ESPN NBA Rank identifies interesting trends for Utah Jazz players, past and present

"Jazz fans love ME more!" "Nuh-uh!" "Well, maybe ESPN does?" "Shut up!" - Jim Urquhart-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN, the self proclaimed world wide leader, is in the business of making business for themselves. While they have interesting content, near ubiquitous presence, and attract a lot of talent (hey Andy) -- a lot of their content that generates cheers and jeers are related to lists, rankings, and the presentation of those lists and rankings. As a small market fan, it's practically my religion to feel slights (real and/or imagined), and disrespected.So the marriage of ESPN lists and my Utah Jazz fandom is a match made in pageview heaven for ESPN's marketing department.

These NBA Player rankings have been going on for three years now: 2011 here, 2012 here, and 2013 here. I've saved you all the trouble by gathering the ranks for every guy who played for the Jazz from 2008-2009 till today, and put them in handy chart form. Some of the trends may be interesting to look at . . .

ESPN.com
Player Rank Player Score
Player 2011 2012 2013 Avg 2011 2012 2013 Avg
1 Deron Williams 9 10 20 13.0 8.98 8.69 7.88 8.52
2 Al Jefferson 52 44 52 49.3 6.67 6.87 6.70 6.75
3 Paul Millsap 57 53 50 53.3 6.42 6.55 6.79 6.59
4 Carlos Boozer 50 67 61 59.3 6.70 6.18 6.33 6.40
5 Andrei Kirilenko 90 79 101 90.0 5.75 5.93 5.71 5.80
6 Derrick Favors 138 89 68 98.3 5.00 5.61 6.22 5.61
7 Wesley Matthews 100 109 130 113.0 5.64 5.26 5.21 5.37
8 Devin Harris 69 108 209 128.7 6.02 5.29 4.23 5.18
9 Kris Humphries 145 84 162 130.3 4.95 5.77 4.75 5.16
10 Mehmet Okur 139 139.0 5.00 5.00
11 Mo Williams 127 125 169 140.3 5.16 5.06 4.64 4.95
12 Gordon Hayward 221 123 90 144.7 4.18 5.09 5.91 5.06
13 Trey Burke 161 161.0 4.75 4.8
14 Kyle Korver 192 186 117 165.0 4.44 4.50 5.43 4.79
15 Marvin Williams 165 163 223 183.7 4.68 4.69 4.14 4.50
16 Enes Kanter 253 205 112 190.0 3.79 4.28 5.50 4.52
17 Eric Maynor 157 190 226 191.0 4.78 4.49 4.11 4.46
18 Ronnie Brewer 154 167 261 194.0 4.80 4.63 3.80 4.41
19 Josh Howard 189 216 202.5 4.44 4.15 4.30
20 Richard Jefferson 130 181 306 205.7 5.12 4.54 3.20 4.29
21 Randy Foye 222 201 232 218.3 4.16 4.30 4.05 4.17
22 Brandon Rush 269 180 222 223.7 3.60 4.56 4.14 4.10
23 C.J. Miles 216 250 270 245.3 4.21 3.78 3.70 3.90
24 Kosta Koufos 248 348 150 248.7 2.73 2.73 4.96 3.47
25 Alec Burks 340 242 213 265.0 2.80 3.88 4.20 3.63
26 Andris Biedrins 176 274 364 271.3 4.58 3.47 2.73 3.59
27 Raja Bell 265 310 287.5 3.64 3.25 3.45
28 DeShawn Stevenson 229 319 323 290.3 4.08 3.16 3.07 3.44
29 Derek Fisher 215 288 381 294.7 4.22 3.42 2.64 3.43
30 Kyrylo Fesenko 310 327 318.5 3.16 3.09 3.13
31 Carlos Arroyo 329 329.0 2.97 2.97
32 Earl Watson 295 323 370 329.3 3.33 3.12 2.71 3.05
33 John Lucas III 444 278 298 340.0 2.07 3.53 3.32 2.97
34 DeMarre Carroll 397 380 302 359.7 2.37 2.72 3.27 2.79
35 Ronnie Price 298 373 433 368.0 3.27 2.76 2.29 2.77
36 Francisco Elson 370 370.0 2.59 2.59
37 Jeremy Evans 430 342 356 376.0 2.18 2.93 2.83 2.65
38 Jamaal Tinsley 347 413 380.0 2.91 2.41 2.66
39 Sundiata Gaines 402 408 405.0 2.34 2.52 2.43
40 Jarron Collins 420 420.0 2.22 2.22
41 Rudy Gobert 423 423.0 2.38 2.38
42 Sasha Pavlovic 423 423.0 2.21 2.21
43 Othyus Jeffers 450 450.0 2.03 2.03
44 Travis Leslie 457 461 459.0 1.98 2.06 2.02
45 Ian Clark 464 464.0 2.05 2.05
46 Morris Almond 482 482.0 1.87 1.87
47 Kevin Murphy 483 483.0 1.85 1.85
48 Marcus Cousin 488 488.0 1.67 1.67
49 Jerel McNeal 494 485 489.5 1.63 1.88 1.76
50 Tadija Dragicevic 492 492.0 1.63 1.63
51 Blake Ahearn 494 494.0 1.59 1.59
52 Shan Foster 498 498.0 1.47 1.47
53 Brevin Knight No Data
No Data
54 Kyle Weaver No Data No Data
55 Matt Harpring No Data No Data

Obviously the first one to look at is, well, sometimes good players get old and their ranks goes down; and some young players get better, and their ranks go up. Other times, though, these ranks go way up or down partly due to some "other" reason. This is the Tinfoil hat guy in me (don't get me started on Joe Rogan...), but when these rankings are based upon perception, and the rankings are made by people, part of the perception of the team HAS to come into play.

For example, Richard Jefferson joins the Jazz and goes down by 125 points (and he may be our most consistent performer this year), and DeMarre Carroll leaves the Jazz and goes up by 78 points (despite not working on his three point shot, and gambling on defense). I guess these rankings aren't internally consistent. All three of the guys we got in the GSW trade went down in ranking, but that could just be because they're on the downsides of their careers. Many times we see players get "recognized" after leaving the Jazz, two other examples are Kyle Korver and Kosta Koufos. Kosta has gotten better for sure, but this year he's ranked #150 in the entire NBA. Korver got a huge bump after leaving the Jazz, despite being the same guy he was in Utah. Oh well.

Point form notes:

  • The Jazz "family" includes only 6 players in Top 100 average rank for the three years: Deron Williams, Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Carlos Boozer, Andrei Kirilenko, and Derrick Favors. Favors, at 98.3 is just barely in the Top 100 on average, and he's the only guy on the team
  • The team hasn't had "star power" with only two guys being in the average Top 50, Deron and Big Al -- and only Deron was a Top 10 player
  • Deron *was* a Top 10 player being #9 in 2011, and #10 in 2012. This year his #20 mark, a ten spot drop, moves him to an average of 13.0. So our best player out of these 55 players since 2008-09 and now isn't even Top 10. That kind of explains all the early playoff exits.
  • John and Karl had a lot of early playoff exits too, but I have no doubt that if this exists back in the day they both would have averaged to be Top 10 players over their careers.
  • Okay, yes, John and Karl aren't walking though that door. Well, at least not as players. John Stockton worked with Trey Burke and Alec Burks this summer; and Karl Malone was working with Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. Maybe one of those four guys can one day be a Top 10 player?
  • If you look at this year alone, the Jazz family has 6 players in the Top 100, Deron, Thrillsap, Big Al, Booz, Favors, and G-Time. We'd have 7, but Andrei came in at 101. Out of these 6 or 7 players, though, only 2 are on the actual roster today.
  • We have room to grow, and I'm sure whatever vets continue to join our team will just have to live with downgraded ESPN player ratings, partly due to their declining skills, but maybe also because of the perception that their best option was to come to Utah
  • Our F5 clocks in at #68, #90, #112, #161, and #213 this year. Time will tell if any of them will be Top 50 in the next few years, but I have to believe in them. They're "our" guys, after all.
  • All of these guys are our guys, but yeah, MY perception is that our guys get the short end of the perception stick due to some stigma our franchise has.

Bottom line, though? ESPN loves all the discussion this is generating, and all the hits these types of posts get. I just can't believe that I made charts for this that graphically show that the consensus opinion of Ronnie Brewer has increased in depreciation compared to the relative stability of how people regard Kyrylo Fesenko. Actually, no, if you know anything about me or any of my previous work that's probably the least surprising thing about this post. The real surprise is that I'm not uploading these charts.

You are all welcome.

In This Article

Teams
Players
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SLC Dunk

You must be a member of SLC Dunk to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SLC Dunk. You should read them.

Join SLC Dunk

You must be a member of SLC Dunk to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SLC Dunk. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker