2010 NBA Draft: The 10 Most Underrated Prospects
The 2010 NBA Draft is known to most as the John Wall Sweepstakes, with a couple of solid starters and possible All-Stars in guys such as Evan Turner, Derrick Favors, Wesley Johnson and DeMarcus Cousins. But are there any other prospects flying under the radar that could be an NBA superstar some day? Let's take a look at the 10 most underrated prospects in the upcoming draft.
Eric Bledsoe (Kentucky)
Some say that if there was no John Wall, everyone would be talking about Eric Bledsoe in this year's draft instead.
I don't know about that, but what I do know is that Bledsoe could very well be the second best point guard in the 2010 draft. Playing second fiddle to Wall, mostly at the shooting guard position, Bledsoe averaged 11.3 points and 2.9 assists.
While he is undersized at 6-1, Bledsoe has shown incredible maturity playing with and behind Wall at Kentucky, which has no doubt limited his opportunity to shine.
Bledsoe is explosive, can shoot the ball, and given the right team, could really become something special in a couple of years. Most mock drafts according to talent have Bledsoe at the end of the first round, but given the dearth of PG's this year, could he shoot up the ranks and into the lottery?
Lance Stephenson (Cincinnati)
Another guy expected to go in the second round (if at all) is Cincinnati freshman Lance Stephenson. At 6-5 and 200 lbs, Stephenson has a solid NBA body that he has used to bully around weaker players at the college level, averaging 12.3 points and 5.4 rebounds.
At the NBA level, Stephenson still needs to work on his game, especially his shooting. There are also some concerns over his background which have helped to lower his stock. But with a sound fundamental stroke, he can certainly develop his skill set and decision making to become a decent rotation player in the league. The question is whether he has the drive and opportunity to get there.
Willie Warren (Oklahoma)
The 6-4 sophomore from Oklahoma has fallen in desirability over the course of the year, due to his team's struggles this season, but it could also mean he is being overlooked.
Warren is extremely explosive and a solid one-on-one scorer that can finish at the rim. Last season he averaged 16.3 points and 4.1 assists while shooting an impressive 52.4 from two-point range.
Warren is still too turnover prone, but if teams take a chance on this kid they might be laughing a few years down the track once his skills catch up to his athleticism.
Avery Bradley (Texas)
Bradley, a 6-3 guard from Texas is shooting his way up the charts, thanks to some impressive workouts that have scouts wondering whether he could be this years' Russell Westbrook.
Bradley is a tad undersized at 6-3 and his passing skills have been largely untested, but he certainly has the athleticism to cover up a lot of his weaknesses. Whether that will translate well to the pro-level remains to be seen.
Bradley averaged just 11.6 points and 2.1 assists last season, but it is his potential that has sent scouts wagging their tongues.
With few quality point guards available after Wall, could Bradley crack the lottery?
Xavier Henry (Kansas)
Xavier Henry, the 6-6 freshman from Kansas, has an NBA-ready body, a terrific wingspan and a sweet shooting stroke.
He may not be an eye-popping athlete and there are several areas of his game that he needs to work on, but at just 19 years of age Henry has the potential to become a star some day. Last season he put up 13.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.
Many predict Henry to be picked from late-lottery to late first round, but does he deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Turner, Cousins and Favors? Perhaps not right now, but a few years down the track?
Damion James (Texas)
The 6-7 small forward from Texas has tremendous quickness and athleticism for his size, as well as a decent jump shot with fair range.
On the other hand, James' has raised questions due to his poor ball handling and inability to get to the hole. Underwhelming free throw shooting percentages have also hurt him, casting a shadow over his impressive averages of 18 points and 10.3 rebounds while shooting over 50 percent from the field.
However, with his outstanding talent, James could grow into a solid NBA player if given the chance to prove himself and improve over time. Will NBA teams leave him as a late first round selection?
Quincy Pondexter (Washington)
Projected as a very late first rounder by the majority of experts, the 6-6 senior from Washington is overlooked because of his age.
However, Pondexter is an extremely efficient scorer that has had time to put together his game in college and will go into the NBA about as ready as a first rounder can be. Last season he averaged 19.3 points and 7.4 rebounds.
Even though he has continued to improve, I don't think Pondexter has hit his ceiling yet. Put him in the right system with the right coach and he could become an excellent NBA player.
Greivis Vasquez (Maryland)
Vasquez is a very unique player that has truly been under the radar, with the majority of mock drafts predicting that he will be chosen in the second round.
However, the 6-5 combo guard is an intriguing prospect because of his aggressive mentality, underrated passing skills and ability to shoot over just about anyone. He averaged 19.6 points and 6.3 assists as a senior for Maryland last season.
No one is expecting Vasquez to become an instant star, but he could be one of those niche players that can come off the bench and do damage right away.
James Anderson (Oklahoma State)
Anderson, a 6-6 shooting guard from Oklahoma State, has not gotten much attention despite being a solid NBA body and an efficient offensive game that should help him adjust quickly to the pro-level.
Anderson averaged 22.3 points and 5.8 rebounds and posted solid shooting percentages from all over the floor.
Right now he is projected as a late first round pick by most scouts, but Anderson could be a real steal by whoever ends up picking him.
Paul George (Fresno State)
The lanky 6-9 sophomore from Fresno State does not appear to be NBA ready—yet. However, given his natural athleticism, size and all-round skills, once George fills out his impressive frame and learns to create his own shot he could be the next Danny Granger.
George is a match-up nightmare that averaged 16.8 points and 7.2 rebounds last season, had 2.2 steals a game and shot over 90 percent from the line.
At the moment George is projected to be late-lottery to late first rounder, but based on his potential he could go even higher.