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2010 NBA Draft Review

John Wall (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

If you weren’t one of the 12 people who actually watched the entire NBA draft, I took the time to break down the first round pick-by-pick, player-by-player. If you were brave enough to watch the entire thing, I did my best to avoid the repetitive Jay Bilas player breakdowns. This is more of a speculative look at where each and every player got picked, a well as how they may, or may not fit into their future teams.

So without further ado:

1.) Washington Wizards: PG John Wall – Kentucky

Absolute no-brainer. Love the pick, hate the fit. I think John Wall has the raw ability to step in and be better then reigning rookie of the year Tyreke Evans.

The rebuilding Wizards problems begin, and end with Gilbert Arenas’ monster contract, and his presence in general. With Arenas in the fold, will Wall be able to step in and assume the alpha-dog role? Of course not. Priority No. 1 for the Washington Wizards should be getting Donny Walsh on the phone the day after LeBron James says “thanks but no thanks” to the Knicks offer.

Walsh will be desperate, and calling for an injury-prone, expensive, selfish point guard may be as desperate as it gets. Then again, the Wizards may be just as desperate to get rid of this guy. Maybe Eddy Curry finally finds a home?

2.) Philadelphia 76ers: PG/SG/SF Evan Turner – Ohio State

I like Evan Turner, but like John Wall, I just don’t see how he fits in Philadelphia. Typically you don’t want to be going into drafts looking to fill team needs, but in the NBA it’s entirely possible to do so. The 76ers were just lucky enough to find a taker on Samuel Dalembert in the Sacramento Kings, and Elton Brand quickly turned into one of the worst contracts of the NBA when they signed him. Derrick Favors or DeMarcus Cousins wouldn’t be perfect here? Put either of those guys next to Marreese Speights, and that quickly becomes a developing front court that would be tough to deal with in the coming years.

Clearly they didn’t follow that mode of thinking. Oh well, Turner was clear-cut the No. 2 player on many, if not all draft boards. I’m interested to see how new head coach Doug Collins will use the SG duo of Andre Iguodala and Turner. Perhaps this pick makes Andre Iguodala expendable?

3.) New Jersey Nets: PF Derrick Favors – Georgia Tech

For the New Jersey Nets’ sake, I hope this works out. I’m a big DeMarcus Cousins guy, and the word from the 1-on-1 workouts say Cousins dominated Favors in workouts across the country.

His 12-point, 8-rebound averages in college leave a lot to be desired, but he shot better than 60% from the field, so all that says is his team simply wasn’t getting him the ball enough. He only averaged two blocks a game in nearly 30 minutes of play, so I have no idea where the Dwight Howard comparisons came from. The word on Favors is he’s a bit of a project, and without the draw of John Wall, I don’t see LeBron James coming anywhere near New Jersey. Cap room or not. So take your time young man. No rush.

4.) Minnesota Timberwolves: SF Wesley Johnson – Syracuse

Can’t help but like Wesley Johnson’s game. He does a little bit of everything. He’s great on the defensive end, and there’s few holes in his offensive game. He did seem to disappear in crunch time and let Andy Rautins take over. Never a good thing, but Rautins was an upperclassmen, and when he was hot, he could hit shots from all over the court, so I’ll give Johnson the benefit of the doubt.

With Gilbert Arenas in place, Johnson might actually be the only one out of the top four picks with the inside track to start right off the bat. Either says a lot about the player, or about the alternative…Sasha Pavlovic? Seriously?

5.) Sacramento Kings: C DeMarcus Cousins – Kentucky

This was undoubtedly my favorite pick of this draft. You have a pair of Kentucky guys now at the core of this young Sacramento team, with Tyreke Evans and Cousins, surrounded by a group of guys the casual basketball fan doesn’t even want to know.

Omri Caspi? Oh! That guy that was embarrassingly bad at HORSE against Rondo? Yeah that guy.

Sean May? Oh! That fat guy, that for some reason the Bobcats took in the lottery? Yeah that guy.

I’ll cut them some slack, they’re rebuilding, I’m a closet Caspi fan, I like Jason Thompson, and I think Cousins is the exact type of personality they need there to revive professional basketball in Sacramento.

6.) Golden State Warriors: C/PF Ekpe Udoh – Baylor

This was an interesting pick by the Warriors that I actually think has a chance of working out. If the Warriors are going to continue to run with Nellie-ball, they need some big men that can get up and down the court. Andris Biedrins just received a pretty sizable contract (5 years, $9m per left) which, after last season looks like a debacle. He was injured all year, and shot a FT% for the ages (16%). To top it off, Anthony Randolph was out most of last season, which obviously didn’t help the hapless Warriors.

A rotation of Udoh, Randolph, Biedrins and Turiaf has some promise, kind of, I guess?

One things for certain with the Warriors though, their new uniform/logo quickly turned into one of the best in basketball. Whatever that’s worth.

7.) Detroit Pistons: C/PF Greg Monroe – Georgetown

I like Greg Monroe, but it’s hard for me to imagine he’s not a little bit overrated just because he played for media favorite Georgetown. None the less, he looks as though he’s ready to step in and contribute to a really bad Pistons team. This team is doing what the Celtics hope to avoid. Their core got old REAL fast (Hamilton, Prince, B.Wallace). Joe Dumars went out and pulled off a couple of moves that should have got him fired by now, he traded Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson, when his contract expired he went crazy and signed Ben Gorden for much more than his worth, and for some decided to give Charlie Villanueva a whole lot of money. This is all in the span of about 18 months, and here they are.

Dumars better hope Monroe can figure this NBA thing out quickly, because if the Pistons are here next year, I can almost guarantee Joe Dumars will not be.

8.) Los Angeles Clippers: SF/PF Al-Farouq Aminu – Wake Forest

I had Rudy Gay pegged to land here in free agency, and he still may, but the Clippers actually may have gotten lucky to get Aminu here at eight.

By all accounts he’s a strong player, he just lacks a position in the NBA. Too tall and slow to be a three, too short and meager to be a true four. One thing Carlos Boozer, Glen Davis, and old friend Ryan Gomes have proven is that if you have talent, you’ll get your minutes in the NBA.

The thing that bothers me about Aminu is the fact that he not only does he not pass the eye test, I couldn’t even find the guy watching Wake Forest. He was always talked about, his numbers would be there at the end of the game, but he really doesn’t change the game. The Clippers are quietly putting together a pretty good team in L.A. You have Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Aminu, Blake Griffin, and Chris Kamen. Not a bad core at all, certainly not Clipper-esque.

9.) Utah: SG/SF Gorden Heyward – Butler

Was there really any doubt this was going to happen? Gorden Heyward was going west to Salt Lake at nine, or staying home in Indiana at ten. Jerry Sloan just couldn’t resist another white guy could he? If Sloan had the nerve to pass on Heyward, you know Larry Bird personally would’ve sprinted to the podium himself to get that card in.

Instead, the pride of Butler ships out to Utah to play with Deron Williams, for a season at least. He may be able to slide into the shooting guard position, but I know Sloan likes Wesley Matthews’ defense. Heyward might find himself in a swingman role, playing behind both Kirilenko at SF Matthews at SG and perhaps even Ronnie Price at the backup combo-guard position.

10.) Indiana: SF Paul George – Fresno State

This pick has to be disappointing for Pacers fans. This is probably going to be one of those “High-risk High-reward” picks by the GM to cover his own ass. He can show he’s rebuilding, but they have to wait for Paul George to be develop before he can be fully evaluated as a GM. The NBA draft is a crap-shoot as is, but why make it more difficult on yourself? He’s played two seasons at Fresno State, and has yet to establish himself as one of the clear-cut best players in the conference. Probably not a good sign.

What was wrong with Aldrich, who the Thunder stole with the very next pick? Are the Pacers that sold on Roy Hibbert? If Jeff Foster started a multitude of games for you last year, you’re not set at center Indy.

11.) Oklahoma City Thunder from New Orleans Hornets: C Cole Aldrich – Kansas

The first major-ish trade of the draft was pulled off by the Oklahoma City Thunder. They were able to trade up from 18 and 21 to 11 to get Cole Aldrich, and a little more depth on their bench with the addition of Mo Peterson.

The BJ Mullins experiment is probably over and done with in OKC and the Thunder can add Aldrich into a center rotation including the impressive young Serge Ibaka. Aldrich seems to be a pretty good compliment to the flashy, but inconsistent Ibaka. Aldrich will provide you with consistent rebounding and post presence, whereas Ibaka tends to run into foul trouble, and is a complete offensive liability.

12.) Memphis Grizzlies: SG Xavier Henry – Kansas

I had pipe dreams the Celtics had a shot at drafting this kid. I guess it wasn’t to be. Would’ve been nice to be able to get Ray Allen under contract for a year or two and had Henry learning under him during that tenure.

Combining him with OJ Mayo should make for a whole lot of three’s but probably not a whole lot of winning. Henry can shoot the ball, and before the season began he was a projected top-5 pick in some mocks. As part of a strong Kansas team, he didn’t get a whole lot of playing time or points when Brady Morningstar came back to the team mid-season. I see a little bit of Gerald Green in Henry, for Memphis’ sake I hope I’m wrong.

13.) Toronto Raptors: PF Ed Davis – North Carolina

The heir-apparent to Chris Bosh. Had he come out last year, he probably would have snuck into the top-10. UNC had an absolutely disastrous season on a whole but Davis averaged near a double-double, as one of the lone bright spots for the Tar-heels last season. I actually like this pick as far as value goes. The Raptors are rebuilding on the fly, rebuilding would imply they actually had something to begin with. I would’ve thought the Raptors would’ve been able to sneak into the playoffs last year with the emergence of Andrea Bargnani as a pretty good player.

Its a shame Jose Calderon never showed up last season, because a trio of him, Bosh and Bargnani more than likely would’ve been good enough to make the playoffs in the east. Now Toronto’s left with Davis and Bargnani in their front court, hopefully Davis feels like contributing on the defensive end of the floor, unlike Chris Bosh.

14.) Houston Rockets: SF/PF Patrick Patterson – Kentucky

I don’t particularly like this pick for the Rockets. After losing Carl Landry at the trade deadline last season, Patrick Patterson can step in and provide some depth behind Luis Scola, Jordan Hill and Chase Budinger. Perhaps he makes the rotation, but he struggled to produce at times last year on Kentucky, so being buried in the depth chart in Houston doesn’t bode well for Patterson.

15.) Milwaukee Bucks: PF/C Larry Sanders – Virginia Commonwealth

16.) Portland Trail Blazers from Minnesota Timberwolves: SF/PF Luke Babbitt – Nevada

Neither Sanders or Babbitt are exactly household names. Babbitt averaged 22 point and 9 rebounds in just his second season in Nevada, while Sanders put up 14 points and nine rebounds a game, with nearly three blocks per game.  Sanders may be a good fit in Milwaukee to play behind Bogut, where he can step in and assume an immediate role as a physical presence off the bench. Babbitt on the other hand may take a little more time. He really doesn’t have an NBA position, but the Trailblazers, after trading Martell Webster, don’t exactly have any other viable options in the three spot.

Babbitt will give them some length and an offensive presence in between Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge, and I would expect him to get solid playing time right off the bat.

17.) Washington from Chicago: PF/C Kevin Seraphin – France

Washington’s expected to let Seraphin develop in Europe somewhere. I feel like we go through this every single year. So and so gets taken and Team X stashes him in God-knows-where and we never hear his name ever again.

There hasn’t exactly been a great track record of these guys “developing” in Europe. This is the first time most have ever heard of Kevin Seraphin, and honestly probably the last we’ll ever hear of him.

18.) Los Angeles Clippers from New Orleans Hornets: PG Eric Bledsoe – Kentucky

Bledsoe was the highly touted freshmen point guard backing up John Wall. He was able to impress when he played, but it was sparingly. So, this is a great opportunity to learn under the likes of Baron Davis….for better or for worse. Clippers look real young headed into next season. (Eric Gorden, Blake Griffin, Aminu, and now Bledsoe.)

19.) Boston Celtics: PG/SG Avery Bradley – Texas

For the life of me I don’t understand why the Celtics went this route. Avery Bradley is a 6’1 point guard, who plays like a shooting guard, but has no relevant outside shot. It is noted that this guy’s strong suit is his defense.

I completely agree with the notion of getting stronger on the defensive end of the floor, but the problem isn’t with the Celtics point guard. Boston could have gone a number of directions with this pick: They could have gotten a center, considering they start next season without one. They could have gotten a power forward, to learn under the deteriorating Kevin Garnett. They could have looked at the three spot, where Paul Pierce’s future after the 2010-2011 season seems to be a little bit in limbo. We’re getting pretty late in this draft, so viable options in all of those spots seem to be dried up, but the Celtics’ most pressing need, a shooting guard, is still on the board.

Ray Allen will head into the off-season looking for a pretty sizable deal, and I’d be surprised if Ray came back to be honest. If the Heat are able to bring in Bosh and re-sign Wade, they’ll be looking to fill in their roster with aging role-players eager to win a championship. Who would be a better option than Ray Allen?

San Antonio was able to scoop up James Anderson, who since pick 13, I had hoped would fall to the Celtics. He did, and of course we passed.

20.) San Antonio Spurs: SG James Anderson – Oklahoma State

Why is it the same teams end up fleecing everyone else, every single draft? San Antonio has been doing this since the late 90′s, replenishing their older role players with younger guys through the bottom of the draft. Ginobli in ’99 (24th) Tony Parker in ’01 (28th), John Salmons in ’02 (26th), Luis Scola in ’02 (55th), and George Hill and Goran Dragic late in 2008. You get the point. These guys know how to find NBA talent late in the draft, and this year’s no different.

Anderson will be able to step right in and fill the hole Roger Mason Jr. filled with them two years ago. He’ll spread the floor, and this guy can hit shots from anywhere. Its a shame, it would’ve been nice to see this guy play for the Celtics, considering the two-guard is/will be a position of need.

21.) New Orleans Hornets from Oklahoma City Thunder: PF Craig Brackins – Iowa State

22.) Portland Trail Blazers: SG Elliot Williams – Memphis

23.) Minnesota Timberwolves: PF Trevor Booker – Clemson

These three picks in a row had the MSG crowd, and me bored to tears. Kind of summed up the night as a whole. No real surprises, no big trades. Elliot Williams actually transferred from Duke to go to Memphis, so clearly this kid has some talent. He won’t get many reps in Portland, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see his name arrive in Portland some day, once Rudy Fernandez heads back to Spain.

24.) New Jersey Nets from Atlanta Hawks: SF Damion James – Texas

Not entirely sure why the Nets went through all the trouble of trading away Chris Douglas-Roberts just to draft this guy. James was the leader of an underachieving Texas team, who he averaged a double-double for, as well as shoot 38% from 3. He played more than 25 minutes a game all four years under Rick Barnes, so its hard to imagine James having a lot of room for improvement. He can come in and fill the minor role CDR leaves behind, but not much more should be expected.

25.) Dallas Mavericks from Memphis Grizzlies: SG Dominique Jones – South Florida

The Dallas Mavericks were able to put a deal together to move into the first round and grab the South Florida product. He averaged a little more than 21 points per game for USF and with his addition, it should just make the Mavericks bench even deeper.

They’ll have Jason Terry, JJ Barea, Brendan Haywood, and the always exciting Rodrigue Beaubois with Jones.  Mark Cuban’s doing a good job getting younger, as his vets get older.

26.) New Orleans Hornets from Oklahoma City Thunder: SF Quincy Pondexter – Washington

No one helped their stock more towards the end of the season than Quincey Pondexter. He went from an afterthought to the forefront with Washington’s improbable run through the Pac-10 tournament, as well as the big dance. The Hornets, who had a heck of a draft last season, with Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton, look to build on that, and get younger. The Hornets have one of the worst financial situations in all of basketball. They’re a “small market team” with $35M a year tied up in Emeka Okafor, Peja Stojakovic, James Posey, and Darius Songalia. Not exactly where you want your money going.

By succeeding in the draft year after year, the Hornets may be able to outlive the bad contracts they dolled out a few years ago, just in time to pay this upcoming wave.

27.) Atlanta Hawks from New Jersey Nets: SG Jordan Crawford – Xavier

Not sure how Crawford fell this far to the Nets, or why the Nets were stupid enough to trade him to the Hawks for Damion James. He would’ve been an exciting young fit next to Devin Harris, Brook Lopez and Derrick Favors, and that would be a hell of a situation for a free agent to walk into. Rebuilding mode, but rebuilding while being able to compete, and develop. Instead, they move this guy to the Hawks, who are trying to fill the major void left by Joe Johnson.

Jamal Crawford will step into the starting role in Atlanta, but hes never been effective as a starter, really, and he’s the reigning sixth man of the year. Perhaps conversations arise thrusting Jordan Crawford into the starting role, next to Jeff Teague, and the two young guards will play out on a rotation with the veteran, JAMAL Crawford.

28.) Memphis Grizzlies: PG/SG Greivis Vasquez – Maryland

Personally, Vasquez was one of my favorite players in all of college basketball last season. If you watched the Duke game last season, you probably understand why he’s one of my favorite players. He’s excitable, he plays with all heart, he plays to the crowd, and he’s pretty damn good.

He averaged 20-5-6 last year with close to two steals per game. You have to be a pretty well-rounded player to be so successful in so many facets of the game, and after playing all four years in Maryland, Vasquez will be able to instantly contribute to the Grizzlies. Whether he’ll be handling the ball or playing off of it remains to be seen, but they have a stable of shooting guards in Memphis now with the addition of Henry, and Mike Conley’s never actually done anything to keep his position, so stay tuned, this could be the surprise of  the draft.

29.) Orlando Magic: C/PF Daniel Orton – Kentucky

Favorite interview of the night came after this pick:

  • Stuart Scott: Daniel Orton, so what did you see in this young man?
  • Stan Van Gundy: Well nothing actually.

Says it all about Orton. There were five guys drafted in the first round out of Kentucky, half will be successful at best. Orton is the longest shot out of this bunch. Knee issues, and he failed to crack the lineup for more than garbage time in college.

30.) Minnesota Timberwolves from Washington Wizards: SF/PF Lazar Hayward – Marquette

This is probably a safe pick for Washington to close out the first round. Hard to say if they got any value here, but I think Hayward will be able to make a depleted Wizards team, and aid in the rebuilding process. He doesn’t wow you with any part of his game, but he played all four years at Marquette and improved every one of those season. Hard to tell if hes already reached his full potential, but even if he has, he’ll be a good defender at the next level, if nothing else.

About Robert McLeod

Robert McLeod Stats: Age: 22 Gender: Male Favorite Sports: Baseball, Football, Basketball, Hockey, Soccer, Fantasy Sports Favorite Boston Players: Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, Wes Welker, Jerod Mayo, Tuuka Rask, Rajon Rondo Other Hobbies: School, Wiffleball, Snowboarding, Madden, Call of Duty, Movies, Sports Radio Contact: robert at sportsofboston.com Bob Rodgers made me the man I am today. Hopefully I'm the first, and the last to ever utter those words. Before jumping on the bus to school, watching the old SportsDesk hosted by Bob was as necessary as brushing my teeth and eating breakfast. Since those early mornings, I've loved everything about Boston sports. Currently, I'm a senior Journalism major at UMass-Amherst and hope to be graduating this May. I began my college career as a business major at UMass Dartmouth, and realized I hated everything about accounting, debits, credits, my professors bow-tie, and everything inbetween. So I decided to pursue my passion, and write about sports for a living.

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