Goodwin could be a steal in 2013 NBA Draft

Mark Zerof/US Presswire

Archie Goodwin has flown under the radar leading up to the draft.Archie Goodwin posted respectable numbers during his freshman campaign -– 14.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game –- yet there hasn’t been nearly the same buzz as there has been for other John Calipari-coached guards.

However, taking a deeper look at the analytical data shows that Goodwin might be the next Tyreke Evans or Russell Westbrook.

Goodwin and Evans

There are a lot of similarities between Goodwin and Evans. Comparing their freshman numbers, Goodwin was the more efficient scorer on isolation and pick-and-roll plays and overall against man defense.

The biggest knock on Goodwin is his jumper. But Goodwin was a better jump shooter than Evans was as a freshman. Goodwin shot 33 percent on jump shots, while Evans shot 28 percent at Memphis.

Goodwin was also more effective than Evans as an on-ball defender, allowing fewer points per play. Goodwin held his opponents to 31 percent shooting, compared to 38 percent for Evans.

Goodwin was especially strong defending jump shots -- his opponents shot 26 percent on jump shots, including 22 percent on catch-and-shoot jumpers.

Evans was the fourth pick of the 2009 NBA Draft. Goodwin is projected as a late first/early second round pick.

Goodwin and Westbrook

Westbrook was also drafted fourth overall in 2008. His numbers as a sophomore at UCLA were comparable to Goodwin’s at Kentucky. Westbrook averaged 12.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.

Neither Westbrook nor Goodwin had overwhelming statistics or looked like a sure-fire lottery pick. But the Seattle SuperSonics liked Westbrook’s upside and gambled on him with the No. 4 pick, a gamble that paid dividends. Teams could take a similar gamble on Goodwin (perhaps not as high as fourth overall).

Points Per Play by Play Type
In Final College Season

Is Goodwin the next Westbrook? Take a look at the similarities in their numbers during Westbrook's sophomore season in 2007-08 and Goodwin's freshman season, as show in the chart to the right.

Westbrook was projected as a point guard but played off the ball alongside Darren Collison at UCLA. Goodwin was expected to be Kentucky’s point guard last season but instead spent more time playing off the ball. Perhaps Goodwin will adjust to point guard in the NBA like Westbrook did.

Evans and Westbrook are both known for their abilities to finish at the rim. Goodwin was actually more efficient scoring around the rim than both Evans and Westbrook in their final college season, averaging 1.12 points per play while shooting 55 percent.

On those same plays, Evans averaged 1.02 points per play and shot 50 percent while Westbrook averaged 0.82 points per play and shot 40 percent.

Goodwin may need time to develop. He may not be able to contribute immediately like Evans and Westbrook did as rookies. But based on the analytical comparisons, Goodwin could be the steal of the 2013 NBA Draft.