With the order for the 2015 NBA draft set after Tuesday's lottery, it's a good time to revisit what the numbers have to say about this year's top prospects. In February, I released a preliminary big board of the top 30 prospects in terms of the wins above replacement player (WARP) they're projected to average over their first five NBA seasons. (For more details on the method, see this explanation.)
Since then, we've learned who will be in this year's draft, some of the numbers have changed and I've introduced a consensus projection for WARP incorporating where players rank on my colleague Chad Ford's Big Board as an estimate of how scouts view them. I'm using the consensus projection to rank my updated top 30 with notes on how players would rank going strictly by their statistical projection.
At the end, check out a table of all of Ford's Top 100 prospects who have projections.
1. Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Kentucky
Consensus: 4.0 WARP | Big Board: 1 | WARP: 3
Towns ranks third in projected WARP (3.0), but the gap is small and his spot atop Ford's Big Board carries heavy weight. As a result, Towns is comfortably No. 1 by consensus. It's hard to find a real concern in Towns' statistics. He's average or better for a center across the board, and his rim protection is elite.