Rating the 2010 NBA Draft Class

It is hard to believe that is has been over a month since the 2010-11 NBA season has started but we have already seen some impressive statistical and team performances. Some players have exceeded expectations while others have come far from reaching them. That being said; let’s take a look at this year’s rookie class to see how they have fared in their specific situations.

First Round

1. Washington: John Wall (Kentucky) – PG

Wall is the only plug-in-and-play guy in the whole class. Injury is the only thing that will take him out of the lineup for the Wizards. He may turn the ball over, but his speed and quickness are unmatched and if it wasn’t for Blake Griffin missing last season, he would be a shoe-in for Rookie of the Year honors.

2. Philadelphia: Evan Turner (Ohio State) – SG

Turner was put in a tough situation with head coach Doug Collins backing Jrue Holiday at the point and incumbent Andre Iguodala already at the two, but Thaddeus Young and Jason Kapono have fallen out of favor at the three and Collins is now using Turner and Iguodala on the wings with Andres Nocioni coming off the bench. Do not be surprised to see Turner start from here on out, and while he may have some off nights, he will be Wall and Griffin’s greatest threat as a sneak ROY pick.

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

Favors is young and raw but extremely talented and has put up good numbers in limited action so far. The Nets are committed to working him in slowly as Kris Humphries is proving to be an Avery Johnson favorite at the 4 and Troy Murphy is working his way back from injury. It will probably not happen this year, but Favors and Brook Lopez could eventually form one of the most imposing front lines in the league.

4. Minnesota: Wes Johnson (Syracuse) – G/F

Johnson has found his way into the starting lineup but with Michael Beasley, Kevin Love and even Darko Milicic playing well, he is not being relied upon to score. Johnson has an all-around game but he is needed more for his defense at this point. It will be intriguing to see how the backcourt rotation works out when Johnny Flynn and Martell Webster return from injury.

5. Sacramento: DeMarcus Cousins (Kentucky) – PF/C

Cousins has proven the two things that made him the No. 5 overall pick. He is a load to handle down-low on the offensive end and he is still a little immature. Reports that he has clashed with the coaching staff has already surfaced and thusly, his playing time has fluctuated. Still, he has the best offensive skill set of any big in this year’s class and will put up numbers as long as he is getting 20+ minutes a game. If he puts it all together he could be the dark horse for the top rookie honors.

6. Golden State: Epke Udoh (Baylor) – PF

Udoh was a somewhat surprising pick for the Warriors, but his defensive prowess and shot-blocking ability is something that Golden State is lacking. A broken left wrist has sidelined him since training camp but if he can get healthy, he may be able to find some minutes in the Warriors’ thin frontcourt.

7. Detroit: Greg Monroe (Georgetown) – C

Monroe was a great pick by the Pistons, but it is a tough situation for the former Georgetown-product to find himself in. Detroit has already had problems with its top players not seeing eye-to-eye with head coach John Kuester and the coach has not come anywhere near settling on a rotation. If the Pistons ever put it together, they could challenge for a playoff spot in the East, but the chances of that are not looking good. Ben Wallace is still starting at center and Tayshaun Prince is an elder statesman, while Charlie Villanueva, Jason Maxiell and Austin Daye are all blocking Monroe from seeing playing time. A skilled passing-big man, if there is ever an injury to Wallace or a trade, Monroe could see a lot of time and have an opportunity to grow up fast.

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

Aminu has gotten the chance to start on the woeful Clippers as the youth movement is now fully in affect in L.A. He fits in well with the up-and-down style and should continue to get plenty of run. He may be inconsistent, but if the minutes continue he could find his way on to the All-Rookie first team.

9. Utah: Gordon Hayward (Butler) – G/F

10. Indiana: Paul George (Fresno State) – SF

11. New Orleans: Cole Aldrich (Kansas) – C {Traded to Oklahoma City}

All three of these guys were phenomenal collegiate players but are not getting much run right now. Jerry Sloan is notorious for not playing rookies but if anything happens to veteran Raja Bell, Hayward could play. Same applies with George and Danny Granger, who has had an injury history. George has an A+ skill set and would be an all-around player is he gets the minutes. Aldrich will have the toughest time seeing the court as foul troubles continue to plague him. He was just sent to the D-League this morning.

12. Memphis: Xavier Henry (Kansas) – G/F

Henry is another one-and-doner but has played well in limited minutes for the Grizzlies. With O.J. Mayo, Mike Conley and Rudy Gay in front of him, there is no chance at starting, but he could etch out a role as the sixth-man on the this team. So far he really has not done much other than score, but the rebounds, assists, steals and blocks could come with more consistent minutes.

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

14. Houston: Patrick Patterson (Kentucky) – PF

15. Milwaukee: Larry Sanders (VCU) – PF

16. Minnesota: Luke Babbitt (Nevada) – SF {Traded to Portland}

17. Chicago: Kevin Seraphin (France) – PF {Traded to Washington}

It is very odd that five forwards went all in a row an none of them are seeing any time. Davis is the only one out due to injury and could see some time with the Raptors after a possible rehab stint in the NBDL. Either way Davis, along with the rest of this crew with use this season to learn from the bench before they see any meaningful minutes.

18. Oklahoma City: Eric Bledsoe (Kentucky) – PG {Traded to Los Angeles Clippers)

Bledsoe became the primary beneficiary of Baron Davis’ injury as he stepped into the starting lineup for the “bearded one.” Bledsoe was really overshadowed by John Wall at Kentucky and showed he can run the point after Davis and Randy Foye went down. With Foye back and Davis scheduled to return at some point, Bledsoe will probably lose a lot of minutes, but for an awful Clippers team, he should get plenty of burn this season.

19. Boston: Avery Bradley (Texas) – G

Bradley got hurt before the draft which allowed him to slip a bit to the Celtics. People forget that he was a higher high school prospect than John Wall. He played in his first game last night against the Hawks and did look a little slow and timid, but he should work himself back into shape. Either way, he will probably not find his way into the rotation, but will be successful in the league some day.

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

Anderson can really score, but finds himself deep on the bench of a talented Spurs team. Should anything happen to Manu Ginobili or George Hill, he could see some time and get a chance to show what he can really do.

21. Oklahoma City: Craig Brackins (Iowa State) – PF {Traded to New Orleans} {Traded to Philadelphia}

22. Portland: Elliot Williams (Memphis) – G

23. Minnesota: Trevor Booker (Clemson) – PF {Traded to Wizards}

24. Atlanta: Damion James (Texas) – F {Traded to New Jersey}

25. Memphis: Dahntay Jones (USF) – SG {Traded to Dallas}

26. Oklahoma City: Quincy Pondexter (Washington) – G/F {Traded to New Orleanes}

27. New Jersey: Jordan Crawford (Xavier) – SG {Traded to Atlanta}

28. Memphis: Greivis Vasquez (Maryland) – G

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

30. Washington: Lazar Hayward (Marquette) – SF {Traded to Minnesota}

Another stretch of players who have either not had an impact so far this year or had a chance to get serious minutes. Jones was starting for the Mavericks in the preseason but has not seen much of the floor thus far. Crawford is an offensive sparkplug but is stuck behind fellow J.Crawford, Jamal. Vasquez has returned from injury and could find his niche as the backup point guard to Mike Conley. Hayward is just a basketball player, and in Minnesota anything is possible.

Second Round

31. New Jersey: Tibor Pleiss (Germany) – C {Traded to Oklahoma City}

32. Miami: Dexter Pittman (Texas) – C

33. Sacramento: Hassan Whiteside (Marshall) – C

34. Portland: Armon Johnson (Nevada) – PG

35. Washington: Nmanja Bjelica (Serbia) – SF {Traded to Minnesota}

36. Detroit: Terrico White (Mississippi) – G

37. Milwaukee: Darrington Hobson (New Mexico) – SF

38. New York: Andy Rautins (Syracuse) – SG

Whiteside slipped out of the first round due to a thin frame and suspect competition at Marshall, but he is a superb shot-blocker and is a good project. Pleiss is still overseas and while Pittman is on the frontline depleted Heat, he still hasn’t seen any time. Johnson is on a good Blazers team, but stuck in a crowded backcourt. Bjelica is still overseas while White is done for the season with an injury, Hobson is out of job and Rautins is stuck on the end of the New York bench.

39. New York: Landry Fields (Stanford) – G/F

Fields is this year’s second round surprise. The swingman blossomed in his senior year at Stanford and has found a starting role for the Knicks. He has played very well and rebounds great for someone his size, but it is still in question if he can keep this up for an entire season.

40. Indiana: Lance Stephenson (Cincinnati) – G

41. Miami: Jarvis Varnado (Mississippi State) – PF

42. Miami: Da’Sean Butler (West Virginia) – SF

43. Los Angeles Lakers: Devin Ebanks (West Virginia) – SF

These four player have some serious talent but for one reason or another have not seen time. Stephenson is still very young and the Pacers seem to have decided to let him learn from the bench this year. Varnardo is possibly the best shot-blocker in this year’s draft but is having trouble finding a job. Butler was a sure-fire first round talent, but his knee injury in the Final Four against Duke pushed him down. If he can get healthy he could contribute this season, while his WVU teammate Ebanks landed on the Lakers and will probably only see garbage time this season.

44. Milwaukee: Jerome Jordan (Tulsa) – C {Traded to Portland}

45. Minnesota: Paulao Prestes (Brazil) – PF

46. Phoenix: Gani Lawal (Georgia Tech) – PF

47. Milwaukee: Tiny Gallon (Oklahoma) – PF

48. Miami: Latavious Williams (NBDL) – SF

49. San Antiono: Ryan Richards (England) – C

50. Dallas: Solomon Alabi (Florida State) – C

51. Oklahoma City: Magnum Rolle (Louisiana Tech) – F

52. Boston: Luke Harangody (Notre Dame) – PF

53. Atlanta: Pape Sy (Senegal) – SF

54. Los Angeles Clippers: Willie Warren (Oklahoma) – G

55. Utah: Jeremy Evans (Western Kentucky) – SF

56. Minnesota: Hamady N’diaye (Rutgers – C

57. Indiana: Ryan Reid (Florida State) – F

58. Los Angeles Lakers: Derrick Caracter (UTEP) – PF

59. Orlando: Stanley Robinson (Connecticut) – SF

60. Phoenix: Dwayne Collins (Miami) – PF

Not much to go over on the tail end of the draft. Prestes, Richards and Sy are all foreign projects, while Latavious Williams made history by being the first NBDL player to be drafted. Rolle was a project for Indiana but they were forced to cut the big forward to get down to 15 players. Harangody has done well in very limited minutes for the Celtics but should not play a big role for Boston. Caracter couldn’t hack it at Louisville because of personal issues but has a pro game. Sherron Collins for the Bobcats and Jeremy Lin with Warriors are two of the better free agent signings, but will still have trouble seeing the floor.

So there is the 2010-11 draft class. It may be early and there could be some serious surprises, but isn’t that why we watch? O and remember, this guy is still a rookie.

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