We all largely agree that Terry Rozier had a good season last year, but how good is up to debate. Looking at some of his advanced gestalt stats, like VORP, BPM, and Win Shares paints the picture of a player who had a overall positive impact, but how good is a 2.0 VORP relative to his peers? Using basketball-reference’s player season finder, we can help answer these questions.
I looked at VORP, BPM, Win shares, and WS/48 for all players classified as only guards. This means players who are listed as PG, SG, or both, but who are not also listed as SF. This will mean we get virtually every PG outside Ben Simmons, combo guards (players like Harden and McCollum) and pure SGs like Redick, but we exclude wings like Jimmy Butler. This seems like the correct peer group to compare Rozier against. Since VORP and Win Shares are counting stats, I did not adjust for minutes played. For BPM and WS/48 I required a minimum of 1000 minutes played (which is a really low threshold in my mind, but I didn’t want to be accused of excluding too many players — 103 players qualify at this level).
Here’s how he stacks up:
Win Shares: 19th
These are full season numbers. Rozier played even better towards the end of the season and into the playoffs. His playoff BPM of 4.5 would have been 9th overall for the full season. Obviously the sample is smaller as he played 1/3 of the minutes and 1/4 of the games, but it was also against a higher level of competition.
To be honest, I was quite surprised by these numbers. I was expecting to see him around the 30 range, making him a fringe starter. But to be inside the top 20 for all of them, and 15th in the rate stats, indicates that he’s a legit starting-caliber guard in the league. Additionally, every player ahead of him is older. With continued growth to his game (which seems possible if you merely project out a full season at the same level of production as his playoff stats) even calling him a fringe All-Star wouldn’t be hyperbole. (His playoff BPM of 4.5 was between Oladipo’s 4.9 and Kemba Walker’s 3.2).
So was Terry a top-20 guard last season? Could he be this year? Could he be in the top 10-15 within the next two seasons? Is he primed for an Oladip-level jump soon? Again, his playoff numbers projected to a full season are right in line with Oladipo’s this year, and his regular season numbers are also in line with VO’s Year 3 numbers.
And if he really is a top-20 guard, heading on his way to the 10-15 range, what do you do with him? I’ve been in the camp that the absolute least I’d accept in draft night trade is #12 straight up, but having looked at this, I think even that is off, and I doubt I’d be okay with anything less than #9 straight up. And if you could get him to take the same money you’re willing to pay Smart, at this point I would choose Terry over Marcus, which is a statement I’m really surprised to type.
Late night food for thought.
(P.S. I know advanced stats are not the end-all, but he also clearly passed the eye test on the court, and the team performed tremendously well with him in a major role, so the advanced stats are simply another confirmation, and not a statistic devoid of context.)