Pelton mail: Capela’s improvement make him a future All-Star?

Appearing on the Dan Le Batard Show earlier this week, Morey said of Capela, “He really improved in his fourth year in the league, which almost never happens.” Morey later added that “97 percent of players are pretty much set where their trajectory is going to be after their first three years.”

Because Victor Oladipo made one of the largest leaps in NBA history during his fifth season, nfl jerseys cheap china Capela didn’t get as much attention as a candidate for Most Improved Player, but his development was certainly substantial. He went from a .577 player win percentage (the per-minute component of my wins above replacement player metric) to .670, more than doubling his WARP in the process.

Among fourth-year players, Capela’s development was notable but not exactly historic. Looking at players who logged at least 1,000 minutes in both their third and fourth seasons, he ranks 43rd in improvement since 1977-78, though the fact that he improved so much while starting at such a high level is unusual. The other players who made larger jumps in their fourth seasons from a winning percentage of .525 or better are pretty strong company: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Gilbert Arenas, DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gobert and Scottie Pippen.88

The year here is the player’s experience in the first season, so Capela belongs in the Year 3 category. Morey’s 97 percent figure is probably a slight exaggeration, since players make Capela-like jumps twice as often as that would imply before we even consider the growth from non-contributor to regular that isn’t considered here because the previous minutes total was too low.

It’s also worth noting, as we explored earlier this season in a mailbag, that age is the better predictor of development rather than experience. That’s obvious among inexperienced players when we run the same chart with age as of the end of the first season rather than years in the league.

Capela was coming off his age-22 season, so his dramatic improvement was about 50 percent relatively more likely when taking age into account rather than experience. Nonetheless, his substantial development makes Capela an exception to the rule.authentic nfl jerseys

Given Capela is still just 23 (he’ll celebrate his 24th birthday later this month), it’s possible he could have more room for growth. In particular, it will be interesting to see if the Rockets continue to extend his minutes during the regular season. After increasing from 23.9 per game during the 2016-17 campaign to 27.5 during the regular season, Capela is playing 31 a night so far in the playoffs. That has helped him boost his scoring average to 15.9 points per game, which along with his 12.8 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and high-percentage finishing makes him a viable All-Star candidate.