Friday, June 26, 2015

Five years later. Judging the 2010 NBA Draft.

Throw up your set! Wiz get an A
You are taking a college course. On day one, the professor hands you a syllabus, outlining the work to be done for the semester, and then the NEXT DAY, he gives you your grade for the class. HUH? 

Of course it does not work that way. 

Today multiple media outlets will use the above approach one day after the selections were made for the 2015 NBA Draft. It is a waste of time that insults the intelligence of every NBA fan. 

Meanwhile, five years have passed since the 2010 NBA Draft was held. It is now safe to judge that class of players. 

The nitty gritty: Three of the 60 taken on June 24th, 2010 have achieved NBA All-Star status. 49 of the 60 selected in 2010 have logged minutes in the league. That leaves eleven picks that were essentially wasted. Eight players picked in the first round in 2010 are now out of the league (Larry Sanders, James Anderson, Craig Brackins, Damion James, Dominique Jones, Jordan Crawford, Daniel Orton, Lazar Hayward). 

In a highly subjective re-draft, here is how we would do it today...(not based on what they have accomplished already necessarily, but based on what we see going forward). 

1. John Wall - Wall was indeed the first pick in 2010. He is an All-Star point guard on a playoff team, and he stands among the finest two-way players in the NBA. 

2. DeMarcus Cousins - Cousins too has been an NBA All-Star and in 2014-15 he was named as 2nd team All-NBA. He slipped to fifth on draft day 2010. The second pick was Evan Turner. 

3. Eric Bledsoe - In hindsight, the top three picks in our 2010 re-do were all Kentucky Wildcats. Bledsoe slipped to 18th in 2010 while the third pick was Derrick Favors. 

4. Gordon Hayward - Hayward slipped to ninth in 2010. The fourth pick in 2010 was Wesley Johnson. Ooops. 

5. Derrick Favors - "Faves" went third in 2010. 

6. Greg Monroe - The steady BIG from Georgetown was selected seventh in 2010. One of the biggest whiffs in the draft was Golden State taking Ekpe Udoh sixth. 

Young Whiteside finally emerged
7. Hassan Whiteside - It took the full five years for Whiteside to have a positive affect on an NBA game. In the second half of 2014-15 he was brilliant. 

8. Paul George - This is why we wrote "highly subjective" above. George would be the second or third pick in hindsight had he not gotten injured. But he did. Despite a small sample of games at the end of this past season, George is a risky pick. Not knowing how his body will respond going forward, George slips to eighth here. George was the tenth pick in 2010. ...The eighth pick in 2010 was Al-Farouq Aminu. 

9. Evan Turner - Turner was taken second in 2010. He is coming off a decent year in Boston. 

10. Lance Stephenson - Certainly Stephenson could be selected higher than tenth but he is coming off a poor season in Charlotte. Traded to the Clippers for the 2015-16 campaign we will see if Lance can regain the form he had in Indiana in 2013-14. ...Lance was probably the best value pick of the 2010 draft, going 40th. 

11. Trevor Booker - The hard working Booker is still ascending as an NBA player. He was a rotation BIG on a solid Utah team last season. Booker fell to 23rd in 2010 while the eleventh pick was Cole Aldrich. 

12. Al Farouq Aminu - Aminu still can't make three point shots consistently (28% career), which has kept him as a bench guy.

13. Ed Davis - The pickings start to get pretty slim at this point. Davis falls exactly where he was selected in 2010. 

14, Greivis Vasquez - Vasquez could go three picks higher but his underwhelming athleticism has us wondering how many years he has left. Whatever the case, Vasquez was a good pick at #28 in 2010. 

15. Avery Bradley - Bradley shows no signs of slowing down and still no signs of an improved offensive game. Bradley went 19th in 2010 while the 15th pick was Larry Sanders. 

The rest of the draft do-over would include these guys in some order: Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich, Quincy Pondexter, Landry Fields, Kevin Seraphin, Luke Babbitt and the aforementioned Wesley Johnson. 

Four more players are in the "barely hanging on" category... Udoh, Xavier Henry, Elliot Williams, and Jeremy Evans (a Slam Dunk Contest winner) all played less than 300 minutes in 2014-15. 

So to recap... Give a grade A to the Washington Wizards for drafting John Wall. Likewise, the Clippers get an A for nabbing Bledsoe 18th. The final A grade goes to Indiana for gambling on Lance Stephenson 40th in 2010. Absolute failures included the Wolves picking Wesley Johnson fourth, and the Warriors picking Ekpe Udoh sixth. 

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