Ahh…the best players in this year’s draft come from the forward position.
In both the point and shooting guard segments, I showed you just how important the guard positions were to this year’s draft. However, the forward positions will outshine them all come draft day.
You have the National Player of the Year in Evan Turner. To go along with him you have Al-Farouq Aminu and Wesley Johnson, and these prospects are all said to go in the top six picks of the draft.
What sets this group of prospects atop of all is that everyone on this list will possibly be drafted in the first round, showing you how deep this forwards class is.
Strap tight, and enjoy this jam-packed slideshow of the best players in the 2010 NBA Draft!
Devin Ebanks, the electrifying sophomore out of West Virginia.
He is listed at 6'7'' but his incredulous wingspan and long body allows him to play much bigger than that.
With his long body comes an old-school flow. He's kind of like a Paul Pierce type of player when he was young. Ebanks is deadly with his mid-range jumper, on the spot up or off the pick.
Even after the mid-range game, he has the ability to get into the paint and finish in a variety of ways. Sometimes he will post you up and use a few fakes before shooting over you. Or he will get the ball in the lane and float it over the defense.
He displays good ball-handling skills and likes to stay aggressive with his attack.
On the defensive end, Ebanks' wingspan allows him to snatch down a lot of rebounds. He has a natural feel for rebounding the ball, that is why he does it so proficiently.
Think: Caron Butler
Luke Babbitt is a 6'8'' 220 pound scoring machine.
He has a natural feel for offense and scores in a variety of ways. Sometimes he likes to shoot the ball. His shot ranges all the way to about the NBA three-point line. Right now, I can already see Babbitt shooting consistently from the NBA three-point line.
Babbitt is going to be able to shoot consistently from mid-range as well. When Babbitt is getting ready for his attack, when the defender is in front of his dribble-drive he likes to pull up for the mid-range jumpers.
Babbitt is very aggressive with his offensive attack and doesn't back down from any defender.
Even without the ball, Babbitt is a threat on offense. He moves well and you can lob it up to him for the alley-oop slam.
Think: Michael Beasley
Paul George is going to be the best draft steal when it's all said and done.
He is listed at 6'7'' 185 pounds with the leaping ability of a very special player. Remember when Vince Carter put his arm in the rim and people could not stop talking about the dunk? Well I not only witnessed Paul George do that dunk, but I’ve also witnessed countless windmills and 360s.
Along with his great leaping ability comes a very productive jump shot. George shoots the ball with a high arc and it's very proficient. He can shoot over most players contest and still knock down the jumper.
He stretches the floor on offense. The range on his jump shot can expand to the NBA three-point line, but it's more about him expanding it to stay consistent.
Enough with his jumper, his offensive attack also has to do with his aggression. He has the good ball-handling skills, and decent speed that allows him to penetrate the lane.
He also uses his speed well on the defensive end. He has the lateral quickness and length needed to throw the opposition off its offensive sets.
Think: Trevor Ariza
Is your team in need of a very athletic wingman? Well step right up and claim your prize. Quincy Pondexter is a 6'7'' small forward that is just as good as any player in the draft.
Pondexter has long arms and a physical NBA body. He will excel at the next level due to his frame. He has a high motor and looks to outwork the defender every play.
He is very comfortable working out of the mid-range game. That's where he can go to his jump shot or rely on his post up game.
His first step is very quick and long so it doesn't take many dribbles to get into the paint. When the slasher he uses great hesitation moves to knock the defender out of his defensive sets.
He is very good in transition and runs the court well, or he can start the break with his defensive intensity. He runs the lanes very well and finishes relatively strong at the rim.
Pondexter is a ball hawk. When the ball is coming off the rim you can all ready guess who is attacking the glass.
Think: Bobby Simmons
Stanley Robinson the 6'9'' athletic freak!
Robinson is one of the most athletic players in the draft. He displays great leaping ability, lateral quickness, explosiveness, and the wingspan. He has all the tools NBA teams are looking for right now.
Do not be surprised if his name rises up the draft board before it's all said and done.
Robinson is a senior but very young for his class. He has the good size for the position, and if you did not read what I said earlier, he is a freakish athlete.
Robinson has a nice jump shot that'll translate well in the NBA. Although, he should look to expand his jumper more. Also, he is around every ball whether on the offensive or defensive glass.
He is an NBA-ready prospect with a lot of potential. He will be a draft steal down the road.
Think: Gerald Wallace
Damion James the 6'7'' 225 pound senior out of Texas.
James is a very mysterious forwards and he brings a lot to the table. He is very quick, sometimes displaying guard-like speed in the open court. He can get behind defenders in transition for an alley-oop slam.
His offensive mindset is simple: score. That is his main goal on offense, but he is not selfish. He does have average vision that he uses to set his teammates up.
His first step is quick and he gets into the lane at will. When driving in traffic he stays strong with the ball and finish well around the rim.
His long body allows him to get after offensive and defensive rebounds.
On the defensive side of the ball, he displays good defensive fundamentals and smarts to excel. He uses his length to knock the opposition out of their offensive sets and displays the ability to jump passing lanes and become a weak side shot blocker.
Think: Shawn Marion
With Gordon Hayward there are two key things that stick out the most. First thing is his leadership. Hayward was the vocal leader for the Butler Bulldogs and his leadership led them to the biggest game in school history.
Secondly, his jump shooting ability; Hayward is a set shooter. He likes to find the soft spots in the defense and set up for the jump shot. He can also shoot off the dribble and hit step back jumpers.
Usually, when a player with a proficient jumper like his never chases the rebound down because he is so confident in the shot; well with Hayward, he is confident in his shot but still chases down the offensive board.
He is always looking for that second-chance opportunity whenever it's presented.
He has good ball-handling skills that he uses to break down defenders and get into the lane. He uses a lot of crossover dribbles to get by the defender. When he doesn't have the shot he does have the vision to kick it out to his teammates.
He is 6'9'' 210 pounds, which is good size for a NBA small forward.
Think: Mike Dunleavy Jr.
Wesley Johnson, the 6'7'' wingman with the old school flow. Although he is 6'7'' he has one of the better wingspan of a player his size; expands out to seven plus feet.
With that, you understand he is a very defensive forward. He has the ability to be a good on-ball and off the ball defender at the next level. His speed, awareness, and long wingspan allows him to be a weak side shot blocker as well.
His leaping ability and wingspan also solidifies him as a consistent rebounder. He can jump and track down the ball very well for his position.
On the offensive side of the ball, if you need a shooting threat on the wing, Johnson is your man. At Syracuse many witnessed Johnson spotting up for a lot of jump shots and hitting them consistently.
His shot ranges to the NBA line but the mid-range game is where he excels. He needs to work on his one-on-one attack more, but overall Wesley Johnson is a great prospect.
Think: A shoot-first Rudy Gay
In my eyes, Al-Farouq Aminu will be one of the best players coming out of this draft. By the end of the season, he will be a finalist for the Rookie of the Year award.
Aminu is a 6'8'' small forward that plays very big due to his frame. He is 218 pounds with an incredible wingspan that he uses to his advantage.
He displays great leaping ability with eye-popping dunks and great athleticism.
At 6'8'' he is blessed with the ability to handle the rock and beat defenders off the dribble. He is most comfortable working with the ball, but he also moves very well without the ball.
When his teammates are in trouble he knows where to go and what he needs to do to help his teammates out. He is a great team player with great offensive ability.
He can also stretch the defense out with his jump shot.
Not to mention, he excels on the glass due to his quickness and long arms. With that, he can also lock down on small forwards in the league with coaches to help his defensive mechanics.
Think: Marvin Williams
The super bad, Evan Turner. The 6'7'' point guard, I mean shooting guard, I mean small forward. Evan Turner can play all three positions and excel.
Turner has a great feel for the game and is the most complete player in this draft. He gets it done on the offensive end with his great ball-handling skills, which allows him to attack the paint at will.
He finishes strong once he gets around the rim, then goes for the mid-range pick and pop, or the floater. With that, he also draws a lot of fouls attempts and is a very good foul shooter.
Another part of his offensive game is his rebounding ability. He has great leaping ability and long arms; this allows him to snatch down a lot of rebounds.
To go along with his scoring and rebounding, Turner is friendly on offense. He has great vision and elite ball-handling skills that allows him to stay alert and get the open man the ball.
Turner is the all-around offensive talent that is seen every once in a while. He can be a vocal leader for a team and guide them right away. He has natural instincts and the high basketball I.Q. needed to excel in this offensive league.
He isn't all offense either. He displays good speed and long arms which benefits well on the defensive side of the ball. Just because John Wall is taken ahead of him doesn't mean he is the better player.
Turner is the best player in this draft!
Think: Brandon Evans (Tyreke Evans and Brandon Roy mixed together)
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