NBA championship teams are built from the draft up. Right?
Perhaps. There are lots of factors that go into winning a title, such as coaching, free agency, and toasters. But with our NBA Draft Data Tool, we can examine how well NBA championship teams have drafted in the years leading up to their crowning moments.
(For an explanation of the methodology and what win shares, expected win shares, and percentage of expected win shares are — and why we're only studying the first 54 picks — read the first entry in this series.)
For today's data tidbit, we looked at the previous eight years of drafts for each NBA champion. Why eight? Any number would be arbitrary, but it seems sufficient enough to capture a significant number of the players who contributed to a team's title from the draft.
There are a few conclusions to draw from this chart: