2010 NBA Draft – Where the Rookies Should End Up

The 2010 NBA Draft is this Thursday June 24 and the hottest topic of the draft is focused on where the 19 year old freshman out of Kentucky will play his first season in the NBA. The standout point guard played on a powerful Wildcat team under John Calipari and Kentucky was anything but undermanned from top to bottom. The ‘Cats leading scorer John Wall (16.6ppg) and company fell short to the West Virginia Mountaineers after finishing the season with 3 losses and 35 wins. Along with Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson, Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton are all projected to go in the top 20.

So let’s get down to business. The Washington Wizards have the number one overall pick in the draft and if Wall isn’t heading to D.C. the Wizards could be targeting Ohio State’s Evan Turner who some think will be a bigger impact in the NBA. While John Wall will have a huge role in Washington as the starting point guard with only one year’s experience in college, he could live up to the hype. The top two picks in the draft are without a question decided since the lottery was over.

Now to the next 3 top prospects in the 2010 draft. The New Jersey Nets had the best odds of securing the number one pick but it wasn’t just handed to them. New Jersey fell all the way to number three where the first big man could land. Freshman power forward Derrick Favors could give New Jersey size and a big to work alongside Devin Harris. The newest member of the Nets staff, Avery Johnson is waiting for the 6-10, 245 Favors to possibly replace Yi Jianlian and compliment center Brook Lopez down low.

Kentucky’s powerful big man DeMarcus Cousins going number four would be a huge plus for the ugliest franchise in the NBA with virtually nothing to build from. If a strong rookie season isn’t in sight, Cousins could be a building block that the Timberwolves lack. Domination is in Cousins’ blood, although he is largely overweight for a 6’11’’ power forward, losing 20 pounds wouldn’t be a bad idea. His biggest strength is scoring towards the rim and grabbing boards, averaging almost 10 a game at Kentucky.

The Sacramento Kings wouldn’t mind improving at the small forward position with Syracuse’s Wesley Johnson. Upgrading from 30 year old Andres Nocioni would give Tyreke Evans help scoring the basketball. Johnson is a lean but skillful forward able to use his high release to pull up for a three. He has very good foot work and with a combination of speed, high basketball I.Q., and quick hands he is sometimes unstoppable and hard to defend.

Late Draft Steals:

Cole Aldrich came from a very talented championship Duke team. He has fallen in the draft because teams are questioning his demeanor as a true NBA center. Aldrich is not quite a 7 footer but has unusually great strength for his size. He is not a solid rebounder but can maintain position under the rim for a put back and is overall an absolute lock down defender especially closing out on perimeter shooters.

Arguably the most explosive scorer in the draft – Jordan Crawford can score in bunches and do it in a hurry. He gets to the line on a regular basis, but isn’t comfortable pushing the ball on the fast break. His agility, ball handling skills, and ability to finish at the rim is above average and definitely the most underrated part of his game. He has several downsides including lack of strength to draw a charge and he plays better in a half court set.

Darington Hobson out of New Mexico is projected to go early to mid second round while most believe he’s being overlooked and could go late in the first round. He is far from a second round pick with the look of a point guard in a forward’s body. While playing the 3 in college, Hobson will be nothing more than a guard in the NBA. He is a sneaky rebounder because of his size –able to angle his way into the paint and snatch easy rebounds over bigger players. His range is limited and he is mainly a mid-range shooter; nothing consistent over 15 feet.  His main strength is driving to the rim and finishing strong. Hobson’s main plus on the defensive end is forcing turnovers.

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