Image (1) Kings_logo-thumb-250x355-16479.gif for post 3299

Kings using crowdsourcing, analytics to help with draft pick — and you can get in their war room


Most likely the Sacramento Kings will pick seventh in the upcoming NBA draft. There is a slim chance (3.6 percent) they could slide into the top three, there is a slightly larger chance someone leapfrogs them and they draft a slot or two lower, but most likely it is seventh (providing they don’t make a trade).

That means someone like Indiana’s Noah Vonleh, Michigan State’s Gary Harris, maybe Arizona’s Aaron Gordon.

The Kings want to know who you would pick. More importantly, they want to know why — they want to see your analytics.

They set up the draft challenge where you can not only rank the players but show your methodology. Sufficiently impress Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro and you can be part of a draft counsel and be invited to the War Room.

The Kings announced this in the most techie way possible — on reddit. Here is what D’Alessandro said.

There is so much talent and so much information out there today outside of the walls of the NBA. I told him I felt like we could tap into that vast wealth of knowledge. For that reason I was actually planning on reaching out to advanced fans and asking for their help in this Draft. I had my analytics team here at the Kings create a website where I’m asking fans to rate college players by position in the 2014 NBA Draft. I would like more than just the ranking for fans that are interested. I would like to know how they came to their decision. From this crowdsourcing, I will select a smaller group to be in my Draft think tank. A few of which I plan to invite to my war room.

The Web site has you ranking guys by position, top 5 at a spot out of a possible 10. There are no internationals on the list, so for example with point guards you don’t have to decide if you have Dante Exum over Marcus Smart.

But what the Kings really want is the attached files of in-depth research and analysis.

Maybe the Kings find some great information this way, maybe not. But it’s a great interactive move by D’Alessando and owner Vivek Ranadivé to tap into the analytics community, get them involved. It’s a smart move either way, with little to no downside.

LeBron says “get it done” message was for both Cavaliers, Thompson

LeBron James
Leave a comment

Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.

So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.

When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.

At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.

The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.

China basketball qualifies for 2016 Olympics

Leave a comment

China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.

China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.

Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.

This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.

The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.