It's time to make your NBA Draft prospect projections on the record and for everyone to see. This development has been long overdue. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Do you know who the boom and bust prospects of the 2012 NBA Draft are going to be? Well then you'd better speak up now, or forever hold your peace. Here's the deal: I have a really hard time caring about "I told you player X would be a beast/bust" talk when it first appears on my radar as an ex post facto claim rooted in some hypothetical conversation I can't quite prove never existed. Even worse is when a "prediction" never develops beyond a nebulous guess that becomes impossible to scrutinize or analyze -- things like "player X won't be a big-time player in the league" OR "that team will regret taking player X at pick Y."
Things will be different this year. Predictions will be placed out in the open and on the record from the beginning in 2012. I covered the problem of vague predictions at the beginning of the season, so let's quickly recap it:
Logicians refer to the stated problem as the multiple endpoints phenomenon. The idea is that if you have a specific measure of success or failure, they become more difficult to achieve, but if success or failure remain generalized concepts, they become much easier to achieve because they include wider sets of outcomes.
The problem is magnified when a specific criteria is either implied or asserted, but a generalized criteria is actually used. The phrase "Brandon Jennings will have a solid season" leaves a very generalized criteria that could mean many different things to many different people. Without attempting to specify the meaning of all possible outcomes, the test is no longer objective, and we expose ourselves to the risk that the claim will receive support too easily.
If you want people to respect or acknowledge your 2012 NBA Draft prospect projections, Buck up (I couldn't resist) now and post them in the comments below. Here are the general rules:
(1) Pick Any Prospects You Want And Predict Their Degree Of NBA Success / Failure. Try not to make this too much about draft slot, because if you had said "Luc Richard Mbah A Moute will be a second round steal," that would technically have been correct. However, that's only because second round picks aren't expected to do anything except fail. Is being a 15-20 min/gm role player who will never make an all-star game and might be overpaid with a mid-level exception type deal really a steal of a player for any franchise? I suppose if that's the type of stuff you want to hang your hat on you still can, but don't expect me to be super impressed for naming second round guys that might not suck. Predicting the best players from this draft straight up should be hard enough, and if you have a strong opinion on someone the Bucks could actually draft that would be great too.
(2) List 2-3 Reasons Why You Think Each Prospect Will Fail / Succeed. If you can't come up with three solid reasons for why you think a player will succeed or fail in the NBA you aren't analyzing and predicting, you are simply guessing. Guesses don't catch my attention, because the reasoning is what's really important in any prediction. Throw out a few things to explain your prediction, and if you happen to nail the prognostication AND the reasoning down the line you will get the props. Guess right for the wrong reasons and there won't be as much to brag about.
(3) If I Posted This URL In A Future Comments Section As A Reply After You Bragged About A 2012 Draft Prediction And You Ended Up Here, Either Find Your Recorded Predictions In The Comments Or Expect Me To Not Care.
(4) Put Up Or Shut Up -- Please Refer To Subsections (1) - (3) For More Information.