2010 NBA Draft Breakdown: Grades and Analysis

The 2010 NBA Draft came and went with little surprise, a flurry of trades and some teams gearing up for next season. The picks were pretty predictable and all the trades lacked the big names to be regarded as anything close to a blockbuster. Here’s a look at how each team graded out.


The biggest surprise came at No. 9 with Utah selecting Gordon Hayward and the biggest names traded were Portland’s Martell Webster and Minnesota’s Ryan Gomes.

Unfortunately, LeBron James and free agency dominated the draft from the conversations to the picks. New York, Chicago and Miami are all in an arms race to secure the most ammo for two or three max contracts. Chicago and Miami brilliantly chiseled down their rosters to have the leg up for the start of free agency on July 1st.

With a draft seemingly lacking a ton of talent, not many teams seemed to leave New York with impact players. Some teams made terrific moves, others left us scratching our heads.

Here is a rundown of the grades for every team from draft night:

Needs: PG, SG, C
Drafted: Jordan Crawford and Pape Sy
With glaring needs at shooting guard, point guard and center Atlanta decided to trade for a combo guard that duplicates a player they already have with a similar name… Jamal Crawford. Crawford could be a steal at No. 27, even though he is undersized. The Hawks needed to roll the dice on a guard with size and scoring ability and failed to do so.

Needs: C, SG, SF
Drafted: Avery Bradley and Luke Harangody
The future is up in the air with Boston. They have many current players with big decisions to make and at No. 19 Boston decided to take the best player available. Bradley may not be a huge need for them, but is a terrific combo guard with Russell Westbrook type upside. As a defender he is NBA ready, but his offense still has numerous question marks. Harangody was a nice surprise, mainly to hear his name, and could be the next Brian Scalabrine or Mark Madsen.

Needs: PG, C
Charlotte traded their pick a while ago to Minnesota and never made a move to get into the draft. They could potentially lose Raymond Felton, have no cap space and fall out of the playoff picture in a hurry.

Needs: SF, SG, PF
Chicago traded away their pick (17th) because they got a team to take back Kirk Hinrich’s contract. They accomplished their draft night goal of shedding cap space and not adding to their payroll. Their moves are for free agency and overshadowed the draft to an extent, but they were achieved last night.

Needs: SF, C
There were rumors and speculation that the Cav’s wanted to get into the back half of the first round in this year’s draft, but it never came to fruition. They never got into the draft at all and will enter free agency with the same team as they had when we last saw them.

Needs: C, SG
Drafted: Dominique Jones
Mark Cuban opened his wallet and entered the draft on Thursday Night. First they purchased the 25th pick (Jones) and were actively trying to move into the Top 20 to get him. Jones can inject youth and depth into the Dallas Mavericks for maybe their last year of contention. Jones gets the opportunity to learn under both Jason Kidd and Jason Terry, fine teachers for this promising combo guard.

Needs: PF, SG
In the same situation as the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Nuggets wanted to move into the late first round and could not find a team to deal with. Denver really needs another big and will have to look to the off-season for the opportunity for one.

Needs: C, PF
Drafted: Greg Monroe and Terrico White
Detroit came into the draft with one goal, and it was an obvious one; get big men. They really were hoping to get DeMarcus Cousins, but he went two picks prior to Sacramento. They didn’t whiff, however. Instead they took the next best big man in Greg Monroe. While having terrific skill and the ability to step in right away, Monroe is more of a natural power forward in the NBA. He can play center, but that could limit his effectiveness against the bigger player’s night-in-and-night-out. They also fell into Terrico White in the second round, a player very similar to Rodney Stuckey as a combo guard. While grabbing two very good players, the fits are a bit questionable.

Golden State
Needs: PF, C
Drafted: Ekpe Udoh
This was not a popular pick by many I am sure, but it is a terrific selection by Golden State. Udoh is a very good defender who immediately upgrades the team defensive from day one. He has the ability to change shots at the rim, step out to the perimeter and use his lengths to frustrate his opponents. On offense, Udoh will surprise everyone with how good he is in transition and on pick and roll (or pop) with Stephen Curry. This is not a sexy pick by any means; it is a pick that helps build a winner in the Bay Area.

Needs: C, PG
Drafted: Patrick Patterson
Houston has five big men under contract and still need to negotiate with Luis Scola, who is a free agent. Patterson may have been the best available player on Houston’s board, but how will he fit? He sort of duplicates what Jordan Hill already brings to the table as an energy forward that is a good rebounder. Houston likes to collect assets for depth and trades that might be what they were doing here.

Needs: PG, PF
Drafted: Paul George, Lance Stephenson and Magnum Rolle
Paul George is the “potential guy” of this draft, and Indiana felt that was worth the 10th pick. He has all the tools to be a dynamic scorer with deep range, excellent free throw shooting and the ability to create his own shot. H might duplicate what Danny Granger already brings, but you can never have too many scorers. Speaking of having too many scorers, the Stephenson pick gives Indiana a terrific one-on-one scorer to compliment the rest of the scorers. Larry Bird did a great job removing all of the players from the “Malace in the Palace” and was focusing on high character. As a second round pick Stephenson is no risk, all reward here. The move to acquire Magnum Rolle (name of the draft) can add depth and defense to Indiana’s front line.

Los Angeles Clippers
Needs: SF, PG
Drafted: A.F. Aminu, Eric Bledsoe and Willie Warren
Could this be the year, the year it all turns around for the Clippers? They had a draft, on paper, of a rockstar team getting three players with first round grades. Aminu was their lottery pick and could be a great fit if he is a small forward, if he struggles and needs to be a power forward it is a bad fit. Then they traded to get the second best point guard in the draft in Bledsoe. Bledsoe was hidden at Kentucky in most games by the other talent, and can step into the same role now in the NBA. Finally, they capped things off by picking Warren, the tough sharp-shooting combo guard. If everything pans out for the Clippers they just got a starting small forward, backup point guard and a 6th man candidate for the future.

Los Angeles Lakers
Needs: PG, SG, PF
Drafted: Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter
The Ebanks pick was curious; they already have Ron Artest (4 years left) and Lamar Odom (3 years left) on the roster at the small forward spot. They can groom him and have a player for the future, like what they already had in Trevor Ariza two years ago. Caracter is a big banger, he can add some toughness and size to the Lakers bench. He also provides a Josh Powell/DJ Mbenga replacement; towel waiving takes talent for good teams.

Needs: SF, PF, PG
Drafted: Xavier Henry and Geivis Vasquez
It’s hard to tell what Memphis is doing here with these picks. Henry could be a Rudy Gay replacement or end up backing up O.J. Mayo. He does not display the athleticism that Gay possesses, but has a smooth jump shot with unlimited range. Vasquez is a great story; my favorite moment of the draft was him on stage getting to meet David Stern. Great moment. As a first round pick, and for Memphis, I am not sure of the fit. They don’t fully trust Mike Conley Jr. as the starting point guard, so they draft a point guard who would have been there in the second round and is most surely a career backup.


Needs: PG, C
Drafted: Dexter Pittman, Jarvis Varnado, Da’Sean Butler
Miami was trying to do the same as Chicago, trade away any contracts and not bring in any new ones. They managed to get their roster down to a staggering TWO players (Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers) with very close to 50 million dollars in free agent Monopoly Money. They still have Beasley on the market for pennies on the dollar. To the picks they made; all of them for minimum money (starts around 500K for second round picks) can be great bench players and role players for Miami next season. Pittman is a very large body who runs well and shoots a very high percentage. Varnado can step in and become a Chris Anderson type right away providing game-changing blocks and energy. If he can fully heal, I expect Butler to be the steal of the draft. He is a great team guy who does a little of everything. He could be a poor man’s (or better) John Salmons.

Needs: C, SF, SG
Drafted: Wesley Johnson, Lazar Hayward, Nemanja Bjelica and Paulao Prestes
Did you expect David Kahn to let us down? Through 16 picks he looked like a genius, taking Johnson and Luke Babbitt, after that he was at it again. Trading Babbitt for Portland’s Martell Webster, ending up with a second round guy at No. 30 and three European prospects that likely will never come over. It seemed like Minnesota had all the cards in their hands this year; multiple picks and a number of trade assets. They did get Dick Vitale’s choice for Rookie of the Year in Johnson, he is a great fit, but after that they received little to nothing again.

New Jersey
Needs: SG, PF, C
Drafted: Derrick Favors and Damion James
From a need perspective New Jersey had a great draft. They had, arguably, the No. 2 talent in Favors fall to them at three and traded for the definition of team guy in James. Favors gives New Jersey a potentially great player for the future and a great addition to the frontline next to Brook Lopez. If he develops the way most feel, New Jersey could have the best frontline in the NBA in 2-3 years. James may not start, he may not score 20 points per game, but he will do a little of everything to help this team win games. Every team needs a guy like James on their roster to do the little things and compliment the teams’ star players.

New Orleans
Needs: C, PF, SF
Drafted: Quincy Pondexter and Craig Brackins
Last year New Orleans took two seniors who were overlooked and ended up taking the NBA by storm in Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton. With Pondexter, New Orleans now has a viable replacement for their aging small forward group and a guy who is ready to play right now. Brackins game is actually similar to new teammate David West; they were both overlooked on draft night, can score inside-out and are quality rebounders. They really needed size upfront and shooting, but decided to fill smaller needs and drafted some very talented players who will contribute right away.

New York
Needs: PG, C, SG
Drafted: Andy Rautins and Landry Fields
The selection of Syracuse guard Any Rautins drew a big cheer from the crowd, but the logic in the pick is pretty questionable. New York was targeting Greivis Vasquez here and he was gone, then the next best thing for them was Rautins. Rautins is a good shooter and a combo guard much like Orlando’s J.J. Redick. Can he develop into that? The Landry Fields selection got Stanford on the board, but again, makes little sense for the Knicks. Fields was one of the best players in the Pac-10 last season, but will need to get bigger and stronger in a hurry if he has any chance at all.

Needs: PG, SG
Drafted: Daniel Orton and Stanley Robinson
When you have the best center in the league (Dwight Howard) and a stable of wings, you should draft your biggest need of point guard. Orlando decided to add depth to their richest positions with Orton and Robinson. Orton, coming off one season at Kentucky where he posted averages of 3 points and 3 rebounds per game, can be a guy who helps move Howard to power forward for stretches, and Robinson can be insurance if Matt Barnes leaves in free agency.

Oklahoma City
Needs: C, SF, PG
Drafted: Cole Aldrich, Tibor Pleiss, Latavious Williams and Ryan Reid
Sam Presti was at it again last night adding a big man in Aldrich and a talented prospect to stash away in Europe for a few years. If Aldrich can bring his shot-blocking and toughness to Oklahoma City, he is an impact player right away. With Pleiss they have a 7-foot center that needs to bulk up and then come over in about 2-3 years. Oklahoma City still has nightmares of not blocking out Pau Gasol in Game 6 of their playoff matchup; they used this draft to add the bodies to not let history repeat itself. Williams is a D-League player and will likely head back to the D-League next season.

Needs: Shooting, C
Drafted: Evan Turner
With only one pick in the draft, Philadelphia had to make it a good one. It helped that they had the No. 2 pick and selected Evan Turner. This pick may not be the biggest need of the team, but Turner can find a way to fit on any roster. He will step in right away and be a playmaker and scorer for the team that averaged the 8th least amount of points per game last season. With Turner, Philadelphia is getting a true Swiss Army knife that can do multiple things and play three positions.

Needs: PF, SF, SG
Drafted: Gani Lawal and Dwayne Collins
The Suns needed to get prepared for the likely possibility of Amare Stoudemire opting out of his contract. Lawal is not an Amare “replacement” by any means, but he definitely softens the blow. He is a big man who thrives in open space and scores the basketball. His biggest flaw in college was his teammates; there were no point guards to get him the ball in scoring position. That will be remedied from day one with Steve Nash. Collins is an athletic marvel who at the very least will be a great addition to the team as a hard-working practice player.

Needs: PF, C, SF
Drafted: Luke Babbitt, Elliot Williams and Armon Johnson
Portland really needed shooters to space the floor, a backup for LaMarcus Aldridge and a backup for All-Star Brandon Roy. They got a great shooter in Babbitt who also can play both forward spots and rebound well. Both Williams and Johnson were interesting pickups because they already have Jerryd Bayless and Andre Miller on the roster. Either the rich got richer or former GH Kevin Pritchard got one up on his former employers.

Needs: PG, C
Drafted: DeMarcus Cousins and Hassan Whiteside
Geoff Petrie might have done it again, stealing one of the best players in the draft and getting a very high value pick in the second round. Cousins will be a beast in the NBA, and as long as he continues to mature he is the NBA’s next 20 and 10 guy. He will step in right away and make a major impact with last year’s Rookie of the Year, Tyreke Evans. With Whiteside, many teams did not want to take the risk of selecting him and having a potential D-League bust on their hands. As a second round pick, the Kings have zero risk and the potential for all of his rewards.

San Antonio
Needs: SF, SG, C, PF
Drafted: James Anderson and Ryan Richards
Why do the other teams in the NBA allow really good players to continue to fall into San Antonio’s hands? This year they drafted Oklahoma State’s terrific scoring guard in Anderson who will stretch the floor and provide Manu some rest. Anderson was not looked at in the same light as Henry, George or Hayward despite outperforming them in college. San Antonio gets an NBA ready player in Anderson, and a future big man with tons of potential in Richards. They will keep Richards in Europe to develop; the kid is only 18. As a bonus, San Antonio fully expects South American phenom Tiago Splitter to be NBA ready and on the roster to start next season.

Drafted: Ed Davis and Solomon Alabi
Davis may not be a Chris Bosh replacement or savior of Toronto basketball, but was a good value late in the lottery. He has great size, defense and potential to compliment Andrea Bargnani in Toronto’s frontcourt. Not many see Davis as a superstar, but he will help Toronto more than most people think. Getting Alabi in the second round is a huge bargain for a guy projected as a mid-first round pick by most. He adds depth, size and defense to Toronto’s frontcourt.

Drafted: Gordon Hayward and Jeremy Evans
The selection of Hayward does fit a need but he seems like a Jerry Sloan type player for sure. He can step into Kyle Korver’s role right away and also add playmaking to a team with one playmaker. The pick threw off the draft board for about six picks and had everyone buzzing about Utah. Hayward can be Deron Williams’s sidekick at shooting guard (or small forward) or can be a 7th man as a 3-point specialist. Either would be great for Utah.

Needs: SF, SG, C, PG, PF
John Wall, Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker and Hamady N’diaye
You can’t go wrong selecting the top prospect No. 1 no matter who he is. Wall is a face-of-the-franchise type talent that has the potential to be a superstar in this league. Whether he becomes a pass first point guard or a scoring combo, he could have a Stephen Curry type rookie year for Washington. He will use his main skill (speed) as Curry used his (shooting) to set up his all-around game. The additions of Seraphin and Booker add size and toughness to the frontline that was painfully thin last season. Washington got the best player in Wall, best European prospect in Seraphin and a potential sleeper in Booker. Hard to beat that.

Noteable Undrafted Players:
Manny Harris SG
Jon Scheyer SG
Sylven Landesberg SG
Charles Garcia PF
Ben Uzoh PG
Mikhail Torrance PG
Sherron Collins PG
Omar Samhan C
Brian Zoubek C
Artsiom Parakhouski C

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