The 2020 NBA draft is the first year I’m doing draft grades. It definitely has been a process for me with a lot of trial and error. I wanted to be as thorough and impartial as possible with the grades. There are 30 categories on offense to grade and 15 to grade on defense with sliding weights given to different positions. It’s taken me time to figure out what value belongs to each category and what markers make up the criteria. I’ve also incorporated advanced stats and developed formulas to create grades. For example something like ‘touch’.
None of this is perfect and not anywhere close to a finished product. As a result there won’t be as many completed player grades as I was hoping to post. I’ve scouted over 60 players but unfortunately will be able to grade around 15-30 before the draft. I technically could keep posting grades after the draft but I’m not sure if that’s necessary. I want to start focusing on next year’s draft and especially the 2022 draft when hopefully the basketball world will be a little more normal. I’ve gotten my grading procedure down to a suitable level now and with future drafts should be keeping grades up to date during the season.
For this year’s crop of player grades I’ll have a sortable table with player breakdowns linked. If you’ve followed me in the past I typically write extensive scouting reports on each player but due to time constraints will be writing brief player breakdowns instead.
OldManBasketball’s NBA Draft Grade Sparknotes
The players will be graded on OFFENSE and DEFENSE. OFFENSE will be graded on shooting, screen setting/pick-and-roll game (for bigs only), scoring/finishing, driving/handle, feel and creation/passing. Each category has its own grouping of skills totaling 30 to 35. For example, drawing fouls on the gather/rim, movement shooting and win rate of drives. DEFENSE will be graded on team defense, on-ball defense, creation and IQ. Each category has its own grouping of skills totaling 15. For example spatial awareness and help defense. The more markers the player hits the better the grade. OFFENSE and DEFENSE will be graded on a 1-99 scale:
95-99: God Status (generational skills)
85-94: Elite (all-nba skills)
75-84: Great (all-star skills)
65-74: Good (starter level skill)
55-64: Above Average (rotation player skills)
45-54: Average (bench player skills)
35-44: Below Average (g-league lifer skills)
1-34: Poor (not in league skills)
There will also be ROLE POTENTIAL which features a ‘high’ and ‘low’ outlook. For example, HIGH: swiss army knife big, LOW: rim-running backup big. There will be STAR POTENTIAL which factors in functional athleticism and physical profile aka athletic ability, height, wingspan, lateral agility, shoulder size, etc. It is graded on a 1-99 scale. Just because player x graded better than player y doesn’t mean I project player x to be the ‘better’ player. Incorporating STAR POTENTIAL can act like a tipping point. I’ll also try to have SYSTEM DEPENDENCE included which entails the list of teams that will enhance a players skills and which teams could hamper them. Basically ‘team fit’ potential. If I do complete ‘system dependence’ it won’t be located on the sortable table and will be with the PLAYER BREAKDOWN (which you can find by clicking the players name). The more players I grade and more film I watch the grades are always subject to change. I’ll expand upon how in depth I go into the grades at a later date.