Analyzing the 2010 NBA Draft
We are a week removed from the 2010 NBA Draft, and the speculation on which pick will boom and which will bust is only heating up, despite the free agent frenzy.
Will John Wall turn around Washington? Who will be the best big man in the class, Favors, Monroe, or Cousins?
I've analyzed the first round, and some bonus selections from the second round.
#1 Wizards, John Wall
The obvious selection as first overall.
The Wizards lost their stalwarts, Antwan Jamison and Caron Butler, while Gilbert Arenas is declining. In lieu of these circumstances, Washington is starting from scratch, and Wall is the perfect player to start a new era.
I'm calling John Wall as the 2011 Rookie of the Year.
#2 Sixers, Evan Turner
With Andre Iguodala as their only viable threat, the Sixers nab a skilled second fiddle to assist Iguodala. Turner solidifies a previously weak backcourt and will help with their lack of a true point guard.
Philly reportedly flirted with the selection of Derrick Favors. I believe that Turner was the right pick because he's certain to be a star, while Favors is not as certain.
#3 Nets, Derrick Favors
As a Nets fan, I was pulling for Turner. Though, Favors does fill a major void at the starting power forward spot. He's unproven, but is super-athletic and has huge potential and upside.
But I would have taken Wes Johnson and signed one of those big-time free agent power forwards. Then again, you can't bank on a free agent wanting to come to Jersey.
#4 Timberwolves, Wes Johnson
The Wolves took Jonny Flynn in '09 to fill the starting point guard spot. This year, they drafted their starting small forward. They already have Al Jefferson and Kevin Love down low, so improving the perimeter was key.
Johnson is jump-out-of-the-gym athletic and will immediately impact the T'wolves.
The only thing Johnson should improve is his attire, because those draft night pajama-esque pants were horrific.
#5 Kings, Demarcus Cousins
With Spencer Hawes dealt to Philly, the Kings needed a big body, and Cousins epitomizes that. His near 7-foot and 290-pound frame will greatly improve the Sacramento frontcourt, bringing size, intimidation, post scoring, rebounding, and the occasional spin move.
They didn't get much of that from Hawes, so this pick adds new dimensions to the Kings.
As an added bonus, Cousins looked sharp in his suit and purple shirt/tie.
#6 Warriors, Ekpe Udoh
The Warriors really reached with Udoh.
He is undoubtedly a shot-blocking machine, but it is still a question if his offensive game will translate to the NBA. He has raw post moves and still needs to develop his mid-range jumper.
Greg Monroe, who was also available, has a much more polished game and will, in my opinion, have a more successful NBA career.
The risk outweighs the potential reward with Udoh at six.
#7 Pistons, Greg Monroe
The Pistons got their man, as Monroe dropped.
Jason Maxiell isn't what I would call an ideal starting big man, especially standing at 6'7". Monroe will take over as the top Detroit big.
He has all of the tools to thrive at the NBA level.
The only issue with this pick is that Monroe doesn't fit the hard-nosed, smash-mouth persona of the Pistons from the early-mid 2000s.
#8 Clippers, Al-Farouq Aminu
Aminu is superhuman athletic.
He'll add a little spice to the LAC bench, but his lack of outside touch will hinder his chances to succeed as a starter.
This pick is risky, but he did rock those fly glasses.
#9 Jazz, Gordon Hayward
The Jazz took the NCAA Tourney hero.
I like this pick for Utah. With Andre Kirilenko aging, the small forward position is getting thin for the Jazz. Hayward provides a scoring edge that neither AK-47 nor C.J. Miles can offer.
#10 Pacers, Paul George
George is multi-talented. He can rebound, block shots, and score in more than one way. He is tall and long, both good traits for an NBA small forward.
The only problem is the Pacers have a certain small forward by the name of Danny Granger. It boggles my mind that they went small forward when that's their best position.
They desperately need a guard or power forward. Maybe Danny Granger will learn to play shooting guard!
#11 Thunder, Cole Aldrich
The Thunder got a center, which they really needed—no offense, Nenad—but is Aldrich the right one?
They already have Krstic, and Aldrich is basically a clone, a seven-footer with little offensive game. Basically, the difference between these two is that Krstic has a jump shot, but Aldrich blocks shots.
Ed Davis would have made more sense because of his offensive skills.
#12 Grizzlies, Xavier Henry
The Grizzlies are chock full of star-power, so it's time for some depth. They could use a better point guard than Mike Conley, but there were simply none worthy of taking at this spot.
Therefore, they went with Henry, who is loaded with raw talent and is as NBA-ready as they get.
With more consistency from three-point range, he'll emerge as a serious scoring threat.
#13 Raptors, Ed Davis
Davis is a good fit for Toronto, as Chris Bosh is likely to flee.
My only concern with him is that he might be all hype. He didn't astound anyone in college, but has the potential to be a standout power forward in the NBA.
This is a boom or bust pick.
#14 Rockets, Patrick Patterson
The Rockets' backcourt is stacked, with Aaron Brooks, Kevin Martin, and Trevor Ariza.
Their front-court? Not so much. Chuck Hayes has been a starter at center, and he's just 6'6". With Yao Ming's health as certain as Brett Favre's retirement, the Rockets didn't have a bona fide center.
They needed some quality depth down low, and that's exactly what they get with Patterson. A tough, skilled big man.
#15 Bucks, Larry Sanders
The Bucks just acquired Corey Maggette, so there was no need to add another member to a crowded backcourt.
Consequently, they drafted Sanders, who has a 7'7" wingspan. He fills a void at a thin power forward position, and adds some defensive length.
#16 Blazers, Luke Babbitt
Portland landed a big-time prospect in Babbitt.
He has height, handles, and a killer three-point shot. The Blazers dealt Martell Webster, so they don't have much to work with anymore at small forward. Babbitt will have a big role.
He's my dark horse for All-Rookie First Team.
#17 Bulls, Kevin Seraphin
The Bulls made a major statement with this pick.
As Jay Bilas hypothesized, the Bulls know that Seraphin will likely remain overseas for a few years, so they're not going to spend any money on him.
This will leave more cap room in an attempt to sign LeBron James, or another maximum free agent, or two.
#18 Clippers, Eric Bledsoe
Baron Davis is not getting any younger, so he'll need to be replaced in a few years. Bledsoe can fill that void if he can learn to become a true point guard.
He has all the talent to be successful.
The only reason why he was not a lottery pick was being in John Wall's shadow at Kentucky.
#19 Celtics, Avery Bradley
This pick is one of my least favorites of the draft for two reasons.
First, the Celtics have Rajon Rondo and Nate Robinson to take care of the point guard position.
Second, Bradley is simply not a first round talent. He underwhelmed immensely in his freshman campaign at Texas, and didn't show much potential.
Bradley has "bust" written all over him.
#20 Spurs, James Anderson
The Spurs got the steal of the round with Anderson at 20.
San Antonio is getting gray, or like Manu, literally losing hair.
In comes Anderson, the purest scorer in the draft.
He'll take over for Ginobili, and the Spurs won't miss a beat.
#21 Hornets, Craig Brackins
David West could use a power forward to give him a breather.
Brackins will provide quality bench play for New Orleans. His versatility to play either forward position will bode well for his minutes.
His height will allow him to be a scoring threat at small forward, as he will shoot over opponents.
#22 Blazers, Elliot Williams
I'm not sold on this pick. With Brandon Roy as their starter, and Rudy Fernandez/Jerryd Bayless backing him up, the addition of another shooting guard seems unproductive.
Damion James would make more sense for the Blazers since he plays small forward.
Williams could be a solid shooting guard at the NBA level, but he has no chance to thrive in the crowded Portland backcourt.
#23 Timberwolves, Trevor Booker
This pick is too much of a reach.
Booker is too undersized to play power forward in the NBA.
The Wiz did need a big man, so they should have chosen Daniel Orton, who would immediately replenish Brendan Haywood's grit.
And with Andray Blatche emerging, it doesn't look like Booker will fit into the rotation well.
#24 Nets, Damion James
I'm loving this pick by my Nets.
They no longer have Chris Douglas-Roberts, so drafting a small forward was a must.
James will give the Nets a rare edge on the glass from the wing, as he is the top rebounder in Big 12 history. James's main issue is his lack of shooting range, but he offers much-needed toughness to his new team.
#25 Mavericks, Dominique Jones
This is a great value pick, as Jones is one of the best scorers in the draft.
He can take contact as well as anyone in the Draft.
But did Dallas need a combo guard? Don't they have five viable guards in their rotation (Kidd, Barea, Butler, Terry, Beaubois)?
If I'm the Mavs, I look for a replacement for Dirk Nowitzki.
#26 Hornets, Quincy Pondexter
The Hornets have two great point guards and their big men are solid, so they were right in looking for a small forward.
But I just don't see Pondexter's game translating well in the NBA. I think Lance Stephenson was the way to go for the Hornets. Stephenson is more likely to be a big-time scorer due to his sheer power taking the ball to the hoop.
This was the right idea, but the wrong pick.
#27 Hawks, Jordan Crawford
The Hawks have a loaded backcourt.
Their frontcourt is where they can use some depth.
Dexter Pittman or Daniel Orton would have seemed like a reasonable selection. Either would have given Al Horford a chance to play power forward, his natural position.
Instead, they take Jordan Crawford, who will have to fight for minutes with Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford.
#28 Grizzlies, Greivis Vasquez
This pick was a major reach.
Again, Orton or Pittman would have been my pick. Hasheem Thabeet has not panned out as the force down low that the Grizzlies expected. Therefore, they could have used either big man.
Vasquez is not built for the NBA, and is not quick enough to play point guard in the pros. With frontcourt depth a necessity, this pick doesn't make much sense.
#29 Magic, Daniel Orton
This pick was great for Orlando. They get an better backup for Dwight Howard.
It also gives the Magic a chance to trade Marcin Gortat.
#30 Timberwolves, Lazar Hayward
The T'wolves needed some help at the 2 or 3, and they got it. They already drafted Wes Johnson, but a little depth never hurt anyone.
Hayward can do it all, whether it be shooting, posting up, or rebounding. He'll back up both positions, and offer some quality scoring off the bench. This is a good-looking pick for Minnesota.
And Then Some
32. Heat-Dexter Pittman: NBA-ready truck will immediately impact the Miami frontcourt.
40. Pacers-Lance Stephenson: Stephenson brings a whole lot of talent to Indiana.
42. Heat-Da'Sean Butler: Versatile Butler will impact new-look Miami.
46. Suns-Gani Lawal: Helps weak depth at power forward.
47. Bucks-Tiny Gallon: Not-So-Tiny Gallon will bang around down low with his 300-pound frame.
50. Raptors-Solomon Alabi: Top 20 talent at 50; not bad, Toronto.
52. Celtics-Luke Harangody: Another undersized but bulky big man for Boston.
54. Clippers-Willie Warren: Some would say he's a lottery pick talent.
56. Wizards-Hamady N'Diaye: My Rutgers bias loves this pick; he can help at center in Washington.
59. Magic-Stanley Robinson: Best athlete in the draft.