With statistics beginning to settle midway through the conference schedules, it's time to unveil our first statistical Big Board of 2015. My projections for college and international prospects attempt to estimate how many wins above replacement player (WARP) they'll be worth on average during their first five seasons in the NBA, adjusted so future performance is less valuable than short-term returns.
That projection is based on two metrics: The player's per-minute performance, translated to its NBA equivalent and regressed to the average of rookies at their position, and their age. For more on WARP projections and their strengths and weaknesses, see this explanation.
Note that a handful of international prospects, most notably Emmanuel Mudiay, do not have projections because they do not play in one of the leagues for which I have NBA translations.
1. D'Angelo Russell
Current team: Ohio State | HT: 6-5 | WT: 176 | POS: G | WARP: 3.3
Chad Ford and I went long on Russell last week, explaining what has allowed him to rise to the top of my WARP projections. Since then, Russell has only reinforced his versatility by posting his first career triple-double (23 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists) in a win over Rutgers.