawes are quite overrated. Fascinating stuff, and it's available as a free preview from ESPN Insider.
The Wages of Wins journal has posted its evaluation of NBA prospects, and it has Nick Fazekas at the top of the heap based on Position Adjusted Win score per 40 minutes (which, notably, does not adjust for strength of competition). Durant ranks second, Horford third, and Oden fourth. Oden was hurt for much of the year so perhaps his score understates his ability. The PAWS/40 minute ranking also predicts Corey Brewer, Acie Law, and Spencer Hawes to be busts.
P.S.: I'm a Durant guy--I've seen him play, and to be that skilled at that age on the offensive end is special.