NBA Power Rankings: Grading the First-Round Draft Picks

Mario GonzalezCorrespondent IINovember 10, 2010

NBA Power Rankings: Grading the First-Round Draft Picks

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    After scouting, workouts, and tireless research, these are the ones that went first.

    The first round of the draft could very well Trump Christmas morning for some most NBA owners, as those picking in the first round are constantly searching for young talent to help turn their team around. A good first round pick could mean a new face for the Franchise, and a much needed boost in the win column.

    A bad pick on the other hand?

    I don't think I need to remind you about Darko Milicic.

    While teams prepare tirelessly to not end up with a "bust", the process is still not a science, and I don't think it ever will be. Sure there are those surging stars in the making like John Wall, or Blake Griffen. There are also some like Evan Turner who seemed obvious, but may now underwhelm his franchise.

    A number one pick can be amazing (Lebron James), but sometimes a number 13 pick (Kobe Bryant) can also be great. It's important to track the progress of the first round draft picks so we can tell who is likely to live up to their potential, and who is likely to disappoint.

    Here are the first Grades of the season for the first round picks.

30. Lazar Hayward

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    The Good: Lazar brings depth to the forward position in a youthful Minnesota roster.

    The Bad: He's unlikely to get the minutes to prove himself with the plethora of forwards getting burn ahead of him. He's also stared with a terrible (2-13) shooting percentage. His percentage will improve as the season goes on however, and it's uncertain what he will do with the time he eventually receives.

    The Grade: C

29. Daniel Orton

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    The Good: Daniel Orton was drafted mostly on the potential that his size would pay off. Big Men will always be a premium in the NBA, so gambling on Orton could pay off.

    The Bad: He failed to get many minutes off the bench at Kentucky, and hasn't seen the court yet at Orlando. He will have one heck of a time showing what he's got playing behind Dwight Howard and Marcin Gortat.

    The Grade: Incomplete

28. Greivis Vasquez

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    The Good: Greivis Vasquez brings good size to the front court for Memphis, and is coming off a successful stay in Maryland. He will have to adjust from being a star to filling a role, but his potential leaves room for a bright future in the NBA.

    The Bad: He is literally buried behind the improving Mike Conley, and the emerging Acie law. With Law still trying to prove himself on a nightly basis, it could be tough for Vasquez see the light of day. He's only seen two minutes on the NBA hardwood thus far, so it would be impossible to issue a grade this soon.

    The Grade: Incomplete

27. Jordan Crawford

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The Good: Jordan Crawford has proven that he can score in College, and that's what it takes to make a name for yourself in the NBA.

    The Bad: He's playing behind the other Crawford, Jamal. Jamal Crawford is already the deadly shooting sixth man on this team, and Jordan may get lost in the fold behind him. He hasn't taken many shots yet this season, but out of those he has missed most of them. At eight minutes per game he will need to make better use of his time to see it increase.

    The Grade: C-

26. Quincy Pondexter

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    The Good: Quincy Pondexter is coming off a great senior season in Washington, and can bring his scoring prowess to the Hornets.

    The Bad: Pondexter is playing behind the multi-talented Trevor Ariza, and deadly marksman Peja Stojakovich. Quincy saw his first NBA minutes a few days ago against the Bucks, but in eleven minutes he only managed one basket and a few rebounds.

    The Grade: C+

    He may not get much burn during his first season, but he has the potential to be an effective scoring role player some day.

25. Dominique Jones

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    The Good: Jones has proven to be an effective scorer with a developed physical presence. He will not find a starring role on the Mavericks, but he could become a solid role guard.

    The Bad: At 6'4 he's undersized for a two guard (which the Mav's must love), and will have trouble matching up with taller match ups.

    The Grade: C+

24. Damion James

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    The Good: Damion James has a versatile skill set allowing him to play either small or power forward. He improved each year at Texas, and should continue to carve his game into the NBA level.

    The Bad: He's buried deep in the benches trenches. I'm not sure how he'll be able to help the Nets improve their record this year.

    The Grade: D

23. Trevor Booker

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    The Good: At 6'8, Booker has good size at the small forward position. He was a standout on the Tigers, and could help a team lacking size at the three.

    The Bad: The Wizards want him to play PF/C, which he is drastically undersized for. Also he's not going to get noticed playing behind both Blatche and Yi.

    The Grade: D

22. Elliot Williams

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    The Good: Elliot has the ability to play both guard positions with a knack for scoring.

    The Bad: Williams dislocated his Patella during a November fourth practice and is suspected to be out the remainder of the regular season.

    The Grade: F

21. Craig Brackins

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    The Good: Craig Brackins has a proven rebounding and scoring ability at the four spot.

    The Bad: He's been traded to the Sixers who have announced that he'll be anchored to their bench for the entire season, when he's not in the D-League that is.

    The Grade: INCOMPLETE

20. James Anderson

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    The Good: Anderson is off to a great start replacing George Hill for the duration of his injury. He's been very accurate from long range, and has an NBA ready body.

    The Bad: His minutes will greatly decrease when George Hill is back in the line up.

    The Grade: B-

19. Avery Bradley

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    The Good: Bradley is a lock down perimeter player, who will be able to provide vital defense one day.

    The Bad: Rajon Rondo is a work horse for the Celtics, with Nate Robinson gobbling up any scrap minutes that are left over. Add this to the fact that Avery still has no actual position labeled on him, and we're looking at someone that will take a while to develop.

    The Grade: Incomplete

    No minutes, no grade.

18. Eric Bledsoe

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    The Good: Bledsoe has already begun proving himself as a competent player, sitting in during the injury absence of Barron Davis. He's knocking down shots, setting up his team mates, and causing steals on the defensive end.

    The Bad: Barron will be back in the line up eventually and Bledsoe's minutes will be shaved because of it.

    The Grade: B+

17. Kevin Seraphin

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    The Good: Kevin Seraphin has great size for a power forward at 6'9 264 lbs, and brings an international flair to his game.

    The Bad: Kevin still lacks a good deal of basketball experience, and will be rough around the edges as he adjusts to the pace and feel of the professional game.

    The Grade: Incomplete

16. Luke Babbitt

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    The Good: Luke Babbitt has proven himself to be a potent rebounder, scorer, and shooter. His size is key for him at the power forward position, and should prove helpful in his future in the league.

    The Bad: Nicolas Batum has really caught fire as of late, and behind him is newly acquired Wes Mathews. Luke will have a hard time even seeing the floor, let alone making an impact on the team.

    The Grade: C

15. Larry Sanders

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    The Good: Larry sanders has established himself as a good rebounder, and one heck of a shot blocker. While he will take some time to develop into a complete player, there will always be a team that needs the type of services he can deliver.

    The Bad: Sanders too suffers from playing a position that is already occupied by several players. While Larry could be a difference maker on another team, he will have a hard time getting noticed on the Bucks.

    The Grade: C+

14. Patrick Patterson

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    The Good: He's an inside outside forward who opted to stay in school, and it ended up helping his image and draft stock.

    The Bad: Patterson has been assigned to the D-League as recent as yesterday, and will have little to no impact on the Rocket's squad this year.

    The Grade: Incomplete

13. Ed Davis

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    The Good: Davis has shown a keen sense of timing for shot blocking that should allow him to earn minutes while he develops his offensive game.

    The Bad: The Raptors are off to a horrible start this year, and I doubt they're going to look to Davis to turn things around. Even on a roster so depleted, Davis has still not managed to see the floor.

    The Grade: Incomplete

12. Xavier Henry

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    The Good: Xavier Henry has much to smile about these days as he has already become the go-to-guard off the bench for Memphis, overtaking Tony Allen. He's earning decent minutes early on in the season, and I wouldn't be surprised if they increased as time goes on.

    The Bad: His shooting and long ball percentages are poor thus far, but the season is still very young. He's going to need to knock down shots in order to earn consistent minutes in the NBA.

    The Grade: B

11. Cole Aldrich

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    The Good: Cole Alrich is known by those who follow College Hoops as a solid defender, and that is what has enabled him to play at the professional level.

    The Bad: He lacks many traits that other competing big men have in their arsenal. His offensive is passable at best, and his shot blocking can be suspect as well.

    The Grade: D

10. Paul George

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    The Good: George has shot well from the field in this young season, and has received more burn on the court than most would have predicted.

    The Bad: Adjusting to the NBA will be a larger task for Paul George as he never faced elite competition in his college playing days.

    The Grade: B-

9. Gordon Hayward

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    The Good: Gordon Hayward has proven to be an all around player, and seems to already be a good fit in the Jazz's system.

    The Bad: He still needs to prove that he can guard opposing players at the professional level. His minutes have also been a bit erratic, as the Jazz have plenty of forwards to go around.

    The Grade: B

8. Al-Farouq Aminu

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    The Good: Aminu seems to be translating his game to the professional level well in the early goings. He recently had a nice shooting night to go along with 23 minutes on the floor.

    The Bad: He needs to see the floor more to continue his transition, and for that to happen the Clippers will have to re-tool their line up.

    The Grade: B-

7. Greg Monroe

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    The Good: Greg Monroe is officially the only big man on the Pistons with an offensive game. Add that to the fact that his minutes are increasing since not playing in the first two games, and you have a promising player in the making for Detroit.

    The Bad: His field goal percentage thus far is low, but it does not accurately represent his offensive potential.

    The Grade: B+

6. Ekpe Udoh

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    The Good: As soon as he's able to recover from a torn tendon in his wrist, he should be an immediate impact player on the defensive end. He was arguably the draft's best shot blocker, and I'm sure he's eager to prove that he can continue this on a professional level.

    The Bad: He's traveling with the team on the upcoming road trip, but he's still nowhere near playing.

    The Grade: B-

5. DeMarcus Cousins

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    The Good: He's made an immediate impact for the Kings thus far on the defensive end with his rebounding. His game seems NBA ready, and the Kings will look for him to contribute in a big way in the coming seasons.

    The Bad: He has recently been demoted to coming off the bench in favor of starting Samuel Dalembert.

    The Grade: B+

4. Wes Johnson

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    The Good: Wes has jump out of the gym athleticism, and a reasonable jumper, which makes him an instant impacting force on the offensive end.

    The Bad: His field goal percentage is much lower than acceptable at 37 percent, and he needs to cut back on his turnovers.

    The Grade: B+

3. Derrick Favors

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    The Good: Favors is fitting in well with the Nets scoring and rebounding virtually at will in his minutes so far. He is exhibiting signs of an NBA player who will make an impact year in and year out, and stay around for a while.

    The Bad: He needs to continue getting more minutes to reach his potential.

    The Grade: A-

2. Evan Turner

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    The Good: Turner is an above average talent in this years first round class, combining his ability to score with his rebounding on the defensive end. Apart from his long range attempts, his percentages are promising, and he has room to improve over the course of the season.

    The Bad: He reminds me of Lamar Odom in the way that he's here one night and gone the next. I'm not ready to say he'll produce every night with a straight face.

    The Grade: B+

1. John Wall

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    The Good: Wall has already hit the ground running in the NBA, and is showing signs that he will indeed be a star in this league. He is lightening quick, a brilliant passer, and a superior thief on the defensive end. While most first round picks end up doing well, John Wall is a game changer.

    The Bad: John still needs to put in some time in the gym to work on his jump shot, and he needs to cut down on turnovers.

    The Grade: A+