There are no be-all, end-all statistics in basketball that you can use to properly rank NBA players. There never will be, and I prefer it that way. You can make the case that there are in baseball, and that’s great, but in basketball? No thanks.
But the stats we do have still are fun, and still provide a lot of value. Specifically Player Impact Plus-Minus (PIPM) and ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus (RPM), both of which seek to quantify a player’s holistic value on the court.
Again: Not perfect as a ranking system. Far from it. But interesting and valuable.
So let’s check in on how the Warriors players rank among the rest of the league in each category. Let’s start with the players currently on the team, with the stats reflecting their total performance this season, even if they spent most of the season with another team.
I’ve averaged the PIPM and RPM rankings, and put each individually in parentheses. Hopefully this allows you to cherry-pick the most rosy outcomes. Of note: I’m including Zach Norvell Jr. in this category since he’s been signed to Santa Cruz and the team is clearly still interested in him.
Current Warriors by PIPM and RPM, ranked among all NBA players
Steph Curry - 138 (169 PIPM, 107 RPM)
Damion Lee - 146.5 (123 PIPM, 170 RPM)
Draymond Green - 164.5 (91 PIPM, 238 RPM)
Andrew Wiggins - 214.5 (230 PIPM, 199 RPM)
Dragan Bender - 231 (203 PIPM, 259 RPM)
Marquese Chriss - 293 (205 PIPM, 381 RPM)
Alen Smailagic - 300.5 (251 PIPM, 350 RPM)
Juan Toscano-Anderson - 315.5 (254 PIPM, 377 RPM)
Zach Norvell Jr. - 338.5 (255 PIPM, 422 RPM)
Ky Bowman - 357.5 (429 PIPM, 286 RPM)
Jordan Poole - 378 (491 PIPM, 265 RPM)
Kevon Looney - 431 (408 PIPM, 454 RPM)
Eric Paschall - 495.5 (504 PIPM, 487 RPM)
Well . . . not great numbers. Let’s check in on the players who were Warriors earlier this year:
Former Warriors by PIPM and RPM, ranked among all NBA players
Willie Cauley-Stein - 128 (114 PIPM, 142 RPM)
Jeremy Pargo - 246.5 (198 PIPM, 295 RPM)
D’Angelo Russell - 313 (323 PIPM, 303 RPM)
Glenn Robinson III - 403 (437 PIPM, 369 RPM)
Alec Burks - 405 (400 PIPM, 410 RPM)
Omari Spellman - 405 (382 PIPM, 428 RPM)
Jacob Evans III - 471 (481 PIPM, 461 RPM)
Of note: Glenn Robinson III has the worst advanced metrics of the five current NBA players who have “Robinson” for a surname.
It’s safe to say all these numbers will look a bit better next year, when Curry and Klay Thompson are healthy, and players like Green, Wiggins, and Chriss are surrounded by some star talent.
For now though, they look pretty ugly. Which is about what you would expect for a team carrying the worst record in the league.