Updated Free Agency Projections

2 weeks ago, I published my first projections for this year’s free agency period. Since then, Will Smith signed a 3-year, $39M contract with a club option for a 4th year, which was right in-line with my prediction of a 4-year, $48M contract.

In the meantime, I’ve been improving my models, trying to add the nuance that will help capture more precise contract predictions.

One of the areas I sought to improve was in my quantification of market conditions. The model had to be given some awareness of how much money was flowing the market, and what the liquidity was for free agent dollars. This would add a better element of a free-spending sellers market, or slow-moving buyers market.

Thus, I incorporated more features that factored in league-wide payroll measures, luxury tax situations, and others to try and find signals for how much organizations were inclined to spend generally.

The latest projections are captured in the visualization below. The x-axis shows the most likely term for the contract, and the y-axis shows Average Annual Value (AAV). The dots are the most likely AAV, and the bars behind them represent the possible range for AAV. Hovering over each player will give the full detail of the contract predictions.

Where do you think these projections are off? What quantifiable variables do you think would have the most impact on predicting contracts? Leave comments below to let me know.

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