In February 2013, the annual Sloan Sports Conference took place in Boston. As sports fans have become increasingly aware of the influence of advanced analytics in the way that teams are evaluating, scouting and developing players, the role of data evaluation, advanced metrics and synthesizing information becomes critical in the way NBA front offices are run. The Celtics hired Brad Stevens to lead them for the next six years in part because of his predilection for synthesizing information. The economics background is not coincidental. Celtics number guru Mike Zarren took part in the Sloan roundtable on the topic this past February. Other participants were Zach Lowe, the Spurs’ R.C. Buford, the Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard, former coach Stan Van Gundy, and ESPN’s Pablo Torre.
One intriguing question: How will players embrace a GM who is a numbers guy?
We’ll see as Philadelphia hired Sam Hinkie over the summer.