In an ideal world, we could compare Ricky Rubio's stats with those of similar players to predict his relative success in the NBA.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Unfortunately, very few (ie none) 18 year old point guards have made the jump from Spain's ACB league to the NBA. Therefore, it's difficult to use Rubio's stats from last season to predict his performance in the NBA next year.
Rubio was at or near the top of his league in several statistical categories. For example, he finished #1 in assists per game. However, it's tough to predict how that will translate to the NBA.
I thought it might be interesting to compare Rubio's stats from last season with other players who ranked among the top in assists per game as well as Juan Carlos Navarro.
I added stats for Navarro from last season, from when he was 18, and from his rookie season with the Grizzlies. I also threw in Gasol's stats from his last season in the ACB league (age 20).
Rubio's all around stats are better than the other players I chose, but not by much. However, the other players are much older than Rubio.
Perhaps we shouldn't expect Rubio to immediately perform at the level of Derrick Rose or OJ Mayo since his stats aren't strikingly different from other ACB players who haven't made it in the NBA. If that's true, then drafting Rubio is about his age and potential.
However, Navarro and Gasol's stats aren't far off from Rubio's and both of them were among the best of their rookie classes.
Still, stats don't tell the whole story. Navarro was much older and more of a 2 guard while Gasol was slightly older and a 7 foot power forward. Therefore, their transitions to the NBA may be inherently different than Rubio's.
Still, these cases do suggest that an ACB stat line like Rubio's can translate into success in the NBA.
Below are some stats I pulled from ACB.com.