NBA players are constantly making side bets and trash talking to each other, but truth to be told, the league is just a big brotherhood and even though it may seem most of those guys don’t like each other, some of them even work out together during the summer.
Recent NBA Drafts have been loaded with talents that haven’t taken long to prove their worth at the highest level, making All-Star selections and leading their respective sides to playoff contention.
But, what if players from the same class teamed up to try and outplay other classes and prove who’s got the upper hand? What if they played a scrimmage game with some money up for grabs to make a donation to their favorite charity like they do in the All-Star?
Today, we’re going to imagine exactly that, featuring two of the best Draft classes of the decade, the 2010 class against the 2012 class, the game everybody wants to see.
PG: John Wall
John Wall was the 1st overall pick of the draft and it didn’t take him long to prove his doubters wrong and show that he was a top-tier playmaker and point guard, becoming the ultimate leader for the Washington Wizards.
Wall has emerged as an outstanding two-way guard and is perhaps the fastest player in the league, and the obvious choice to lead this team’s offense as they’re set to face their 2012 counterparts.
SG: Gordon Hayward
With the 9th overall pick, the Utah Jazz went with Gordon Hayward, a shy boy out of Marquette that was already showing glances of greatness, and that has become one of the league’s rising talents and leaders.
Hayward has vastly improved in the defensive end of the floor, and is quite a versatile choice in the wings, being even able to play the power forward spot in small ball sets due to his much-improved footwork and stroke from distance.
SF: Paul George
And just a pick later, the Pacers went with Paul George, and even though it didn’t work out for the best for them, George quickly surged to become one of the league’s top-tier two-way wings and elite scorers.
George can put the ball on the floor and create his own shot or just play off the ball as a very reliable catch and shoot kind of player, and his hustle to deflect opposing passes and generate steals make him one of the best small forwards in the world right now.
PF: DeMarcus Cousins
DeMarcus Cousins was the 5th overall pick by the Sacramento Kings, and he was yet another guy that made an impact as soon as he set foot on an NBA hardwood, bullying his way into the paint as a very dominant center.
Cousins’ footwork is just beautiful and he’s even added the three-pointer to his offensive repertoire, and albeit his defense and rim protection is still a work in progress, he’s got the skill set to be the league’s best big man, at least offensively.
C: Hassan Whiteside
Hassan Whiteside was a late bloomer, going as low as 33rd also by the Kings, but finally thriving with the Miami Heat a couple of seasons later after playing overseas and developing his overall basketball IQ and skill set.
Whiteside’s offensive game is still rough to say the least, but he’s quickly emerged as one of the league’s top-tier rim protectors, and his presence down low is a major factor for opposing offenses.
Bench: Eric Bledsoe, Avery Bradley, Lance Stephenson, Derrick Favors, Greg Monroe
There’s a lot of balance in team 2010’s bench, with Eric Bledsoe leading the team’s offense in the second unit with his strength and speed, something that will come quite handy when John Wall’s taking a breather.
Avery Bradley and Lance Stephenson will be the team’s stoppers in the second unit, a couple of crafty and pesky defenders that create a lot of deflections and don’t mind taking the charge to force a turnover.
Finally, we got a very talented duo down low when it comes to offense and rebounding in Derrick Favors and Greg Monroe, although spacing and defense are going to be a huge question mark with these guys on the floor at the same time.
PG: Damian Lillard
Team 2012 will trust that year’s Rookie of the Year and 6th overall pick to lead the way, a guy so determined to prove he’s one of the league’s best players that you know is going to bring it all on a nightly basis.
Lillard is already one of the league’s most skilled scorers, and he’s by far the guy you’d want to take the shot in clutch time, although he’s a very bad defender and his shot selection could still improve a bit.
SG: Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal was the 3rd overall pick of that draft and one of the reasons why everybody knew the Washington Wizards were going to become a competitive team once again as the perfect backcourt complement for John Wall.
Beal is one of the game’s best shooters from beyond the arc and he’s become a very aggressive shooting guard in the game, so you know he can get hot on the blink of an eye and score on a variety of ways.
SF: Draymond Green
Looking back to draft day, the fact that Draymond Green was available with the 35th overall pick just seems crazy, as he’s become the league’s most versatile defender as a guy that can guard all 5 spots with great ease.
Green is one of the main reasons why the Dubs have become so impressive since Steve Kerr’s arrival, and he’s a player that can run the offense, rebound, block shots and even score the occasional three-pointer, a walking triple-double threat.
PF: Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis was the 1st overall pick of that year’s draft and it’s pretty obvious why. The sky’s the limit for the unibrow, and he’s proven to be one of the most dominant two-way players in the history of the game despite his team’s struggles.
Davis is an elite rim protector, a one-man fast break, the owner of the glass and a guy so skilled for his height that can get past any stronger defender than him, and he’s a perennial MVP candidate ever since entering the league.
C: Andre Drummond
Andre Drummond is finally blossoming as a top-tier defender after being a very strong scorer and rebounder but kind of soft on that end of the floor, making a very strong case for this year’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
Drummond is a human wall and he’s learned to maintain his ground and make the most of his physique and wingspan to make his presence feel in both ends of the floor, as well as being a very sneaky offensive rebounder.
Bench: Khris Middleton, Evan Fournier, Will Barton, Dion Waiters, Harrison Barnes
While there’s no natural point guard in this team’s second unit, we’ve got a lot of very good and capable ball handlers in Fournier, Barton, and even Middleton, a handful of guys that are above the average passers for their position.
If you want balance, you’ve got Harrison Barnes, a very reliable scoring choice that even though may not flash you with any crafty plays or highlights, still has a lot of offensive tools to send the ball to the bottom of the nets.
And if we’re talking about sharp shooting and volume scoring, Dion Waiters is the guy to trust, while Fournier and Middleton are also very consistent shooters from deep, and Barton is just an instant offensive spark off the bench.
While team 2010 has the upper hand when it comes to balance and scoring, you’ve got to give it to team 2012’s defense featuring Drummond, Green and Davis, a defensive wall few guys are going to be capable of scoring against.
Nonetheless, team 2010 is way more skilled in the offensive end of the floor, with all 5 starters capable of putting over 20 points a game while most offensive responsibilities will fall on team 2012’s guards.
Team 2010 is able to push up-tempo, spread the floor and make a lot of interesting combinations with the kind of personnel they got, while team 2012 would have to choose between defense or offense at the same time, with none of their reserves being good defensive players whatsoever.
Also, both Drummond and Davis are going to have a handful trying to contain Cousins and Whiteside, and with their strongest players going at it for most of the game, we just can’t find a way team 2012 would have a chance of also locking down the perimeter.
Having said that, we believe team 2010 is a clear favorite over team 2012 over here, with a projected score of a 110-97 victory.