NBA Draft 2010: Comparisons Kill Gordon Hayward's Future If He Becomes a Buck

Ryne EberleContributor IIJune 21, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS - APRIL 05:  Gordon Hayward #20 of the Butler Bulldogs drives on Kyle Singler #12 of the Duke Blue Devils in the second half during the 2010 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 5, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

During the NCAA Tournament, it took awhile for people to realize if Butler was for real and perhaps the question still exists.

Just as many people may have doubted the team, there is still a debate about the potential of their star forward Gordon Hayward.

One of the teams that has kept an interest in Hayward is the Milwaukee Bucks, who look to have another successful first round pick in 2010 after drafting Brandon Jennings last year.

However, there are a few comparisons surrounding Gordon that could fuel some criticism should the Bucks do choose him.

In the 2008 draft, the Bucks took Joe Alexander, a forward out of West Virginia.

One fear that fans have is that Hayward may just be a clone of Alexander, who ended up being traded to Chicago after a dismal outing in Milwaukee.

Both had successful tournament outings, which helped strengthen their draft stock, but nobody knows how that will carry over into the NBA.

Another former Buck that Hayward has been compared to is Yi Jianlian, who was a first-round pick in 2007.

After an injury ended his rookie year, Yi was sent to the New Jersey Nets.

The fact that Milwaukee drafted two first-round forwards in two consecutive years has ultimately led to the fear and apprehension that Gordon will just add to the list of busted Buck forwards.

Another comparison surrounding Hayward is to one-time NCAA studs Adam Morrison and J.J Reddick.

Both of those players drained shot after shot while playing college ball, but has anybody seen what they are doing in the NBA? Reddick is now a backup for the Orlando Magic, and Morrison received only 13 minutes of playing-time (all in the first round) during the Los Angeles Lakers playoff run.

Bucks' fans worry that Hayward could just be another one of the college starts like Reddick and Morrison that crash and burn once they turn pro.

If Gordon does land with the Bucks, there are certain things he must do to break away from the comparisons being made about him.

To start, he must stay healthy, which is something that Yi couldn't do.

Another thing he must do is to seize an opportunity to play if it is presented to him.

Alexander could have played a lot more when the Bucks traded Richard Jefferson to San Antonio, but he couldn't step up when he had to.

The final thing Hayward has do is to be patient.ย 

If he doesn't get a lot of playing time in his rookie season, so be it. It will come.

Hayward has the potential, but only time will tell how things turn out for him and his career.

Until he does something good, he may just be getting in the line full of could-have-been players that missed the boat.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.