The Price is Right: Auctions

Ryan Knaus

Today's edition of the Numbers Game focuses on auction drafts. We begin with a chart showing auction prices by round, to give you an idea of what to expect in your own draft. Note that a 'round' simply refers to blocks of 12 players, from most to least expensive. That is followed by charts displaying the abundance or scarcity of each position (PG, SG, SF, PF and C), as well as a look at auction prices by position.  The concluding table offers up some theoretical auction prices based on my own projections and methodology.

Everyone reading this is welcome to view and/or download the spreadsheet, and to change the numbers as you see fit! The link can be found below. Let's dive in.

All of the numbers in the first few charts are drawn from live-draft auction data. It spans a wide variety of leagues and is based on a $200 budget -- owners should view these prices as a guideline, not a hard-and-fast rule.

Editor's note: Get the Rotoworld NBA Draft Guide! Customizable projections, 350 player profiles, multiple mock drafts, Tiers, sleepers, busts, rookies and a schedule break down are just a few of the highlights. Dominate your draft!!

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As you can see, the drop-off is precipitous and having a few extra bucks in the final rounds means you're likely to get anyone you desire. The next table is a simple summary of 1) the number of players drafted at a given position, and 2) the average cost of players at a given position.

Position # of Players Drafted Average Cost ($)
PG 36 $16.58
SG 28 $9.76
SF 29 $15.02
PF 37 $9.45
C 32 $10.57

Point guards are abundant and, on the whole, expensive. Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook obviously drive up the average, but it'll also cost you a pretty penny to land guys like John Wall, Damian Lillard, Isaiah Thomas, Kemba Walker, etc. Power forwards are also plentiful, but they seem to be the most affordable group with plenty of cheap options. 

Here's another way of thinking about that same information. As you can see, point guards start out expensive and stay expensive until the bitter end, with only small forwards overtaking them in the $40-$50 range. 

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Look at the abyss at the top of the SG position, with James Harden ($71.30) followed way below by Jimmy Butler ($32.10). That's something to keep in mind if you hold the No. 1 pick on draft day.

With some general trends and prices in mind, we can proceed to some theoretical auction prices which are based on my own projections (see last week's column). This section deals explicitly with auction values for roto 9-cat leagues, assuming a $200 budget, 12 teams and 13 rounds

The table below is the bedrock of the values/prices, so it's critically important. If you download the spreadsheet you can change the "% budget" values and every player's projected price will update accordingly. If you're comfortable splurging on a superstar (or two) and stocking up on late-round value picks, simply increase the percentage for early rounds and decrease it for middle/late rounds (as long as it adds up to 100%).

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If you love a player like (for example) D'Angelo Russell and think I'm valuing him too low, just increase his 'Total 9-cat Value' in the spreadsheet to automatically update his price. I should be able to help if you run into problems, so feel free to contact me on Twitter with specific questions.

You can also add players by simply replacing the name and 'Total 9-cat Value' of anyone you feel is less deserving...so if you want to see Dario Saric make the cut, just write him in over Terrence Jones or someone else, assign Saric a new 'value', and that's that.

Click here to download the spreadsheet.

Name Total 9-cat Value Theoretical Auction Values ($) % of Total $
Stephen Curry 16.40 $68.36 2.85%
James Harden 15.50 $64.60 2.77%
Kevin Durant 14.71 $61.31 2.70%
Russell Westbrook 14.40 $60.02 2.72%
Karl-Anthony Towns 13.51 $56.31 2.62%
Kawhi Leonard 13.40 $55.85 2.67%
Anthony Davis 12.20 $50.85 2.50%
DeMarcus Cousins 11.50 $47.93 2.42%
Giannis Antetokounmpo 11.30 $47.10 2.43%
Hassan Whiteside 11.20 $46.68 2.47%
Chris Paul 10.75 $44.80 2.43%
Paul George 10.60 $44.18 2.46%
Damian Lillard 10.40 $41.36 2.36%
Paul Millsap 10.37 $41.23 2.41%
LeBron James 10.12 $40.25 2.41%
Al Horford 9.78 $38.90 2.39%
Kyle Lowry 9.60 $38.18 2.40%
John Wall 9.10 $36.19 2.33%
Draymond Green 8.50 $33.81 2.23%
Jimmy Butler 7.84 $31.19 2.10%
Kristaps Porzingis 7.62 $30.30 2.09%
Nikola Jokic 7.47 $29.71 2.09%
Kemba Walker 7.22 $28.72 2.06%
Blake Griffin 6.86 $27.27 2.00%
Klay Thompson 6.73 $25.64 1.92%
Serge Ibaka 6.51 $24.81 1.89%
Rudy Gobert 6.49 $24.75 1.93%
LaMarcus Aldridge 6.32 $24.09 1.91%
Victor Oladipo 5.97 $22.77 1.84%
Jae Crowder 5.96 $22.73 1.87%
Brook Lopez 5.96 $22.70 1.91%
Pau Gasol 5.93 $22.60 1.94%
Nikola Vucevic 5.85 $22.31 1.95%
Trevor Ariza 5.76 $21.96 1.96%
Kyrie Irving 5.74 $21.89 1.99%
Kevin Love 5.68 $21.65 2.01%
Derrick Favors 5.66 $21.27 2.01%
Nerlens Noel 5.64 $21.19 2.05%
Andre Drummond 5.59 $21.00 2.07%
Jrue Holiday 5.46 $20.51 2.06%
Nicolas Batum 5.42 $20.37 2.09%
Isaiah Thomas 5.33 $20.05 2.10%
Carmelo Anthony 5.27 $19.80 2.12%
Mike Conley 5.25 $19.74 2.16%
Myles Turner 5.21 $19.58 2.19%
Eric Bledsoe 5.20 $19.54 2.24%
Jonas Valanciunas 5.18 $19.47 2.28%
Marc Gasol 5.14 $19.31 2.31%
Gorgui Dieng 5.03 $17.55 2.15%
Gordon Hayward 5.02 $17.53 2.20%
Goran Dragic 4.97 $17.36 2.23%
DeAndre Jordan 4.89 $17.08 2.24%
Ryan Anderson 4.87 $17.00 2.28%
C.J. McCollum 4.84 $16.91 2.32%
Marcin Gortat 4.84 $16.90 2.38%
Greg Monroe 4.63 $16.17 2.33%
Ricky Rubio 4.53 $15.82 2.33%
Tobias Harris 4.48 $15.64 2.36%
D'Angelo Russell 4.47 $15.61 2.41%
Dirk Nowitzki 4.39 $15.34 2.43%
Robert Covington 4.27 $14.44 2.34%
Otto Porter 4.26 $14.41 2.39%
Chandler Parsons 4.10 $13.87 2.36%
Andrew Wiggins 4.06 $13.74 2.40%
Rudy Gay 4.03 $13.62 2.43%
Thaddeus Young 3.95 $13.37 2.45%
DeMar DeRozan 3.90 $13.18 2.47%
Marvin Williams 3.88 $13.14 2.53%
Clint Capela 3.86 $13.06 2.58%
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson 3.79 $12.82 2.60%
George Hill 3.78 $12.80 2.66%
Danny Green 3.75 $12.68 2.71%
Darren Collison 3.74 $12.26 2.69%
Evan Fournier 3.73 $12.25 2.77%
Steven Adams 3.73 $12.24 2.84%
Andrew Bogut 3.73 $12.23 2.92%
Dwight Howard 3.72 $12.20 3.01%
Avery Bradley 3.71 $12.19 3.09%
Jabari Parker 3.56 $11.69 3.06%
Jeff Teague 3.51 $11.53 3.12%
Jordan Clarkson 3.46 $11.36 3.17%
Aaron Gordon 3.45 $11.33 3.26%
Robin Lopez 3.39 $11.12 3.31%
Devin Booker 3.27 $10.73 3.31%
Nikola Mirotic 3.22 $9.86 3.14%
Jusuf Nurkic 3.14 $9.62 3.16%
Joel Embiid 3.03 $9.27 3.15%
Dwyane Wade 2.99 $9.15 3.21%
J.J. Redick 2.86 $8.75 3.17%
Danilo Gallinari 2.85 $8.72 3.26%
DeMarre Carroll 2.85 $8.71 3.37%
Zach LaVine 2.84 $8.69 3.48%
Gary Harris 2.76 $8.47 3.51%
Justise Winslow 2.74 $8.39 3.61%
Wesley Matthews 2.73 $8.35 3.72%
Monta Ellis 2.72 $8.33 3.86%
Kent Bazemore 2.71 $7.31 3.52%
Joakim Noah 2.68 $7.24 3.62%
Bradley Beal 2.60 $7.01 3.63%
Enes Kanter 2.56 $6.90 3.71%
Marcus Smart 2.50 $6.76 3.77%
Jeremy Lin 2.44 $6.59 3.82%
Reggie Jackson 2.42 $6.53 3.94%
J.R. Smith 2.34 $6.31 3.96%
Rajon Rondo 2.25 $6.08 3.98%
Willie Cauley-Stein 2.09 $5.65 3.85%
Josh Richardson 2.08 $5.61 3.97%
Jared Sullinger 2.05 $5.52 4.07%
Patrick Beverley 2.04 $4.37 3.36%
Dennis Schroder 2.01 $4.31 3.43%
Timofey Mozgov 2.01 $4.31 3.55%
Eric Gordon 1.94 $4.16 3.55%
Markieff Morris 1.89 $4.06 3.60%
Kyle Korver 1.88 $4.04 3.71%
Kenneth Faried 1.84 $3.94 3.76%
Jahlil Okafor 1.75 $3.75 3.71%
Will Barton 1.67 $3.60 3.70%
Harrison Barnes 1.66 $3.56 3.80%
Cody Zeller 1.64 $3.51 3.90%
Tristan Thompson 1.57 $3.36 3.89%
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 1.48 $2.40 2.88%
Julius Randle 1.43 $2.32 2.87%
Courtney Lee 1.41 $2.29 2.92%
Tyreke Evans 1.24 $2.01 2.64%
T.J. Warren 1.24 $2.01 2.70%
JaMychal Green 1.21 $1.96 2.71%
Luol Deng 1.08 $1.75 2.50%
Rodney Hood 1.06 $1.72 2.52%
Deron Williams 1.04 $1.69 2.54%
Buddy Hield 1.04 $1.69 2.59%
Elfrid Payton 1.01 $1.64 2.59%
Brandon Knight 0.96 $1.56 2.53%
Taj Gibson 0.78 $1.21 2.01%
Bismack Biyombo 0.72 $1.11 1.88%
Lou Williams 0.68 $1.05 1.81%
Mirza Teletovic 0.64 $0.99 1.74%
Patrick Patterson 0.63 $0.98 1.75%
Mason Plumlee 0.62 $0.96 1.76%
Al Jefferson 0.62 $0.96 1.79%
Kris Dunn 0.62 $0.95 1.81%
Al-Farouq Aminu 0.56 $0.86 1.66%
Miles Plumlee 0.48 $0.73 1.44%
Terrence Jones 0.46 $0.71 1.41%
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 0.45 $0.70 1.40%
Emmanuel Mudiay 0.43 $0.81 1.65%
Marcus Morris 0.43 $0.80 1.66%
Brandan Wright 0.40 $0.74 1.56%
Alex Len 0.38 $0.72 1.54%
Brandon Ingram 0.32 $0.60 1.30%
Omri Casspi 0.31 $0.58 1.29%
Matt Barnes 0.21 $0.39 0.88%
Amir Johnson 0.12 $0.23 0.51%
Allen Crabbe 0.09 $0.17 0.40%
Patty Mills 0.04 $0.07 0.17%
Wesley Johnson 0.03 $0.05 0.11%

As a reminder, you can play around with these numbers/prices/players by downloading the Excel sheet here. And for even more auction draft content, just head to the Draft Guide -- we have a recent auction mock draft writeup, and Jared Johnson (@JaredJ831) is putting the finishing touches on an auction-strategy column. Good luck!