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Butler Looks Great on ESPN's Real Plus Minus, Rose Not So Much

Butler had the 9th-highest RPM and best RPM among SG's. Rose was near the bottom of the league at spot #352

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN released its Real Plus Minus (RPM) metric values last night.

The metric is calculated based on blah blah blah who cares it's a ranking, and rankings are fun. Let's just get to it, and see how our Bulls rank.*

Just as a frame of reference, 409 players are ranked and the values range from 8.85 (Steph Curry) to -6.02 (Randy Foye).

Here's how the Bulls ranked:

  • Jimmy Butler, 9th (4.71)
  • Pau Gasol, 60th (1.48)
  • Nikola Mirotic, 72nd (1.23)
  • Kirk Hinrich, 80th (1.05)
  • Joakim Noah, 99th (0.70)
  • Aaron Brooks, 111th (0.48)
  • Taj Gibson, 181st (-0.35)
  • Cristiano Felicio, 182nd (-0.35)
  • Cameron Bairstow, 183rd (-0.36)
  • Doug McDermott, 220th (-0.83)
  • Tony Snell, 286th (-1.65)
  • Bobby Portis, 289th (-1.69)
  • E'Twaun Moore, 351 (-3.10)
  • Derrick Rose, 352 (-3.11)
The most glaring thing about the list is that Rose is the lowest-ranked Bull at 352/409. He had big negatives on offense (226th) and defense (378th). Yikes!

McDermott and Snell also rate low - neither has really wowed with the job they've done. McDermott had a pretty good offensive RPM, but as you'd expect he was one of the worst in defensive RPM (334th)

On the bright side, this lends more credence to the idea that Jimmy Butler is amazing and the best shooting guard in the NBA. He has the highest RPM for SGs. James Harden, who is 2nd, lags pretty far behind.

There's a bunch of other wonky things on ESPN's list. Pau has a great defensive RPM, while Kirk has a great offensive one.

No all-encompassing stat is going to tell a full story, but nerds generally like RPM more than things like PER or win shares when comparing players.

*If you are legitimately curious, here's how RPM is calculated. The gist is that it adjusts for quality of teammates to see how much impact players have on the court. The number value is an estimate of points per 100 possessions that a player contributes to the net scoring margin.