ESPN.com's John Hollinger projects player stats every summer. He used to do it in the epic Basketball Prospectus; when ESPN bought up his talent, they decided to save trees and bring the whole kit online. Well, it looks like next week will see Hollinger's offseason baby unleased, because his individual PER projections seems to be done.
The full player profiles for most players have not been updated as of yet, but the rankings are up to date. After some browsing, I have some surprising news: Hollinger thinks Kevin Martin and Ron Artest will regress from last year's performance, and he projects Mike Bibby to not improve from the worst season of his career.
Martin finished 2006-07 with a PER of 20.12; Hollinger projects a PER of 18.99 next season. 20+ is All-Star level; 19 is very good but not elite. For what it's worth, Hollinger projected Martin at 15.76 last summer... so if Martin outplays his projection by 4.5 PER again, we have an all-NBA guy on our hands. (Insert smiley emoticon to insinuate cheekiness.)
Artest overshot his projection last season, as well. Hollinger projects a fall towards average, predicting a 16.93 PER for Ron-Ron (who finished with a PER of 18.59 last season). Statistically, last year was the best of Artest's career. Can he keep the shooting percentages up? That will decide how good Ron-Ron (and probably the Kings) are this year.
Hollinger slots Mike Bibby as the #14 point guard in the league. Francisco Garcia, John Salmons, Brad Miller and Kenny Thomas are projected to remain below-average; Mikki Moore is supposed to devolve rapidly. According to Hollinger's projections, the only King who will have a meaningfully better season is... 30-year-old Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who actually slides into 'above-average' territory. Cheers to that, I guess.
While we're talking about PER, you should check out a conversation happening on the merits of Hollinger's favorite stat as well as APBRmetrics as a whole. Start with Carter Blanchard's post at Plissken at the Buzzer, and follow with my response at Ballhype, if you're interested.