Looking to shore up your big man stats in the late rounds of drafts? Then look no further than veteran Washington center Brendan Haywood to shore up your field goal percentage, rebounds and blocks with low turnovers.
Looking back on the Wizards’ lost season of 2008-09, first on everyone’s list of reasons why the Wizards were so awful was the absence of franchise player Gilbert Arenas. Without Agent Zero, the Wizards finished with a 19-63 record or a .232 win-loss percentage. This put the Wizards next to the Los Angeles Clippers and just ahead of the Sacramento Kings. However, few observers mention the absence of Haywood on their list of reasons why the Wizards were such underachievers. And make no mistake, Haywood’s absence was significant, most notably on the defensive end.
The Wizards last season were absolutely terrible on the defensive end, coming in second to last in the league in defensive efficiency (D-Rating of 113.6 versus a league average of 108.3). Just one season prior, the Wizards had been a better defensive team (D-Rating of 109.6 versus a league average of 107.5). For comparison’s sake, Haywood has a career D-Rating of 106. Obviously this defensive drop is not solely due to Haywood’s absence, but his absence certainly played a role. Haywood earns his time on the court defensively and is the Wizards’ best post defender (i.e. the guy that is best suited to trying to contain Dwight Howard).
Next season, Haywood qualifies as an Injury Sleeper II, which involves coming back from a prior injury. Haywood missed all but six games in 2008-09 with a wrist injury. As a result, he is not a sleeper in the traditional sense that he is an unknown quantity, but rather in the sense that he has a high probability of outproducing his average draft position. This season, Haywood has a Yahoo! O-Rank of 144th overall and a Buser Sports average draft position of 136th overall. Haywood should be a lock to outproduce this draft position.
But what kind of production can we expect from Haywood next season?
For guidance, consider Haywood’s career per-36 minute stats. He averaged 11.4 points on .527/.619 percent shooting, 0.0 threes, 9.0 rebounds (4.0 offensive for leagues that count O-REBs), 0.9 assists, 0.7 steals, 2.2 blocks and 1.7 turnovers. If you scale those averages back to about 30 minutes per game, his numbers are still solid for an 11th-round draft pick.
To put these numbers in perspective, look back at Haywood’s last full season for the Wizards, 2007-08, during which he played 80 games. During those 80 games, Haywood was good for 93rd overall in per game value and 83rd overall in cumulative value according to Basketball Monster. Most importantly he did this in only 27.8 minutes a game.
Next season, the Wizards have a new coach, Flip Saunders, and some new faces on board to compete for minutes. Haywood’s primary competition for minutes at center are Fabricio Oberto and Javale McGee. Recently, Saunders stated that he wanted McGee to play more like Denver’s Chris Andersen, making a big impact defensively in short minutes. Oberto’s veteran experience should also earn him some minutes at the five but Haywood is going to be the primary recipient of minutes and starter at the five. If you are looking for a solid big man to add in the late rounds of drafts, Haywood is definitely worth consideration before counting on unproven players like Roy Hibbert.
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