2010 NBA Draft Grades
Each summer the NBA offseason allows teams to assess how they are as a unit, what they need in order to become better and how to take the next step towards the ultimate goal of winning a championship. The NBA draft is the main way that teams can add cheap young talent that could be the piece to take them over the top. It has been a year since the 2010 NBA draft and it is time to reassess who made the right picks and who chose poorly. Keep in mind that it is still way too early to declare a player a bust and there are the sophomore and junior leaps that many players take, but it’s time to see whose bets look to pay off in the future and who is in trouble.
Round 1 pick 27 – Jordan Crawford (Guard, Xavier)*
Round 2 pick 53- Papa Sy (Forward, Senegal)
How did they do?: It turns out that the Hawks landed a steal towards the end of the first round. The problem is that at trade deadline the Hawks traded little used scoring guard Jordan Crawford along with Mike Bibby to the rebuilding Wizards for Kirk Hinrich in an attempt to upgrade the point guard spot. It seemed to be a steal from the Hawks standpoint but as soon as he was given an opportunity Jordan Crawford proved to be just as lethal a scorer on the professional level as he was in college. More bad news for the Hawks is that it seems that they already had a starting level point guard in Jeff Teague who has exploded in the playoffs.
Papa Sy was thought to be questionable pick at the time who was expected to stay overseas for awhile but he surprised most by joining the team in the preseason. He is a talented player with point forward potential. A general manager should always be given credit if a second round pick makes their final roster.
The Hawks are probably kicking themselves for making the deal now but they did draft a player with star potential and a probable future rotational player, which is impressive considering where they picked in both rounds.
Round 1 Pick 19- Avery Bradley (Guard, Texas)
Round 2 Pick 52- Luke Harangody (Forward, Notre Dame)
How did they do?: The Celtics had an interesting draft. First they drafted combo guard Avery Bradley out of Texas who was a one and done player. Bradley was actually the number one recruit in the country higher than Wall, Favors and Cousin. He fell in the draft because he did not play in a system that highlighted his skills. He needs to work on his point guard skills but he is big, athletic and could become an elite wing defender. He was an interesting pick because their only other young player with real potential is Rajon Rondo who is also a point guard. But Danny Ainge wisely believed he was too good to pass up.
Harangody was one of the best college players in the nation the last four years but he was never thought to be first round material. He was a wise choice because he could come in and play right away if needed, but in a best case scenario he is a ten year rotational player. He just doesn’t have the speed or athleticism to be anything more than a marginal role player.
Both players made the team but neither played that often but Harangody was traded in the deal along with fellow rookie Semih Erden for a second round pick and to open a few roster spots. Overall a solid draft but it could be a complete failure if Bradley doesn’t pan out, but for now he seems to be worth the gamble.
No draft picks
How did they do?: The Bobcats would have had the 16th pick but they traded it for the right to draft Alexis Ajinca in 2008 who has been a complete bust.
Round 1 Pick 17: Kevin Seraphin (Forward, France) Traded to Wizards
How did they do?: The Bulls desperate for cap space in an attempt to increase their chances of landing two stars in free agency traded the pick and Kirk Hinrich to the Wizards. The Bulls missed out on Wade, Bosh and James, but were able to sign Carlos Boozer and multiple role players on their way to the number one seed in the NBA playoffs. It looks like that trade turned out to be a great one for the Bulls. However Seraphin does have a lot of talent and even played a little bit for the Wizards.
No draft picks
How did they do? The Cavs traded the pick in their deal to land Antwan Jamison from the Wizards in order to show Lebron that they were willing to build a better team around him. But now that his talents are in South Beach they are left with Jamison’s expensive contract on a rebuilding team. The good news is that he is still valued around the league and his contract is moveable.
Round 1 Pick 25: Dominique Jones (Guard, South Florida) *
How did they do?: The Mavericks did not have a first round pick but they traded back into the first round to grab the talented scorer. He was a great college player with a lot of potential but he did not do much his rookie year and spent time in the Developmental League. But for an older team with little to no young talent waiting in the wings he seems to be a solid pick who could pay dividends in a few years.
No draft picks
How did they do?: In the 2009 draft the Nuggets witnessed the talented Ty Lawson slip so they traded their 2010 first round pick in order to draft their potential future point guard. The risk has defiantly payed off and now that Chauncey Billups is in New York, Lawson has already been given the starting job. Sitting behind Billups for a year and half was the perfect opportunity to learn from a true professional. The deal looks to have payed off in a big way because it is highly doubtful they could have done better with the 23rd pick in 2010.
Round 1 Pick 7- Greg Monroe (F/C, Georgetown)
Round 2 Pick 36- Terrico White (Guard, Mississippi)
How did they do?: After two years of mistakes and failed gambles rattled Pistons GM Joe Dumars needed to hit a home run in the draft and he did just that. The Pistons were hoping that enigmatic center DeMarcus Cousins would fall to them but once the Kings snatched him at five the Pistons went with Greg Monroe. The talented big man did not dominate college the way someone with his skills should have but he had an excellent second half of the season and looks to be a legitimate building block. He looks to be the future center of the Pistons and after coming into the league with a “soft” label he got to learn from a true tough guy in Ben Wallace which already seems to have paid off.
The Pistons were happy to see guard Terrico White slip into the second round, because of injury, but because of the abundant amount of wings on their roster he was not given a chance to play. But he has the talent to give them solid minutes going forward after they go through with their youth movement.
Overall Dumars had an excellent draft which is the first solid step in the right direction since the ill fated Billups-Iverson trade in 2009.
Golden State Warriors
Round 1 Pick 6- Ekpe Udoh (F/C, Baylor)
How did they do?: Udoh is a very solid player with elite defensive skills which was greatly needed in the Bay Area, but the pick was a huge reach. There were simply much better players on the board and they could have easily traded down, picked up extra assets and still picked him in the 10-16 range. He is a great fit on the defensive lacking Warriors, but it was an epic reach.
Round 1 Pick 14- Patrick Patterson (Forward, Kentucky)
How did they do?: The Rockets were fortunate to see skilled forward Patterson fall right into their laps. He probably would have gone much higher if on a different team but played the role of blue collar veteran for the stacked Wildcats who had five players drafted in the first round. But nonetheless, when finally given playing time he flourished and showed excellent scoring and rebounding prowess. It is safe to say he is a future starter in the league but is unlucky to play behind the very skilled Luis Scola. The Rockets love what he brings to the table but with so many assets it would not be surprising to see him traded in the near future. But regardless it was an excellent pick.
Round 1 Pick 10- Paul George (G/F, Fresno State)
Round 2 Pick 40- Lance Stevenson (Guard, Cincinnati)
Round 2 Pick 51- Magnum Rolle (Forward, Louisiana Tech)*
How did they do?: Paul George is the very definition of a high risk-high reward player and he has unlimited potential on both ends of the floor. He fell in the draft because he just wasn’t as dominant in two years for Fresno State as someone with his talent should have been. He started off the year slow but once Frank Vogel was put in charge and started going with his youth movement he was able to showcase his skills, albeit playing out of position at guard. He eventually ended up starting for the Pacers in the playoffs against the Bulls. Although his offense wasn’t there he played excellent defense especially on MVP Derrick Rose. He is definitely part of their future core and there have been some rumblings around the league that he might make team star Danny Granger expendable. They do play the same position so it is feasible, but more consistency is definitely needed if the Pacers are going to risk it.
The first of their two second round picks, guard Lance Stevenson is an excellent player who fell because of off the court problems and he had an excellent summer league. However soon after he ran into more trouble and was arrested. He is still on the team but will need to mature in order to play in the near future. Rolle on the other hand is a talented big man but was cut and is now on the Atlanta Hawks D-League team where he played extremely well.
But this draft class depends on George who could be an all star or role player depending on how hard he works and the maturity he shows.
Los Angeles Clippers
Round 1 Pick 8- Al Farouq Aminu (Forward, Wake Forest)
Round 1 Pick 21- Erik Bledsoe (Guard, Kentucky *
Round 2 Pick 54- Willie Warren (Guard, Oklahoma)
** Blake Griffin was a rookie for them but not a part of the draft class.
How did they do? The Clippers had a very productive draft picking three extremely talented players who could all be busts, but all made the roster. Aminu is another classic boom or bust pick who could be very good but is just too inconsistent at the moment. He went from rotational player, to starter, to out of the rotation during the season. He is one of those incredibly athletic forwards with the “tweener” label and no one really knows what position is his best fit. Only time will tell how good he will be but he does have talent.
Bledsoe would have been drafted much higher if he had not been number one pick John Wall’s backup at Kentucky. He is lightning fast but really needs to refine his point guard skills and jump shot if he hopes to be a starter one day. He could be their future starter at the point, but worst case scenario he is a volume scorer off the bench.
Warren on the other hand is a bit of a mystery. He was projected to be a likely top ten pick but crumpled under the pressure of being ‘the man” at Oklahoma once Blake Griffin left. He is also said to be have quit the ego but was well worth the risk at the bottom of round two. He could prove to be a solid NBA player or could be out of the league in two years. It is all up to him.
But credit the Clippers for choosing three high upside picks who could all become players in a few years.
Los Angeles Lakers
Round 2 Pick 43- Devin Ebanks (Forward, West Virginia)
Round 2 Pick 58- Derrick Caracter (Forward, UTEP)
How did they do?: After the draft most thought that one of the two might make the team, but the Lakers surprised everyone by keeping both on their opening night roster. Although neither played very much they were on the roster all season. Each fell in the draft for their own reason; Ebanks did not have much of an offensive game, and Caracter was thought to be immature, even though he cleaned up his act at UTEP. Ebanks stuck on the roster because he has the potential and the athleticism to be an elite perimeter defender and the much matured Caracter has a very solid low post game. With the Lakers in transition it would not be a surprise to see one or both playing somewhere else next year. The Lakers do get credit for being a defending champion with two second round draft picks who both made the team.
Round 1 Pick 12- Xavier Henry (Guard, Kansas)
Round 1 Pick 28- Grievous Vasquez (Guard, Maryland)
How did they do?: Before free agency it was widely presumed that Rudy Gay was on his way out so the Grizzlies decided to draft the gifted Henry with their first pick as his possible replacement. He started off the season in the second unit but when Mayo was benched he was promoted, but simply did not look good. Basically he was a shooter who could not make a shot. He eventually had a season ending shoulder injury but the outlook does not look good when it comes to playing time next season. The Grizzlies have Sam Young, OJ Mayo, Rudy Gay and free agent to be Shane Battier all ahead of him on the depth chart. But he is talented and has the skills to bounce back.
Vasquez was a college superstar in his four years at Maryland but simply lacks the athleticism to be a starting point guard. But if his rookie season is any indication he has the skills to be a great backup with his shooting ability and extremely high basketball IQ.
With Vasquez set as a rotational player this class will depend on Henry becoming the player that most think he can be.
Round 2 Pick 32- Dexter Pittman (F/C, Texas)
Round 2 Pick 41- Jarvis Varnado (Forward, Mississippi State)
Round 2 Pick 42- Da’Sean Butler (G/F, West Virginia)
How did they do?: With the big three taking up most of the Heat’s cap space they decided to draft three very productive college players who could round out the roster with cheap talent. None made the roster but word is that they love Pittman and consider him a part of the team going forward. Varnado was the number one shot blocker in college over his career but he did not possess any other skills and was cut. Butler was an amazing college player and a likely first round pick before destroying his knee in the NCAA tournament for West Virginia. He is no longer a part of the team but many teams are anxiously awaiting word on his health because it is obvious that he is definitely an NBA player.
Pat Riley came into the draft with an excellent strategy but sadly it only looks like one of the three is in the team’s plans going forward.
Round1Pick 15- Larry Sanders (F/C, Virginia Commonwealth)
Round2 Pick 37- Darrington Hobson (G/F, New Mexico)
Round 2 Pick 44- Jerome Jordan (Center, Tulsa)
Round 2 Pick 47- Keith “Tiny” Gallon (Forward, Oklahoma
How did they do? The Bucks had an interesting draft picking up talented big man Larry Sanders. He had a very encouraging rookie season on the defensive end but needs to improve his offensive game if he wants to be a starter in the league. He does show quite the knack for shot blocking where he had eight in one game during the season. Hobson, Jordan and Gallon were all talented players in college but not one seems to be in the Bucks plans for the future. Gallon played extremely well in the D-League, Hobson was injured, cut by the Bucks and now his future is up in the air and Jordan’s rights are owned by the Knicks but he is playing overseas. They may have missed on their three second round picks but they did seem to land a player in Sanders.
Round 1 Pick 4- Wesley Johnson (Forward, Syracuse)
Round 1 Pick 30- Lazar Hayward (Forward, Marquette)*
Round 2 Pick 35- Nemanja Bjelica (Forward, Serbia)*
Round 2 Pick 45- Paul Prestes (Center, Brazil)
How did they do?: Wesley Johnson was an NBA ready player but had a very up and down rookie season playing out of position as a shooting guard. The Timberwolves have the misfortune of having their three best players (Johnson, Michael Beasley and Kevin Love) all at the forward positions, so out of necessity he had to play guard. He does seem to be a very solid player going forward but there were better players that they could have taken. Hayward who also happens to be a forward, was on the roster but rarely played. He does have potential and should stick with the Wolves for at least a couple more years. Bjelica signed a five year contract overseas and will not be playing for Minnesota anytime soon but they hope to be getting Brazilian center Prestes over in the next few years.
The draft will ultimately depend on Johnson becoming a star, but there is a chance he has already reached his ceiling.
New Jersey Nets:
Round 1 Pick 3- Derrick Favors (Forward, Georgia Tech)
Round 1 Pick 24- Damion James (Forward, Texas)*
How did they do?: Now that Favors is a member of the Utah Jazz this draft grade will depend on the ability of the Nets to be able to resign Deron Williams. He is the superstar that they need to take the team back into the playoffs but there is a decent chance he does not resign, which would set the team back a few years. But as of right now it is looking like a great trade for the Nets. James has probably already peaked as a player but he is a solid two way player who should be a rotational player for a long time.
It is still yet to be seen if the Nets can keep Williams but for now it should be seen as a victory.
New Orleans Hornets
Round 1 Pick 21- Craig Brackins (Forward, Iowa State)*
Round 1 Pick 26- Quincy Pondexter (Forward, Washington)*
How did they do?: The Hornets traded the 11th pick in the draft so the Thunder could take Kansas center Cole Aldrich but the two picks that they received do not look very exciting. Brackins is already a member of the 76ers in a trade where they received Willie Green and Jason Smith who are both good players in their own right. Pondexter has talent but did not play for the playoff bound Hornets. The Hornets did not have much talent on the wings so it is a big unsettling that he did not play much for them.
Overall a very disappointing draft for the Hornets who need good young players to convince Chris Paul to stay beyond next season.
New York Knicks:
Round 2 Pick 38- Andy Rautins (Guard, Syracuse)
Round 2 Pick 39- Landry Fields (Guard, Stanford)
How did they do?: Madison Square garden gave the Knicks and Landry Fields a chorus of boos when they selected him with the 39th pick. The fans and media questioned the pick because Fields was considered a bubble draft prospect. But Fields and the Knicks had the last laugh because Fields immediately became a starter and fan favorite and started almost every game for the Knicks including the playoffs. For a guard he shows tremendous rebounding talent and is a very solid two way player. He did struggle at the end of the season and in the playoffs which is not a good sign going forward but he should bounce back.
Rautins was a very good college player and is an amazing shooter but he just does not have the skills to be a rotational player at the moment. But those skills can be learned with time. He made the roster which is good enough and when he did play he showed the solid shooting stroke he had at Syracuse.
Fields is probably going to be the steal of the draft when it is all said and done and Rautins has a chance to be a player as well so the Knicks did great with their two second round picks.
Oklahoma City Thunder:
Round 1 Pick 11- Cole Aldrich (Center, Kansas)*
Round 2 Pick 31- Tibor Pleiss (Center, Germany)*
Round 2 Pick 48- Latavious Williams (Forward, Washington)*
Round 2 Pick 57- Ryan Reid (F/C, Florida State) *
How did they do? Aldrich surprisingly had trouble adjusting to the NBA game and the Thunder traded for and signed Kendrick Perkins and now has Nazr Muhammad ahead of him as well. He and 2009 first round pick BJ Mullins will fight in preseason for the number three center job for next season.
Pleiss is an extremely talented international big man and will stay overseas for a few years, but he is a fantastic talent and a great piece to stash away for later.
Williams and Reid both have their rights owned by the Thunder but are is going to play in the D-League for the second straight season next year for Tulsa 66ers.
Overall though it is not looking good for this draft class that once looked like it would pay immediate benefits for the Thunder. But owning Pleiss’ rights is a great piece for the future in Oklahoma City.
Round 1 Pick 29- Daniel Orton (Center, Kentucky)
Round 2 Pick 59- Stanley Robinson (Forward, Connecticut)
How did they do?: Orlando decided to swing for the fences on both of their picks and it is likely neither will ever pan out. Robinson was cut during the preseason because he was just an amazing athlete with no NBA game. Orton played sparingly for Kentucky because he was playing behind Patterson and Cousins but his per 40 minute stats were fantastic. The Magic knew that Orton was years away from contributing when they drafted him but the rumblings say that they are not happy with his progress.
For a team that did not have many needs at the time it was a solid upside pick but his lack of progress in disconcerting.
Round 1 Pick 2- Evan Turner (Guard, Ohio State)
How did they do?: Coming into the draft Turner the Naismith winner in his sophomore season was thought to be a sure thing. But surprisingly, struggled throughout most of the season adjusting to the NBA game. This was mostly because he had to learn to play without having the ball on every play. But he showed some signs towards the end of the season and played great in the playoffs so he is a main candidate for a breakout second season. He probably won’t ever be an all star but he should be a very good NBA player for a long time.
Round 2 Pick 46- Gani Lawal (Forward, Georgia Tech)
Round 2 Pick 60- Dwayne Collins (F, Miami)
How did they do?: The suns did not have a very eventful draft taking flyers on two second round players. Lawal has the gritty blue collar tendencies to be in the NBA for awhile but a torn ACL and MCL cut his season short. Collins never really had a chance and was cut in preseason. The Suns did not have much to work with but neither player will probably amount to anything in the league.
Round 1 Pick 16- Luke Babbitt (Forward, Nevada)*
Round 1 Pick 22- Elliot Williams (Guard, Memphis)
Round 2 Pick 34- Armon Johnson (Guard, Nevada)
How did they do?: Give credit to the Blazers for trading up for a player they really wanted in college scorer Luke Babbitt. However he has no defensive skills to speak of and he could become the next Adam Morrison, which is why it was smart to keep him in the D-League for most of the season. One more year there could not hurt especially because of all of the wing talent already on the roster.
Williams is a dime a dozen combo guard, but he does have skill on both ends of the court. He had a season ending injury in preseason but he should come back to make the roster next season.
Johnson served as the team’s third point guard on the roster for most of the season and played alright. He has the skills to stick in the league for a while but to expect him to become anything more than a backup would be foolish.
What seemed like a promising draft at the time is not off to a great start.
Round 1 Pick 5- DeMarcus Cousins (Center, Kentucky)
Round 2 Pick 33- Hassan Whiteside (Center, Marshall)
How did they do?: DeMarcus Cousins came into the league with two great distinctions, his incredible talent and that he could be a legendary head case. Let’s just say that he did not disappoint on either count, showing incredible offensive skills that could make him an all star for years to come, while also driving coaches, teammates and fans crazy with his immature antics. It is never a good sign when a team signs a player’s high school coach to their staff just to keep him in line. But give credit to an organization for recognizing that his talent was too great to pass on.
Had Whiteside stayed in school for another year there was a decent chance that he would have been a lottery pick and definitely a first rounder. He came into the league with an amazing wingspan with the potential to average four or five blocks per game, but has no offensive game to speak of. It would be best for both parties to keep him in the D-League for at least one more season, but it would be foolish to give up on him because his potential is amazing.
The Kings draft has the chance to be franchise altering, but because of the immaturity of Cousins and the lack of offense with Whiteside it could set the franchise back a few years. But credit must be given for taking such a big risk overall.
San Antonio Spurs:
Round 1 Pick 20- James Anderson (Guard, Oklahoma State)
Round 2 Pick 49: Ryan Richards (Forward, Great Britain)
How did they do?: Year after year the Spurs continue to find gems in the draft and last year was no different. They drafted scoring machine James Anderson who came into the league ready to play right away. He was a part of the rotation until he was injured near midseason. However he is expected to come back and pick right back up where he left off. Ryan Richards is a solid international prospect. Like always the Spurs are stashing him in Europe until he is ready. It is never a good idea to doubt the Spurs when they draft an international player.
But this draft depends on Anderson showing the scoring capabilities he showed in college.
Round 1 Pick 13- Ed Davis (Forward/ North Carolina)
Round 2 Pick 50– Solomon Alabi (Center, Florida State)*
How did they do? Davis fell due to an injury that ended his season at North Carolina, but the talent was too much to pass up for the rebuilding Raptors and he did not disappoint. Already known as a quality defender he showed up midseason with a much improved offensive game that few saw coming.
Alabi is another classic project big man, who was drafted just because of size and defensive potential. He made the team but spent most of the year in the D-League. He does have the defensive skills to play a role in the future.
Round 1 Pick 9- Gordon Hayward (Forward, Butler)
Round 2 Pick 55- Jeremy Evans (Forward, Western Kentucky)
How did they do?: If this article was written 3 months ago the Jazz would be getting a much lower grade, but Hayward finally started to show why he was a top ten pick. He has great size and athleticism and finally found his shooting stroke. He is now a solid part of the suddenly rebuilding Utah Jazz core and possibly the only positive thing to happen to the team all season long.
Evans shocked everyone by making the team and even earned a rotational spot. He is the type of gritty blue collar team player that fans, players and coaches will love in Utah.
Both players look to play in Utah for the foreseeable future so it seems to have been a pretty productive draft for the Jazz.
Round 1 Pick 1- John Wall (Guard, Kentucky)
Round 1 Pick 17- Kevin Seraphin (Forward, France)*
Round 1 Pick 23- Trevor Booker (F/C, Clemson)*
Round 2 Pick 56- Hamady N’diaye (Center, Rutgers)
How did they do?: Taking John Wall with the first pick in the draft was a no brainer and he immediately became the face of the franchise and the team’s best player. He has the chance to become a superstar and an annual selection to the all star game. He has the speed of Rose and the playmaking ability of Rondo. His overall game is somewhere between the two all star guards but if he wants to become a superstar and the franchise savior he will need to develop a jump shot; just like Rose did. There is time to fix that though and he also has the chance to be an excellent defender with his size and speed.
The trade with Chicago to get French forward Kevin Seraphin was a great move too, because he is filled with potential. It was a great sign that he came to the league right away because most thought he’d stay overseas for at least another year or two. The trade also netted them Kirk Hinrich who was no doubt a great mentor to Wall in the few months before he was traded to Atlanta.
Booker was a pleasant surprise in his rookie season, he is a classic undersized post player but he uses his strength to get the job done. He will be a solid rotational piece as the blue collar big man coming off the bench.
N’diaye has great size but is a project big man who just needs time if he is ever going to be serviceable in the league.
But overall a great draft just by getting Wall, this pick has helped change the tide of the Wizards and allowed them to get rid of Arenas, Butler, Haywood and Jamison and start over with Wall as the superstar. After one year it seems as though Wall is up to the task of being the face of the Washington franchise. They also did a great job of stockpiling young potential talent overall.