2010 NBA Draft Grades: Breaking Down All the Picks

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2010 NBA Draft Grades: Breaking Down All the Picks
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The 2010 NBA Draft has come and gone, and there weren't as many "big name" trades as many expected.

When the biggest names that switched teams were Ryan Gomes, Martell Webster, and Morris Peterson, there isn't a whole lot of marquee activity.

However, there were several trades involving draft picks, which we'll get to shortly.

So, who won and who lost?

This may be a bit of a useless practice, as the draft can't honestly be graded until we see what these players become, but hey, why not?

Atlanta Hawks

Picks: Jordan Crawford (No. 27), Pape Sy (No. 53)

The Hawks initially drafted Texas forward Damion James, but agreed to trade him to New Jersey in exchange for pick No. 27 (Crawford) and pick No. 31 (Tibor Pleiss). 

Pleiss was then traded to the Thunder for cash.

Crawford brings instant scoring to the Hawks, which they may need should Joe Johnson decide to depart via free agency.

While he has a reputation as a bit of a ball hog, there's no denying his extraordinary scoring ability.

Sy, a 6'7" forward from France, impressed the Hawks and new coach Larry Drew in his workouts, and was rewarded with a selection.

He occasionally saw some time at point guard for his French team, but likely transitions to a full-time off-guard or small forward in the NBA.

Sy seems like a candidate to stay in Europe for a couple of more years.

The addition of Jordan Crawford could eventually help alleviate the pain of losing Johnson, but having he and Jamal Crawford on the same floor could cause some headaches. 

Grade: C+

Boston Celtics

Picks: Avery Bradley, Luke Harangody

Bradley is an extremely athletic defensive-minded guard that could take the bench spot of the possibly-departed Tony Allen.

While his offense is a question mark, he had been graded as the best defensive guard prospect available.

His pairing with Rajon Rondo could give the Celtics one of the most disruptive defensive back courts in the league.

His size (6'3", 180) makes him a candidate to play point guard, although he lacks real playmaking skills necessary to play the position.

Think of him as a better-shooting version of Tony Allen.

Harangody was one of the most productive players in college basketball, but he lacks many of the physical traits that typical NBA players have.

He's a talented player, but he could be extremely limited at the next level.

Grade: B-

Charlotte Bobcats

The Bobcats' first round pick belonged to Minnesota as a result of the Nuggets' trade for Ty Lawson in last year's draft.

Denver had acquired the pick in 2008 when they agreed to swap first-rounders with the Bobcats.

Their second round pick belonged to Phoenix as a part of the Jason Richardson-Raja Bell trade.

Grade: N/A

Chicago Bulls

The Bulls traded their only pick (no. 17 overall) to Washington in the Kirk Hinrich trade.

They lost their second-round pick in a 2008 draft-day trade with Portland.

Grade: N/A

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavaliers' first-round pick belonged to the Wizards as a result of the Antawn Jamison trade. 

Their second-round pick belonged to Phoenix due to the Shaquille O'Neal trade. 

Grade: N/A

Dallas Mavericks

Picks: Dominique Jones

The Mavericks acquired Jones (the 26th overall pick) from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for cash.

Jones is a stout, 6'4" combo guard with a knack for scoring.

He's proficient at getting to the free throw line, which is something Dallas could desperately use from the back court.

Just for fun, let's compare his free throw numbers to Jason Terry's from last season.

In 33 games, Jones had 282 free throw attempts.

In 77 games, Terry had 268.

With Terry apparently on the downswing of his career, the Mavs made their back court younger and more dynamic.

While Jones isn't a great athlete, he simply knows how to put the ball into the basket.

The Mavericks also drafted center Solomon Alabi at No. 50 overall, but traded him to Toronto for cash.

Grade: B

Denver Nuggets

The Grizzlies acquired Denver's first-round pick in exchange for Steven Hunter and a conditional second-round pick in August 2009.

Denver traded their second-round pick to New York in the Renaldo Balkman trade from 2008.

Grade: N/A

Detroit Pistons

Picks: Greg Monroe, Terrico White

Detroit has one of the weakest front lines in the league, and the addition of Monroe should help to correct that.

While he's not a physical banger, he is one of the best passing big men in the draft class, and has a very high basketball IQ.

When he wants to, he's also versatile enough to score either around the basket or facing up from the perimeter.

A wiry 6'11", he's been knocked a bit for not being overly aggressive and for not being particularly strong.

Monroe should be a nice pickup in the front court.

Terrico White is a wonderful athlete, but he's a better spot-up shooter than he is a slashing scorer.

The Pistons could certainly use all the scoring help they could get, and White should be able to provide an offensive spark at some point.

Grade: B

Golden State Warriors

Picks: Ekpe Udoh

Udoh is a defensive-minded player capable of becoming a force on the defensive interior someday.

While he could stand to add some meat to his frame, he should be able to help the Warriors out with their defense, which was one of the worst in NBA history last season.

He's capable offensively, but that won't be where he makes his mark as a pro.

That being said, Udoh is a guy that probably could have been had in the 10-14 area, and was likely a major reach at No. 6.

While his presence is something the Warriors might need, his value that high in the draft was questionable.

Grade: D+

Houston Rockets

Picks: Patrick Patterson

The Rockets are always a candidate to do some wheeling-and-dealing, but left the draft after making one selection, Kentucky's Patrick Patterson.

Patterson was the veteran presence on last season's freshman-laden Kentucky team, and is one of the most ready-to-contribute players in the class.

He's a big, strong forward with tenacity on both ends of the floor that could eventually fill the void left by the departed Carl Landry.

His personality and game fit exactly what the Rockets are trying to build, and has major value for where he was selected.

Houston reportedly had Patterson ranked sixth on their draft board, and has to be thrilled to have him fall into their laps at 14. 

The Rockets lost their second-round pick to Minnesota in a 2008 trade for Gerald Green.

Grade: B+

Indiana Pacers

Picks: Paul George, Lance Stephenson, Ryan Reid

George was a bit of a risk for Indiana at No. 10.

He played for a poor team in Fresno State, and didn't dominate at the college level despite playing in a weak conference.

His shot selection was questionable at times in college, and is going to have to work to harness that as an NBA player. 

He's very physically gifted at 6'9" and 215 pounds, and should be a tough matchup in the NBA if he's able to continue to develop his game.

George is a major-upside type player.

Lance Stephenson was the Big East Rookie of the Year for Cincinnati last season, and many were surprised to see him fall all the way to No. 40.

He's another player that showed a strong ability to score in college, and is very good at creating off-the-dribble.

Stephenson could stand to improve his defense as well as his deep shooting ability.

Reid was acquired from OKC in a late trade.

He scored 6.8 points per game as a senior for Florida State, but was taken due to his potential to be a shut-down type defender.

A very odd selection.

Grade: C

Los Angeles Clippers

Picks: Al-Farouq Aminu, Eric Bledsoe, Willie Warren

Aminu is a bit of a tweener forward that seems more likely to slide in as a small forward in the NBA.

While his offensive game could use some overall polish, he's a great athlete with the ability to one day become a very good all-around player.

He's 6'8" and fairly lanky, but should be an exciting player on-the-run.

He won't do much scoring on a team with several other viable options already.

Bledsoe was acquired in a trade from the Thunder (wasn't everybody?), and gives the Clippers another combo guard to go along with Eric Gordon.

He's an incredible athlete and a great finisher at the rim, but lacks the skills to be a true, full-time point guard.

Despite his size at 6'1", he's strong enough and quick enough to be quite an asset on defense.

Warren suffered a monumental fall after a great freshman season at Oklahoma, as many had him amongst the top 10 prospects in this draft before the season started.

He's another guy that can play either guard spot, and will have to become a better decision-maker if he's going to be an NBA point guard.

Good pick, especially at 54.

Grade: B+

Los Angeles Lakers

Picks: Devin Ebanks, Derrick Caracter

The Lakers lost their first-rounder as a part of the infamous Pau Gasol deal, and nabbed two big college names with their pair of second-rounders.

Ebanks was a guy projected to potentially go in the first round in several mock drafts, but slipped all the way to No. 43.

He's seen as a point-forward type with nice ball-handling skills and an effective transition game.

He's 6'9", but weighs just 205 pounds, meaning he could struggle to stay with some of the bigger forwards on defense.

Ebanks isn't a great shooter either, and has no three-point range to speak of.

He seems like a less talented version of Lamar Odom.

Caracter is huge at 6'9", 280 pounds, but his size means he lacks explosion and isn't a great athlete.

He's a fairly offensively-polished big man, and uses his great strength to his advantage.

Ironically, a knock on him is the reported prevalence of character issues.

Not a bad pick for No. 58 overall.

Grade: C

Memphis Grizzlies

Picks: Xavier Henry, Greivis Vasquez

The Grizzlies had also selected Dominique Jones and Terrico White, but both were shipped out.

Henry was one of the nation's top prospects coming out of high school, and has shown an elite shooting ability.

His overall athleticism has come into question, but he does have good strength and size (6'6", 210).

Should Rudy Gay leave in free agency, he's big enough to play small forward alongside O.J. Mayo.

He could see more of a spot-up shooting role at the NBA level. 

Opinions on Vazquez are all over the place.

He's likely too slow to play point guard at the pro level, but teams love his size (6'5") and his competitiveness.

He was the unquestioned leader of the Maryland team, and is a smart player on the floor.

While he may not be a point guard, he does have very good distribution skills, and can also score a little bit.

Grade: B-

Miami Heat

Picks: Dexter Pittman, Jarvis Varnado, Da'Sean Butler, Latavious Williams

The Heat traded their first-round pick (No. 17 overall) to Oklahoma City along with Daequan Cook in exchange for a high second-rounder.

With that pick, the Heat took Texas center Dexter Pittman, who apparently weighed as much as 400 pounds in high school.

While he's "trimmed down" to about 300, he could struggle to keep up with the pace of the NBA game. 

He's pretty skilled overall, but the aforementioned conditioning issues could cause him some problems.

6'10" Jarvis Varnado is the leading shot-blocker in NCAA history, and will likely switch from center to power forward in the NBA.

He's shown good quickness in the post, but his offensive game is still extremely raw.

Butler was the leader of a West Virginia team that reached the Final Four, but suffered a torn ACL against Duke.

He's a very good shooter, and that's what will likely keep him in the league, as he's not a superior athlete.

Williams was drafted from the Tulsa 66ers of the NBADL, and never attended college.

He will be an undersized power forward in the NBA, as he doesn't currently have much ability to score off-the-dribble.

His spot-up midrange game has improved.

The Heat are interested in clearing cap space, and appear to be rebuilding absolutely everything.

If they're able to unload Michael Beasley without taking on any additional salary, they'll have enough cap room to potentially sign three maximum free agents.

Grade: C-

Milwaukee Bucks

Picks: Larry Sanders, Darrington Hobson, Jerome Jordan, Tiny Gallon

Sanders is very athletic, and should be able to add shot-blocking and rebounding while he develops his still-raw offensive game.

He played at a very small school in VCU, so questions remain about how good he really is. 

He runs the floor very well, but seems like a guy that won't see all that much floor time as a rookie.

Hobson played one year at New Mexico after spending two seasons at the College of Eastern Utah.

He's a 6'7" swingman that averaged about 16 points per game for the Lobos last season, and is added to the growing list of Bucks swingmen.

Jordan is a 7'1" center that has shown good shot-blocking ability as well as a soft touch around the basket.

While he's not a great athlete, he is an intriguing prospect because of his size.

Tiny Gallon is a very weird player, as he's 6'8" and 300 pounds.

He's a wonderful rebounder, and has the ability to score off-the-dribble as well as shoot from the perimeter.

He's a poor defender, and is very turnover prone. 

Some see him as a better version of Big Baby Davis.

Grade: B-

Minnesota Timberwolves

Picks: Wesley Johnson, Nemanja Bjelica, Paulo Prestes

Johnson is one of the most NBA-ready players in this draft, and possesses a very fluid offensive game.

He should fill the dire need for wing scoring for the Timberwolves.

Johnson is a great athlete, and seems like he could easily be a better pro than he was a college player.

He has the ability to hit the three, but excels with his jump shot inside-the-arc.

He could stand to bulk up as well.

It's always risky to draft for need this high in the draft, so it'll be interesting to see how Johnson pans out in comparison to DeMarcus Cousins.

Bjelica and Prestes aren't likely to come over to the NBA immediately, which is a situation the Timberwolves should be quite familiar with.

Two of Minnesota's first round picks, Luke Babbitt and Trevor Booker, were traded shortly after their respective selections.

The trade that sent Babbitt and Ryan Gomes to Portland for Martell Webster was awful.

That was a terrible move.

Grade: D+

New Jersey Nets

Picks: Derrick Favors, Damion James

Favors is one of the most popular talents in this class, and most seem to think that he's destined for stardom.

While he's still not overly-polished on the offensive end, he's still a fairly fluid player with great rebounding and shot-blocking abilities.

He's a terrific athlete, and some compare him to Dwight Howard.

At 18, he likely will take a bit of time before he's ready to help.

James was picked up from Atlanta in exchange for the No. 27 (Jordan Crawford) and No. 31 (Tibor Pleiss) picks.

He can play either forward slot, and is a well above average rebounder.

James could stand to improve his perimeter jumper, but he should be a nice complementary piece.

Grade: B+

New Orleans Hornets

Picks: Craig Brackins, Quincy Pondexter

The Hornets had originally drafted Cole Aldrich at No. 11, but shipped his rights along with Morris Peterson to the Thunder for picks 21 and 26.

Brackins is a big with the ability to stretch the floor with his face-up game, and also shows good touch around the basket.

He also knows how to run the floor and has shown competence with ball-handling.

However, he's been knocked for not being aggressive enough in the post, and his shot selection sometimes suffers as a result.

Pondexter was one of the most popular players in the nation last season, and could be a nice wing scoring pickup.

He doesn't have great handles, but he does have a solid midrange jumper to go along with a post game he uses against smaller guys.

He's very aggressive, and doesn't mind doing the dirty work.

Pondexter can succeed at the NBA level based on heart.

Grade: C+

New York Knicks

Picks: Andy Rautins, Landry Fields

Because they had lost their first round pick to Utah years ago, the Knicks went into this with a pair of second-rounders.

Andy Rautins is a well-known off-guard with lights-out shooting ability.

He has great distribution skills that stem from his court vision, and he seems like a current-day version of J. J. Redick.

He's not as athletic as your typical NBA two-guard, and may struggle to adapt to man-to-man defense after playing Syracuse's zone for so long.

You'd think with a shot-blocker like Solomon Alabi still available, that the Knicks would be jumping all over him, considering they don't really have any of that to speak of.

Instead, they took Landry Fields from Stanford.

He did average 22 points per game in his senior season, but at 6'5" he doesn't really have a position, and the Knicks already have plenty of small forwards.

Not a fan of the Fields pick.

Grade: D

Oklahoma City Thunder

Picks: Cole Aldrich, Tibor Pleiss, Magnum Rolle

Nobody was more active than Sam Presti during draft night, who seemed to make about 53,140 trades.

The pickup of Aldrich is solid, as he seems destined to fill a shot-blocking/rebounding center role for years.

The potential to play Aldrich and Serge Ibaka at the same time means nobody is going to get off a shot inside the paint against the Thunder.

Sturdy pick.

Pleiss is a guy that will likely be stashed overseas before he comes to the NBA.

His rights were purchased from Atlanta.

The seven-footer obviously has great size, and is very agile.

He has very good shooting range, but prefers to stay on the interior to do most of his damage.

Rolle is a 6'10" forward/center with very good quickness.

He may be capable of playing small forward someday once he develops.

The Thunder traded the 18th pick (Eric Bledsoe) to the Clippers.

Grade: B

Orlando Magic

Picks: Daniel Orton, Stanley Robinson

Orton was one of three centers to fall hard in this draft, along with Hassan Whiteside and Solomon Alabi.

He averaged just three points and three rebounds per game as a freshman at Kentucky, but lots of scouts like his upside.

Concerns over a knee injury likely caused him to slide, so Orlando happily scooped him up at No. 29.

He should have a good mentor in Dwight Howard.

With Howard and Marcin Gortat already ahead of him on the depth chart, don't expect to see much Daniel Orton this season.

Robinson is one of the best athletes in this draft.

He can run the floor, rebound on both ends, play defense, and block shots.

While he's an improved shooter, he hasn't improved to the point where he can be called "reliable."

He's a potential high-energy guy that could give some valuable minutes off the bench.

Grade: C+

Philadelphia 76ers

Picks: Evan Turner

Philly had just one pick in this draft, but they made it count.

Turner is ready to play in the NBA, and can play both guard spots as well as small forward.

He's a great ball handler that is effective pulling up or driving all the way to the rim, where he can finish.

Playing three positions mean you can guard three positions, which makes him all that much more valuable.

The Sixers made the right pick here, even with Andre Iguodala already on the team.

Many consider him a Brandon Roy type.

Grade: A

Phoenix Suns

Picks: Gani Lawal, Dwayne Collins

The Suns' first round pick belonged to the Thunder, so they had a pair of second rounders.

Lawal was projected near the top of mock drafts last season, before declining to enter and deciding to play another year at Georgia Tech.

That proved extremely detrimental to his draft stock, as he fell all the way down to No. 46.

He's a very determined 6'9" power forward with good explosiveness around the rim.

He does have some solid post moves with his back to the basket, although his jumper could stand to become more consistent.

I think this is a very nice pick for Phoenix.

Collins was taken with the last pick in the draft.

He's likely naturally a center, but at 6'8", he's likely destined to be an undersized power forward.

His great strength allows him to establish deep position, as evidenced by his 60 percent shooting percentage last season.

He's not great offensively, but he has shown a decent repertoire with his back to the basket.

Collins will thrive hitting the glass.

Could be a decent backup big man someday.

Grade: C+

Portland Trail Blazers

Picks: Luke Babbitt, Elliot Williams, Armon Johnson

Kevin Pritchard did quite well for the Blazers in his swan song as their general manager.

He acquired Ryan Gomes and the rights to Luke Babbitt in exchange for Martell Webster, a former No. 6 overall pick.

Babbitt is one of the most underrated players in this draft, and can do it all on the offensive end.

He can shoot it extremely well, and also has shown a nice turnaround jumper with his back to the basket.

Getting both he and Gomes for Webster was highway robbery.

Williams is also a high-upside guy that the Blazers may want to try and turn into a point guard someday.

He has a high basketball IQ, and people like his 6'4" frame along with his athletic ability.

He may not see much time early on, but he could be a dynamic addition to a back court someday.

Johnson is similar to Williams in that he's 6'3" and can play either guard spot.

However, he's more likely to translate as a straight point guard.

He's explosive and can get to the rim, but needs to learn to use that athleticism to his advantage on the defensive end as well.

Grade: A-

Sacramento Kings

Picks: DeMarcus Cousins, Hassan Whiteside

The Kings' quest to add as many centers as possible continues.

Already with 6'11" Jason Thompson and 6'10" Samuel Dalembert on the roster, the Kings added 6'11" DeMarcus Cousins and 7'0" Hassan Whiteside.

Cousins, to some, is the best big man prospect in the draft.

He's very refined already on the offensive end, and uses his massive frame and long arms to get off any shot he wants.

His bulk makes him a deceptively explosive athlete.

Questions about his maturity appear to be the only problem with him.

That can also be said about Whiteside, and his attitude is likely what caused him to plummet down to the second round.

Projected as a mid-first rounder at some point, Whiteside is a dominating defensive presence.

He's a great athlete, and should be able to contribute shot-blocking and rebounding immediately.

His offensive game is still quite unpolished.

The Kings are on the rise.

Grade: A-

San Antonio Spurs

Picks: James Anderson, Ryan Richards

Like last year with DeJuan Blair, don't be surprised if the Spurs have gotten the steal of the draft.

Anderson was one of the best scorers in college basketball last season, and can do it all on the offensive end.

At 6'6" he may be best suited as an off-guard.

He's a guy that could be a bench contributor right away.

Richards is a 6'11" big man from England, and is just 19 years old.

He won't be coming to the league very soon, and still has lots left to learn.

However, he's shown decent skill level already, and is an intriguing prospect down the road.

Grade: B+

Toronto Raptors

Picks: Ed Davis, Solomon Alabi

The Raptors had to be thrilled that Davis fell to them at No. 13 since Chris Bosh appears all-but gone.

While he's still pretty raw, he was a huge prospect after his freshman season at Carolina, and dropped off a bit last season when the team was in the dumpster.

He has great size for a power forward at 6'10", and is a very active player.

His activity allows him to gobble up rebounds, and he's also shown some shot-blocking skill.

He can knock down open jumpers, but still has lots of work to do in developing his overall offensive game.

Alabi was projected to go in the first round, but was dangerously close to falling out of the draft altogether, as he was taken at no. 50 by Dallas.

Toronto acquired him for cash.

He's a 7'1" shot-blocker, which is something Toronto really needs.

He could be serviceable down the road in that regard.

Grade: B

Utah Jazz

Picks: Gordon Hayward

The Jazz got this pick from the Knicks in a 2004 trade.

Hayward is a hard-working player with very good decision-making.

He has great size for a wing at 6'8", but could definitely stand to bulk up.

He will probably have trouble on the defensive end of the floor.

Hayward is a pretty good slasher, and his athleticism is surprisingly good.

He does need to work on his shooting, but he's a nice pick that should fit in very well with Jerry Sloan.

Grade: B

Washington Wizards

Picks: John Wall, Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker, Lazar Hayward

Wall was the consensus No. 1 prospect, and was an easy choice.

While they already have Gilbert Arenas, don't be surprised if Wall is the starting point guard from day one.

Likely the quickest player in the draft, he has terrific court awareness and is extremely under control with the ball in his hands.

He's another guy that could improve his jump shot, but that will come along with time.

He's strong enough to overpower smaller guards, and is a prototypical NBA point guard.

He should be a star.

Seraphin is a very explosive big man with almost no offensive game to speak of.

He'll be stashed overseas for a while, but could be a Serge Ibaka-like player upon his arrival in the league.

Booker was the first senior selected in this draft at No. 23.

He's a hard-working big body that should be a very good rebounder at the next level.

Hayward's selection here was a bit of a surprise, as he's your classic tweener.

He spent most of his time in the post in college, but at 6'6", will likely have to transition to small forward.

With Wall on board, this draft was an unquestioned success.

Grade: A

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