Nearly a season after last year’s March Madness stars entered the league and with the NBA Season drawing to a close, it’s time to look back on the Rookies who made an impact in the league this year. For the purposes of this list, they had to be drafted in 2010 to be considered. For example, players like Blake Griffin who were drafted in ’09 and sat out a year were not on this list, as well as players who were undrafted or first-year players from over seas like Gary Forbes, Samardo Samuels, or Gary Neal were left off this. So lets take a quick look at the contributions and production of these Rookies in 2010-11 NBA season, and their prospective futures in the league.
That said SwishScout.com Presents “The 2010 NBA Draft Review.”
Note: On most players, you can click their name or school to take you to a more detailed profile for a more extensive scouting report on the respective prospect.
Key Rookie Stats: 3.4 pt., 2.5 reb.
Since being traded by the Celtics back in February, Harangody has become a nice role player for the Cleveland Cavaliers. In his last 10 games, he’s averaging almost seven points and four rebounds in 17 minutes of action per game. Luke is a hard-working player who battles for boards and can shoot the ball well, and should find a role in the league coming off the bench, as he is proving in Cleveland. I felt that he was one of the more solid and unheralded in this draft and still stand by that line of thought, as he will become much more dangerous once his shot starts dropping more consistently.
Key Rookie Stats: 4.3 pt.
To say Xavier has struggled this season might be an understatement, and nowhere is that more apparent than in his shooting percentages. Coming into the league, Henry was a bulky player with nice shooting touch, but 2-of-17 for three-point range and 63.5 percent free throw shooting might tell you otherwise. It’s not easy playing behind OJ Mayo and Rudy Gay, but early in the season he was playing pretty well. He has had to deal with a right knee sprain as of late but should bounce back next season when he gets to see the court more often. With OJ Mayo nearly getting dealt before the trade deadline, the Grizz see something in Henry that will ensure he gets more playing time, and his percentages will go up when he gets some more confidence after seeing action.
Key Rookie Stats: 3.8 pt., 2.7 reb., 1.3 blk.
After being setback by injuries at the start of the season, Udoh has returned with some energy, coming off the bench for the Warriors and becoming their defensive anchor. In only 16 minutes of action per night, he’s still averaging 1.3 blocks and could be potentially averaging more around 2.5-3 blocks if he gets 30 or more minutes per night. The warriors knew what they were getting when they drafted him, and he has been an exceptional defensive shot blocker this season when getting extended minutes. Still not much of an offensive threat of a nightly basis but has a promising future as a defensive post player in the league.
Key Rookie Stats: 4 pt., .9 ast., 1.8 reb.
Gordo is still learning the ropes in the league, and that’s more than apparent when you see him play. Barely 20 years of age, he has still seen his fair share of action in the starting lineup 12 games this season and has actually started playing better in March, including an 18-point game against the Timberwolves. The questions about his athleticism and lateral quickness are still there, but last year’s draft darling has been solid in limited action.
Key Rookie Stats: 4.6 pt., 3.1 reb., 1.2 blk.
Sanders has been efficient in limited minutes and stepped his game up throughout the season for the Bucks. He’s coming on stronger late in the season, getting nearly 20 minutes per game in March and producing six points, four boards, and 1.3 blocks as a result. The 6’11” former VCU big is still pretty raw, but the franchise has to be pleased with his contributions and potential moving forward in the league.
Key Rookie Stats: 5.8 pt., 3.7 reb., .8 blk.
Yet another rookie who has been efficient in limited action, Patterson has stepped up when called upon after spending his first month in the D-League. Pat has had a solid March, looking good with 9.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in greater action for the Rockets. Playing behind a veteran like Luis Scola, a game whose very much resembles his own, Brad Miller, will help him moving forward and teach him a great deal. Patterson is an underrated perimeter shooter and the NBA three-pointer will become a weapon for him in the coming seasons of his development that make his inside-out game much more dangerous.
Key Rookie Stats: 5.9 pt., 3.3 reb.
Dare I say the Clippers are a good fit for anyone, but they seem to be for Aminu’s development. Playing on a young team of raw players allows Aminu to see the floor and refine his skill set alongside other up-and-comers, such as the explosive Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon, Eric Bledsoe, and DeAndre Jordan. Al-Farouq is still getting by on his athleticism a lot, but his skills are looking more developed, especially shooting the ball. Al is still a player who is a couple years away from being a big impact player, but the Clippers can afford to wait on him and should be happy with what they get from him.
Key Rookie Stats: 8 pt., 3.8 reb., 1.1 ast., 1.1 stl.
The athletic guard seems to be adjusting to Indiana just fine. The rangy George naturally developing a better all-around game and is rebounding the ball very well for a guard in the league in his limited minutes. However, his impact has been mostly made on the offensive end of the floor, putting up points for the Pacers. Hasn’t really had any big scoring outbursts this season and hasn’t shot the ball well, but showing the potential to be an impact guard on the perimeter, erasing doubts of him being a one-year wonder at Fresno State.
Key Rookie Stats: 6.5 pt., 5.1 reb., .8 blk.
Favors has as much potential as any player in last year's draft, and he has put it on display a few times this year, especially rebounding the ball. Derrick has a few double-doubles to his name, but being traded to Utah has set him back a bit. With pieces in place for the Jazz, like Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson in the post, as well as the Jazz owning two lottery picks in this years draft, it's hard to see Favors fitting in with Utah moving forward. Nonetheless, Favors is an outstanding young talent with a chance to become a very special player in the right situation. It will be a matter of where he ends up and if he gets the chance, and if he does, expect him to seize the opportunity in a big way.
Key Rookie Stats: 6.8 pt., 6.8 reb., 1 blk.
Filling in for a team that has just lost their post star in Chris Bosh is no easy task, but Davis has been a nice replacement thus far. The young big is getting good minutes for the Raptors and doing a nice job in the paint. Clearly adjusting to the NBA style of play, his post game and perimeter shooting are starting to come together late in the season. Playing on a young team with young stars like Demar DeRozan, Andrea Bargnani, and Amir Johnson will allow him time to grow into his role as well.
Key Rookie Stats: 7 pt., 3.7 ast., 2.9 reb., 1.1 stl., 2.4 TO
At the beginning of the season, Bledsoe gave Baron Davis a run for his money as the starting point guard of the team and even got the nod in 25 games. Playing alongside Mo Williams hasn’t seemed to hurt either, as Bledsoe is playing his best ball of the year in March and has dropped a couple 20-point games. Bledsoe looks like the point guard of the future for the Clippers and it’s easy to see with his athleticism and skill. He is turning the ball over more than they like (nearly 2.4 times per game), but like any young PG, he has to take his knocks. He is making the transition to the position smoothly after playing primarily the two guard for Kentucky last year, and adjusting quicker than some thought he would.
Key Rookie Stats: 7.2 pt., 4 reb., 2 ast.
College hero back to zero, Turner hasn’t quite been the player Philadelphia had hoped for this season. The second-overall pick in last year's draft isn’t exactly killing it, but he has done his part for the Sixers and been a good addition to Doug Collins’ scheme. With Philly in the playoff hunt and sporting a record better than .500, it’s hard to complain underwhelming contributions from Turner. Evan is still a great scorer who can put up big numbers on occasion and has the potential to be great player in the league, but his season has been up and down. He doesn’t have the ball in his hands as much as he did back in Columbus, but is still creating for teammates and playing smarter ball, significantly cut down on his turnover problems from last year.
Key Rookie Stats: 9.2 pt., 3 reb., 1.9 ast., 35.8 3-pt. percentage
Playing on a bad team is something no one enjoys, and Wes seems to be doing his part to try and turn around the T’Wolves. He showed up against the Lakers in a big way a couple weeks ago, dropping a career-high 29 points. Playing alongside big time rebounders like Kevin Love and Michael Beasley never makes it easy to grab boards, and that’s apparent with him snatching a measly three per game. Johnson clearly has the green light from three-point range as well, with over 260 attempts so far this season. Wesley Johnson has become a solid NBA forward, starting 54 games this season and gaining experience that will help him improve moving forward.
Key Rookie Stats: 9 pt., 7.2 reb., 1.1 ast., 1.1 stl.
Perhaps the best passing big man in the 2010 class, Monroe has become a fixture for the Pistons in the paint. The versatile former Hoya has become a big part of the Detroit game plan and is leading the team in rebounding by a good margin. Monroe has a silky-smooth game and is becoming a legitimate threat in the East. Greg is having an outstanding month of March, putting up 14 points and nine rebounds in 32 minutes of action. One of the brightest young stars in the league that no one is talking about, Monroe could be a steal being drafted at the eighth spot after all is said and done.
Landry Fields (New York Knicks)
Key Rookie Stats: 10 pt., 6.6 reb., 2ast., 1 stl., 40.6 3-pt. percentage
There’s no doubt that Fields has been the biggest steal of the 2010 NBA Draft so far, becoming a bona fide player in the league after being drafted as the 39th-overall pick in the second round. The former Stanford standout is leading all NBA guards in rebounding per game this season, an impressive feat for any player, let alone a rookie. Perhaps even more impressive, Fields has started all 72 of the Knicks 72 games so far this season, showing the trust the franchise has in him moving forward alongside NBA superstars Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.
Key Rookie Stats: 14.2 pt., 8.7 reb., 2.3 ast., .8 blk.
Few doubted Cousins’ talent, but many had reason to question his character issues, which have reared their ugly head at times this season. Next to Tyreke Evans, Cousins’ has been one of the Kings’ best players this season, becoming an absolute force in the paint and a double-double machine. DeMarcus and Evans have become the nucleus for the young Kings squad, but the team is clearly in need of more pieces before they start winning. Cousins’ is a franchise building block that can anchor their franchise for five to 10 years if they can tolerate him that long. If not, he will be a valuable trade asset down the road who they should be able to cash in for someone who gives them less problems. Regardless, DeMarcus Cousins is capable of being a 20-10 player in the NBA and one of the best post players in the world.
Key Rookie Stats: 16.1 pt., 8.6 ast., 4.5 reb., 1.6 stl, 3.8 TO, 2.6 A/T
When you talk about young stars, you have to talk about John Wall and the impact he has had in his rookie year. For the past couple years, the hype Wall has generated as a prep and NCAA star seems more than fair for what he has done in just his first season in Washington. In only his third game ever in the league, he put on a show against the Sixers with 29 points, 13 assists and nine steals. No player does a better job playing at full throttle than John Wall, but he has clear areas for improvement moving forward. The most obvious critiques are cutting down his high number of turnovers (3.8 per game) and improving his three-point shooting (30.4 percent). Other than that, Wall is as fine a young point guard you will find in the league who looks like an All-Star and potential All-NBA player for the next decade.