2010 NBA Draft: Devin Ebanks, Landry Fields, and Top Surprises
The NBA Draft came and went last night with many pieces falling to the places we expected, especially at the top of the draft board. But there were also a number of surprises throughout the board.
Through the first and second rounds, teams made picks and executed trades that no doubt left us scratching our heads in surprise and curiosity. Here is a look at 10 players who surprised with their spot on the board and their corresponding destinations.
Kevin Seraphin - Wizards Via Bulls
The Bulls picked the French import for the Wizards as part of the Kirk Hinrich deal. Seraphin is a long, rangy big man who is a strong rebounder and shot blocker.
Like most imports, there are concerns about his transition to the NBA game. Seraphin was coming off the board at some point, but No. 17 overall was higher than most expectations.
There were questions as to whether he would actually jump stateside should he have stayed with Chicago. His swap to Washington likely confirms his arrival in the NBA. If he can develop his offensive game, Seraphin could become a star in the league.
At the least, his size (6'10", 258 lbs) and skills on the defensive end should make him a solid, long-term contributor.
Andy Rautins - New York Knicks
The Knicks surprised many by reaching and selecting the Syracuse sharpshooter with the No. 38 overall pick. Most draftniks didn't even have Rautins on their draft boards, so many ears perked up when the Knicks made their choice.
Rautins made himself a household name during the Big East and NCAA Tournaments for his relentless play and ability to hit shots from long range. However, questionable athleticism and ability to create with the ball will likely relegate him to a specialist role at the next level.
Nevertheless, the Syracuse to the Knicks move is always popular in Madison Square Garden.
Landry Fields - New York Knicks
After Rautins, the Knicks really shocked many by taking the Stanford product. ESPN.com's Chad Ford said he didn't have Fields in his Top 100. Going by his authoritative voice, that makes Fields the biggest reach of the entire draft.
At 6'7" and with strong shooting skills, Fields has the ability to stick on the roster but his skill set is not very different than Rautins. The best bet is that only one of the Knicks' two late round picks will hang on to the roster.
Devin Ebanks - Los Angeles Lakers
Ebanks was expected to come off the board, but the amount he had to wait was a bit of a surprise. Ebanks slipped to No. 43 overall to the Lakers on concerns about his offensive development.
However, Ebanks was rated one of the better defenders in the draft. Ebanks draft position wasn't the biggest surprise of the draft, but the Lakers did land another possible Ron Artest-type player (without the baggage).
Hassan Whiteside - Sacramento Kings
Whiteside is the most raw with potentially the most upside of any big man in the draft. None of the draft gurus could agree on where the 7'0" freshman out of Marshall would land. However, most anticipated he would be a first round pick.
Instead, Whiteside slipped all the way to the No. 33 overall spot in the draft. Even more surprising is that the Kings took Whiteside after picking DeMarcus Cousins with the fifth overall pick and trading for another center, Samuel Dalembert, prior to the draft.
Whiteside has a long way to go to meet his ceiling, but his athleticism, rebounding and shot-blocking ability should make him a long term contributor in the NBA.
Solomon Alabi - Raptors via Dallas Mavericks
At 7'1", Alabi was the tallest player in the draft, but slipped all the way to the No. 50 overall spot on concerns of his conditioning. However, Alabi is a proficient shot-blocker and defensive player who can fill the lane.
His size and athleticism will keep him in the league and now it is a matter of Alabi reaching his upside. If he does that, he should have a strong NBA career, which is better than most selected in the last 10-12 picks of the draft.
Gordon Hayward - Utah Jazz
The Jazz reached just a little bit to get the 6'8" Hayward. Most projections had Hayward going somewhere in the teens, but instead the Jazz made the Butler product a top 10 pick.
Hayward has good size and range for the NBA, but whether he can quell concerns about his athleticism and ability to be a consistent long range shooter will dictate his future.
Hayward's shot-making ability will keep him in the league. If he can exceed worries about his athleticism, he will be more than the next J.J. Redick.
Jordan Crawford - Hawks Via New Jersey Nets
The Nets picked Crawford and then shipped him to Atlanta. It's interesting that the Hawks would take Crawford considering they already have a very similar player in Jamal Crawford. Jordan, like Jamal, is a shoot-first guard who needs to sharpen his defensive skills.
The Xavier freshman will likely start as a reserve guard before he can run the Hawks offense. The quicker he adapts, the better the chances of him becoming a starter in the league.
Greivis Vasquez - Memphis Grizzlies
Vasquez was a very solid collegiate player who helped Maryland possibly overachieve the last few years. He has very strong court awareness and high basketball smarts. However, he has questionable athleticism for the next level and could face serious challenges guarding NBA shooting guards.
Vasquez's tools speak more to a reserve player, less than the first round pick used to select him.
Dexter Pittman - Miami Heat
The Heat are looking for size and they sure got it in the Texas 6'11", 300lbs center. Pittman was a late to fringe second round pick on most draft boards. The Heat's selection of Pittman at the No. 32 overall spot is a bit of a reach for a big man with conditioning concerns.
Pittman could develop into a solid big man, though he isn't sharp with the ball in his hands, but he could play himself out of the league if he can't control his weight.