The best time to grade an NBA draft is years after the NBA draft occurs. No one knows whether or not the pick was actually good 24 hours after the pick is made. In that spirit, 110 Sports is re-grading each NBA draft from the last 10 years in an attempt to grade that pick accurately.
This is an examination of the player picked and what happened on draft night, but, of course, there will be some discussion about how long that player played for the franchise and what he was actually worth. For example, though the Nets traded away Derrick Favors for Deron Williams less than a year after drafting him, they will still get credit for making a solid pick on draft night but not as much credit as if he spent the majority of the last 10 years with the Nets.
The 2010 NBA Draft got boring quickly. Yes, the first pick in the draft turned out to be an explosive point guard and arguably the best two-way player in the NBA today was drafted at No. 10, but not a single player picked outside of the top 20 played all 10 seasons since they were drafted and only six of those players played seven seasons or more.
The order mirrors the position in which each team made their first pick, not in the order of best to worst pick. Starting with the Eastern Conference, it’s the 110 Sports 2010 NBA Draft Re-Grade.
Picks (Pick No.): John Wall (No. 1), Lazar Hayward (No. 30), Nemanja Bjelica (No. 35)
Only one of these players, John Wall, actually made it to Washington in 2010; the remaining two were traded away. After drafting Nemanja Bjelica and Lazar Hayward, Washington traded both players to the Timberwolves for Trevor Booker and Hamady N’Diaye. They also traded Vladimir Veremeenko to the Chicago Bulls for Kirch Hinrich, Kevin Seraphin and cash on draft night.
Booker is easily more valuable alone than Bjelica and Hayward. He is 12th in win shares from the 2010 draft at 26.2 while the other two combine for 15.6 win shares — 15.4 coming from Bjelica. N’Diaye resulted in exactly zero win shares after playing just 33 games in the NBA and although Booker only played four years in Washington, his first four years were more substantial than anyone else’s.
Of course, the Wizards hit on Wall. The Kentucky guard is a five-time All-Star and a career 19 points, 9.2 assists and 4.3 rebounds player. He is currently sixth in win shares out of this draft class but if the last couple of years would have gone better, Wall would be one of the five best point guards of this decade. Paul George is easily the No. 1 overall pick if this draft was redone, but Wall would be right behind him.
Grade: B+ | Yes, Washington did a good job picking Wall, but the lack of long term rotation pieces they got from this draft drops them just below an A.
Picks: Evan Turner (No. 2)
Very little happened on draft night other than the Sixers taking Turner with the No. 2 overall pick. They traded their second round pick to the Bucks for Francisco Elson and Jodie Meeks in February of 2010. They had the sixth best odds to secure the number two pick after going 27-55 in 2009-10 and, quite frankly, they wasted it on Turner.
Turner’s best season with Philadelphia was the first half of the 2013-14 season where he averaged 17.4 points, six rebounds and 3.7 assists before being traded to Indiana at the deadline. Turner’s had a respectable career but certainly not one expected from a No. 2 overall pick. By March of 2014, Turner was out the door to Indiana and the Sixers were ushering in a new era of “Trusting the Process” drafting Joel Embiid with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Grade: C | Turner gave them a couple of reasonable years but it was clear he wasn’t anywhere near a franchise guy. It was the right move to get rid of him when they did, but as for draft night in 2010, they drafted the wrong guy and left perennial all-stars on the table.
New Jersey Nets
Picks: Derrick Favors (No. 3), Jordan Crawford (No. 27), Tibor Pleiß (No. 31)
New Jersey made three picks on draft night and two of them immediately went to Atlanta in return for Damion James. Pleiß ultimately appeared in 12 games in the NBA for the Utah Jazz. Crawford played for five teams over six seasons and hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2017-18 season. With that being said, James was just as uninspiring, playing in just 39 NBA games over four seasons.
Favors has had a long and consistent career. So, from a draft night perspective the Nets made a solid choice at No. 3. He has the seventh-most points and the third-most rebounds in this draft class while shooting 53% for his career. He was traded just a year later to get Deron Williams to the Nets, but this isn’t a grading of the Nets front office as a whole, just on draft night and Favors was a good pick at the time.
Grade: B | The Nets got very little from their peripheral picks, but Favors was a solid pick and would be picked highly again if the 2010 class was re-drafted.
Picks: Greg Monroe (No. 7), Terrico White (No. 36)
It was a very straightforward draft for the Pistons. They had two picks and they didn’t make any other moves on draft night. They picked Monroe out of Georgetown with the No. 7 overall pick. While Monroe was never going to pull the Pistons out of mediocrity, he was close to a double-double machine in his five seasons in Detroit, averaging 13.2 points and 8.3 rebounds. But they swung and missed completely with their second round pick drafting Terrico White with the No. 36 pick out of Ole Miss. White never saw an NBA and doesn’t have a clickable name on Basketball Reference.
Grade: C+ | Monroe was a fine pick, but you can’t completely swing and miss with the No. 36 pick and expect anything higher than a C+. White was one of nine players taken in the draft to never play an NBA game.
Picks: Paul George (No.10), Lance Stephenson (No. 40), Ryan Reid (No. 57)
The Pacers had one of the best drafts of any franchise this year. For starters, they selected easily the best player in this draft in Paul George at No. 10. George is a six-time All-Star, five-time All-NBA and four-time All-Defensive team selection. He leads this draft class in points, win shares and is second in career points per game behind DeMarcus Cousins. George is one of the, if not the, best two-way players in the NBA over the last decade except for the season he missed due to his gruesome leg injury playing for Team USA.
Then, they drafted Lance Stephenson with the No. 40 pick who, along with Hasson Whiteside, was easily one of the best players taken in the second round. Stephenson had that x-factor out of Cincinnati and quickly became loved in Indiana. He hasn’t really worked out anywhere else, but he thrived in Indiana specifically in years three and four of his career.
Florida State’s Ryan Reid was an afterthought who was traded on draft night to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Magnum Rolle. The two combined to play 17 minutes total of NBA basketball.
Grade: A | The Pacers drafted the best player in this draft and a guy at No. 40 who would be at least 20 spots higher today.
PIcks: Ed Davis (No. 13)
Draft night was very straightforward for the Raptors in 2010. They traded their second round draft pick in February of 2009 in a deal that saw Shawn Marion come to Toronto — Marion was actually solid, averaging 14.3 points and 8.3 rebounds in his 27 games in Canada.
What I’ve learned thus far is that not very many rookies sign second contracts with the teams that draft them. Davis is another example. He played two and a half years before being traded to Memphis in a three-team trade that saw Rudy Gay go to Toronto. Davis was fine in Toronto, stayed healthy and averaged 7.7 points and 6.9 rebounds. You probably want more from a lottery pick, but this draft was slim pickings by this point and only three players have played more NBA minutes than Davis.
Grade: B- | When taking into account who was left on the board, Davis is a decent pick, but only decent.
Picks: Larry Sanders (No. 15), Darington Hobson (No. 37), Jerome Jordan (No. 44), Tiny Gallon (No. 47)
The Bucks had a lot of picks that ultimately resulted in very little. They traded Jodie Meeks and Franscisco Elson for a pick that was ultimately Darington Hobson and the pick that became Larry Sanders was once Hakim Warrick and Joe Alexander. Not exactly needle-moving players involved in those transactions.
Jerome Jordan was sold to the New York Knicks on draft night. Hobson and Gallon played a total of five games in the NBA combined — Gallon left Oklahoma after one year to never play in the NBA. Sanders played at least 52 games each of his first three seasons peaking in 2012-13 when he averaged 9.8 points and 9.5 rebounds. He played a total of five seasons for Milwaukee and was out of the league by the end of the 2017 season.
Grade: C- | Lots of action on draft night, but very little return. The early 2010’s was a boring time for Bucks fans and this draft was no exception.
Picks: Kevin Seraphin (No. 17)
Chicago traded their 2010 first round pick to the Bucks for Joe Alexander, Hakim Warrick and the Buck’s 2010 first round pick — the No. 15 pick. The 2010 second round pick left in a trade way back in 2008.
On draft night, the Bulls traded Seraphin to the Wizards along with Kirk Hinrich and cash to the Wizards for the rights to Valdimir Veremeenko. Veremeenko never came to the NBA. In the midst of the Derrick Rose mania when the Bulls were the second best team in the East, nothing interesting was going on in the draft except for trading picks in the interest of freeing up cap space.
Grade: No grade | There’s very little going on here with the Bulls. The 2010-11 Bulls went 62-20 and didn’t have any major holes in their roster to fill.
Picks: Avery Bradley (No. 19), Luke Harangody (No. 52)
2010 is in the middle of the Big Three run for the Celtics, so draft night was very straightforward. They took Bradley — who became a formidable guard and one of the better defensive backcourt players in the NBA — with the No. 19 pick. He averaged as many as 16.3 points in a Celtics uniform.
Harangody had an incredible college career at Notre Dame but the same can’t be said for his NBA career. He played for two different teams his rookie season and was out of the league by the end of 2012, playing in just 70 NBA games.
Grade: B | Bradley was one of the more solid picks outside the top 10 in this draft. The lack of any sort of success from Harangody brings them down a little bit.
Picks: Damion James (No. 24), Pape Sy (No. 53)
James and Sy were underwhelming in the NBA and that’s an understatement. Sy never saw an NBA floor and James was out of the league by 2014. On draft night, the Hawks traded James to the Nets for Jordan Crawford and Tibor Pleiß. Pleiß was sold on draft night and Crawford was gone in February of 2011.
Grade: D- | The Hawks had nothing to show for the 2010 draft by February of 2011.
Picks: Daniel Orton (No. 29), Stanley Robinson (No. 59)
The Magic might as well have not shown up Madison Square Garden for this draft. Orton played 51 NBA games averaging 2.8 points and Robinson never played an NBA minute. However, it’s understandable. They had just finished the 2009-10 season with the second-best record in the NBA and lost to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. But they didn’t exactly add anything to their team on this night.
Picks: Dexter Pittman (No. 32), Jarvis Varnado (No. 41), Da’Sean Butler (42), Latavious Williams (No. 48)
I know Lebron James and Chris Bosh were on their way to Miami at this point to join Dwayne Wade, but, man, at least the Heat front office could’ve done something in this draft with four picks. They traded away their 2010 first round pick and got the second round pick that would become Pittman and the other two extra picks in 2009.
They ended up with four picks and those four players played a total of 87 NBA games combined over six seasons and two of them never saw the floor. Pittman had the longest career playing 50 games over four seasons.
Grade: F | It was a good time to be a Heat fan, but this draft was the definition of useless.
New York Knicks
Picks: Andy Rautins (No. 38), Landry Fields (No. 39)
In true Knicks fashion, they picked Rautins before Fields and Fields played 250 more games and 6,000 more minutes. They got the extra pick from the Nuggets in a 2008 trade and sent their first round pick to the Suns way back in 2004 for Penny Hardaway and Stephon Marbury — fun fact, the pick eventually made it to the Jazz who drafted Gordon Hayward.
Grade: D+ | This was a very boring draft for a Knicks team that could’ve used another solid piece having gone 29-53 in 2009-10.
Photo by: Keith Allison / Wikimedia Commons