Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive made headlines during the 2013-14 season by suggesting that the NBA lock in the draft lottery order at the All-Star break and telling reporters, “We want to be like the Spurs, but exciting.”
Now his franchise is thinking outside the box by asking fans to submit draft evaluation strategies.
According to NBA.com, the intriguing idea is called “Draft 3.0 Challenge.” The site breaks down that challenge by telling fans, “Devise your own methodology for evaluating the long-term value of potential NBA draftees by position.”
That seems easy enough, right?
In addition to devising one’s own methodology to evaluate players, though, submissions must also “use historical, publicly-available and (individually-sourced) data.”
Additionally, three mandatory steps have to be taken during the process.
Fans must enter their “individual and/or team details,” upload their research and analysis, and rank players by position using a handy drag-and-drop feature on the website.
Those submissions will then be collected through May 19, 2014.
At that point, the site says, “The participants who provide the most insightful and inventive analyses will be considered for an invitation to a Kings Draft Advisory Council -- led by (general manager) Pete D’Alessandro -- and convene regularly until Draft Day.”
Up to two people will be selected through this process, so it’s probably time for diehard Kings fans to brush up on their analytics skills.
I certainly do not envy the team of Kings personnel that will be tasked with reading through each submission. While there are sure to be some savvy basketball fans providing their own educated insight, the Internet is a ruthless entity.
While Sacramento is still toiling in the NBA basement, it has actually managed to draft solid players in the recent past.
Tyreke Evans—who was drafted fourth overall in 2009—won Rookie of the Year. DeMarcus Cousins was selected to the All-Rookie First Team and Isaiah Thomas—2011's Mr. Irrelevant, as the last player taken in the draft—has established himself as one of the best starting point guards in the league.
Still, the Kings are more than a few tweaks away from competing in the loaded Western Conference.
If nothing else, interacting with the fanbase in this manner should earn the organization some brownie points.