Evaluating The 2010 NBA Draft Class

Ladies and Gents,

After all the hype, hoopla and speculation the 2010 NBA Draft finally graced us.  This year has undeniably ushered in one of the best dressed group of ballplayers, however will they be able to step up thier games and flourish in the next level?

In comparison to years in the past this draft class is comparably weak and it was shown as teams like the Heat, Bulls and newly Russian owned New Jersey Nets (or Nyets if you will…) were trading back in the draft or shipping their picks to clear up some salary cap space.   As we all know this was done in preparation for the most anticipated free agent class in the history of sports.

Regardless of this draft being sub-par, specifically in the point guard category, there was still some overall value and lots of potential surrounding some of these players.  Ill provide my insight on the lottery picks of this years draft and will audit the effectiveness of how they can contribute to their squads.

CC has got you covered.

1. Wizards- John Wall, Point Guard, Kentucky

This was obviously not a shocker to anyone in MSG when his name was called.  Wall himself didn’t even flinch when commissioner Stern announced his name and walked up there without a nerve in his body. He cracked a quick smile for a photo op and now hes ready to begin his legacy in the NBA.  He’s an electrifying talent that is a hybrid between Rajon Rondo and Lebron James.  He is deadly in the transition game and will be able to burn just about any guard that is backpedaling trying to defend him.  He has great court vision and jump-out-the-gym athleticism.  He’s gonna be a good one but Wall must show improvement in the half court aspect and work to improve his perimeter skills.  His game inside the arc is exceptional and has all the tools to be able to defend in the league.

2. Sixers- Evan Turner, Shooting Guard, Ohio State

Turner is a solid player that has improved his game drastically over his three years in college.  His basketball acumen and admirable court vision allowed him to play primarily at the point guard position at OSU.  He has the best versatility out of any player in this draft and will be able to defend three positions respectfully.  Turner’s smarts and and offensive abilities will allow him to be a very good player in the NBA for a long time.  In terms of star potential, i’m not quite sure as he isn’t the best athlete must improve the consistency of his shot.

3. Nets- Derrick Favours, Power Forward, Georgia Tech

Favours is a 6’10 power forward with a long and athletic body.  This all ACC rookie of the year PF left Georgia Tech only after his freshmen year to pursue his dreams in the NBA.  Sounds familiar?  A little like 2010 free agent Chris Bosh back in 2003. Now im not drawing to any comparisons but I do think Favours will be doing more than just favours for New Jersey.  His strength in the paint and respectable 15 foot jumper will allow him to make an immediate impact and his youth and room for development can surely allow Favours to see his name checked off on all star ballots.

4. Timberwolves- Wes Johnson, Small Forward, Syracuse

Minnesota should be pleased to be receiving the best SF in the class to meet their positional needs.  Johnson has bounce that is just plain sick.  His 37 inch vertical and 6’8 frame allows him to raise up and throw down spectacular dunks in the transition stages.  He is sweet shooting as well and will be able to stick the open mid-range or three consistently.  A knock on Johnson is that he did not have the ability to take over games and was very much a scorer within the “system”.  He should be able to fill in the small forward spot for the T-wolves, but his potential to be a premier scorer is questionable.

5. Kings- DeMarcus Cousins , Center, Kentucky

The addition of Cousins will directly create a nice one-two punch with their emerging star player, Tyreke Evans.  Cousins is just a monster at 6’10, 270 and teams will need their own personal forklifts to get him out of the key.  He has a smooth free-throw range jumper and nimble feet for a man of his size.  Despite his past “character issues” I do not think he lacks maturity and desire to be a great player.  Look out for Mr . Cousins and the Kings this year as I expect them to make a splash.

6. Warriors- Ekpe Udoh, Center/Forward, Baylor

To me this pick was a kinda surprising, but once it sunk in I realized this was a very strong pick that fills a huge need.  Even though the city by The Bay could have traded down to acquire Udoh this is still a safe of a pick as you can get.  Udoh will bring a defensive presence that the Warriors have been missing since…well…always.  Udoh will block shots, rebound the ball for you and run down the floor like a thoroughbred.  This can hopefully derail opponents from dropping 105 to 110 points on a nightly basis.  With Udoh, a new logo and a decent free agent summer the Warriors can concievably turn their fortunes around.

7. Pistons- Greg Monroe, Center, Georgetown

This super sophomore is a great addition to the Pistons.  He is very crafty for a player for his position and will be able to contribute on both sides of the ball.  He is known as being the best big man passer in the last few drafts and this is an extreme positive as Monroe will be able to find shooters on the wing for open shots.  He is a good character pick and he will be able to provide an impact whether its off the bench or in the starting 5.

8. Clippers- Al Farouq Aminu, Small Forward, Wake Forest

Al Farouq Aminu is one of the most intriguing players in the draft.  He is solid defensively with very active hands and makes many steals out in the perimeter from players that put the ball on the floor.  This draftee is one of the most athletic players in his class and loves finishing strong with 3-point plays and dunks in the paint.  A negative about Aminu oddly enough is his personality, according to scouts.  During interviews and speaking with the media Al Farouq or “The Chief has Arrived” (what his name translates to) is a dud.  Speaking to him in person is the same as speaking to brick wall and many think that he doesn’t have that ‘chutspa’ and killer instinct to live up to his potential and be a great player in this game.

9. Jazz- Gordon Hayward, Small Forward, Butler

The addition of Gordon Hayward for the Jazz was just another step in achieving their ultimate goal, a height not reached since the 1950’s, an all white professional basketball team…just kidding, but they were close in ’03

Utah's "Whiteout" Team in 03-04

But on a serious note Hayward is a player that will fit right into the system and infuse the Jazz with quality minutes off the bench.  His real question mark will be, can he defend? I’m not very sure of this as he’s decent athletically but not superb.  However he plays the game with heart and will be able to contribute.

10. Pacers- Paul George, Guard/Small Forward, Fresno State

George is one of my favorite players in the draft and is somewhat of a poor man’s Joe Johnson.  Both players attended small exposure schools but were able to progressively improve their skills throughout their years at their respective Alma maters.  George has great size for his position and has a smooth stroke from anywhere on the floor.  His jumper is very fluid and his release is effortless and consistent every time down.  George is a player that has great abilities and intangibles and his only knock will be his adaptation to the talent gap from small school competition to the NBA.   I love this pick and I think he can be a premier scorer in the next level if he puts his work in.

11. Hornets (traded to Thunder)- Cole Aldrich, Center, Kansas

Aldrich is nearly a mirror image of Greg Ostertag, former Jazz Center and GQ model.

Ostertag on the left Aldrich on the right

Aldrich is will be a solid player that will control the paint defensively. I can see him as a 8pts, 8 reb and 2 blocks kind of player which is perfect for the Thunder.  Scoring from him will not be needed but the defensive presence is a necessity for him to get his minutes.

12. Grizzlies- Xavier Henry, Shooting Guard, Kansas

The former Kansas Jayhawk, Henry, is a sweet shooting guard with an NBA body.  He is moderate athletically speaking, but he still shows the ability to defend the 2 spot at a high level.  He will have trouble finding time at the position unless former rookie of the year OJ Mayo is shifted to the point guard slot, which is a definite possibility.  He’s a great addition to the already young Grizz.

13. Raptors- Ed Davis, Power Forward, North Carolina

Davis has a long and skinny build which is something that he needs to work on.  What will make him an effective player in the raptors rotation is his hustle and high motor.  His ability to go after rebounds and 50/50 balls is what will keep him on the floor.  His overall game is very unpolished but hes known to have a good work ethic and is willing to put time in the gym to better himself.  He didn’t do anything special at the collegiate level, but Davis is a prospect that has a high ceiling and loads of potential.

14. Rockets- Patrick Patterson, Power Forward, Kentucky

Patterson is a great fit for the Rockets and will be slid into the rotation from the get-go.  He is a tenacious rebounder and has the ability to be a double-double player.  In his Junior season at Kentucky his production decreased because he was on the floor with other great players like Cousins and Wall.  This took away from his touches on the floor and decreased his need to rebound the ball for the Wildcats.  Patterson is a very team oriented player that will do anything and make any adjustments for his team to win, Exhibit A; his Junior season at UK.  He was an overlooked player in this draft even though he got picked at 14 and I like him as one of the top players in the 2010 class.

So there you have it, look out for these young ballplayers next season and lemme know what you think of the critiques…