Held in New York City, the 2010 NBA Draft has brought lots of talent into the league, along with some remarkable personal stories. This draft broke the record for more players drafted out of the same school: Kentucky. It’s also intriguing that there were not many international players drafted, a trend that’s been growing lately. Without any more preambles, here is the list of the top 10 players out of that year’s draft:
10. Greg Monroe
Stats: 14.2 PPG, 8.9 RPG
Monroe started off as one of Detroit’s premiere options averaging near 15 points and 9 rebounds a game. Nonetheless, with the arrival of Andre Drummond to the Pistons, the team had too much post game and none outside shooting. In 2015 Monroe signed a thee-year deal with Milwaukee but hasn’t been able to find himself with the team either. His minutes have been decreasing and it’s well known that the Bucks have been looking to trade him.
The truth is that the former Georgetown forward/center is a big time post player who can score using his strength and rebound the ball as good as anyone, but struggles to find a consistent role on a league thirsty of stretch-4 kind of players.
9. Jeremy Lin
Stats: 11.8 PPG, 4.4 APG
What a story has been that of Linsanity. Lin went on and off the D-League until he got a chance with the New York Knicks in 2011. The Taiwanese descendant came as a lifesaver for the injury-full Knicks when the team needed him the most. Factors such as a lack of quality players on the team, New York’s media and a hot streak combined to create the legend known as “Linsanity”. But it only lasted for a year.
Since then, Lin has played for four different teams without matching his production during that miraculous season. Putting things into perspective, the beloved point guard has become a decent starter or a very good bench player in any case.
8. Derrick Favors
Stats: 11.5 PPG, 7.2 RPG
Favors was originally drafted by the New Jersey Nets where he played for one year and was selected to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. In 2011 he was traded to his current team the Utah Jazz. Although he started to post up big numbers, near 16 points and 8 rebounds per game, his playing minutes have been decreasing lately. Being Paul Millsap’s backup, it was once thought that Turkish big man Enes Kanter and Favors would form a frightening partnership. But then Kanter was drafted and he remained as Gobert’s partner.
Since then, they haven’t been able to find chemistry on the court and it has been speculated that Favors might get traded. A fresh start wouldn’t hurt the talented 25-year-old player.
7. Avery Bradley
Stats: 12 PPG, 3 RPG, 1.7 APG
Accomplishments: NBA All-Defensive First Team, NBA All-Defensive Second Team
Drafted out of Texas by the Boston Celtics, Bradley is well known around the league for being an elite perimeter defender. During his rookie year Tony Allen mentored him, plus he had to guard Paul Pierce and Ray Allen during practice. Bradley has gradually become a reliable scorer as well, he is shooting 41.3% behind the arc this season and is distinguished as a prodigious cutter.
Bradley is also averaging 17.4 points per along with 6.7 rebound per game. Partnered with All-Star Isaiah Thomas he has given the Celtics a backcourt rich in chemistry and firepower.
6. Hassan Whiteside
Stats: 13.1 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 2.7 BPG
Accomplishments: NBA All-Defensive Second Team, NBA blocks leader (2016)
Whiteside it’s a perfect story of hard work, perseverance and success. He played at the NBA D-League and overseas during four years until he finally got a chance with the Miami Heat in 2014. The 7-footer started accumulating minutes showing tremendous length and defensive abilities. He quickly impressed the league and gained recognition for his unique skills.
Nowadays, along with Frenchman Rudy Gobert, he is the best blocker in the NBA and a strong candidate for defensive player of the year. Last season he averaged a double-double with 14.2 points and 11.8 rebound per game. Currently, Whiteside has exhibited an improved offensive game with new post moves and has shown the potential to become a 20-10 big man some day.
5. Eric Bledsoe
Stats: 13 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 4.6 APG
Bledsoe came into the league as a top-level backup point guard, playing for the Los Angeles Clippers behind Chris Paul. He had decent games during his first three seasons in Los Angeles, with some sparks of talent. His game reached the next level when he was traded to the Phoenix Suns in 2013. Since then he has averaged 18.4 points and 5.9 assists per game, posting up career highs last season.
Although he’s proven to be a reliable starting point guard on a heavy Western Conference he still is a big player on a losing team. He’s got to prove himself taking Phoenix to the playoffs but that won’t happen until he gets some help (Devin Booker and Dragan Bender?).
4. Gordon Hayward
Stats: 15.5 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.4 APG
Accomplishments: NBA All-Star
Curious enough, before playing college basketball, Hayward was a pretty decent tennis player. Until present-day Celtics head coach, Brad Stevens convinced him to play hoops for Butler. Next thing you know, Jazz’s small forward is averaging almost 20 points a game during the last two seasons. This explains how talented this young man is.
His scoring ability is undeniable; he’s an excellent three-point shooter and a crafty finisher. Once in a while, he even uploads mouth-opening dunks to NBA’s weekly top ten. Hayward is also an underrated defender and has demonstrated his ability to seal the deal when the game is on the line (may I recall his step-back buzzer beater against the Cavs in 2014?). It is very likely that he racks up a couple more all-star selections and some playoff appearances in the near future as the Jazz is becoming an above .500 team.
3. John Wall
Stats: 18.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 9.2 APG, 1.7 SPG
Accomplishments: 4x NBA All-Star, NBA All-Defensive Second Team
Number 2 for the Washington Wizards has established himself over the years as one of the best point guards in the Eastern Conference. He’s not only a rapid scorer and deadly on the fast break, but he’s also a great distributor and knows how to find his teammates. Along with Bradley Beal, they form one of the most feared backcourts in the NBA. On top of all that, he won 2014 NBA Slam Dunk Contest with a spectacular reverse dunk over Wizards’ mascot.
The former Kentucky guard has commanded his team twice to the playoffs. The Wizards made it to the second round both times where he averaged an impressive 11.9 assists per game on their second trip (2015). He’s the face of the franchise and has transformed the Wizards into a consistent playoff contender.
2. Paul George
Stats: 17.5 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 3.2 APG
Accomplishments: 4x NBA All-Star, 3x All-NBA Third Team, NBA All-Defensive First Team, 2x NBA All-Defensive First Team, NBA Most Improved Player
George is a complete player out of this draft. He is able to do everything on the court and he does it with excellence. Indiana’s forward is an elite defender who can guard multiple positions. He is also a great scorer who can shoot threes, pull-up for a mid-range jumper, drive and finish nicely in the paint. George has been playing for six years as a Pacer but it wasn’t until his third season (2012-13) when he really shined. This was due to a severe injury of teammate Danny Granger.
Little by little George stood out and later on carried the Pacers to three consecutive Eastern Conference Finals where they lost against LeBron’s Miami Heat all three times. In the summer of 2014, he fractured both bones of his lower right leg on an awkward fall. Since then he has proven to be a strong and determined player and is finally gaining back his rhythm.
1. DeMarcus Cousins
Stats: 21.1 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 3 APG, 1.2 BPG
Accomplishments: 3x NBA All-Star, 2x All-NBA Second Team
Out of Kentucky, Cousins is probably the best true center in the league. He is a consistent 20-10 guy and a monster in the paint. Unfortunately, the 6 ft 11 player is well known around the NBA for his volatile temperament. During his complete career, he’s been the face of the franchise and main force on the court for the Sacramento Kings, although he has failed to give them a playoff spot each and every season.
“Boogie” was recently been traded to the New Orleans Pelicans where he’ll have to share the post with another star big man: Anthony Davis.