Each year I talk to a number of NBA general managers and scouts to create my NBA draft Top 100 and Big Board. But this year I decided to go one step further: to ask those same GMs and scouts to actually rate the top 50 NBA prospects.
Below is our first "Secret NBA Draft Big Board" -- the results of the ratings and rankings from our most informed sources in the league.
We asked them to predict each player's NBA career, according to two questions: How good a prospect is he? What kind of career will he have?
About half of the NBA's 30 teams participated, rating prospects on a 0-to-10 scale. A rating of 0 meant that the player "won't make the league or will have a very minimal NBA career," while a score of 10 meant he was a "top-of-the-line, elite prospect." Our respondents were asked to rate each prospect against all such NBA prospects in recent years.
We took these scores, averaged them and prorated them on a 100-point scale. This created a consensus "wisdom of the crowd" effect, the same thing that drives our ESPN Forecast panel to great success in predicting NBA outcomes. In other words, the results below (a) are reflective of the opinion of NBA decision-makers about this year's prospects and (b) have predictive value in terms of the NBA careers of these prospects.
Here are the results for our debut edition of the Secret NBA Draft Big Board: