NBA Draft 2010: Post-Tournament Update

This will be the last update until I do the draft previews. I doubt things will change much, but I’ll go much deeper with the analysis in those. Right now I’m just skimming the stats. Not a whole lot has changed in the past month. There are still 4 players who stand above the crowd. After that there are about 6 players who look like they’ll be decent rotation players. Finally there are about 15-20 who offer enough intrigue and potential that they’d be a worthwhile pick after about #20. That says the draft is thin after the top 10 and there is going to be some reaching. This follows 3 deep drafts, meaning some scouting time and resources should be spent looking at players who may have fallen through the cracks during the last few drafts. I doubt we’ll see as many 2nd round and undrafted surprises from this draft because it is so shallow. Forwards remain the strength of this draft, with the SFs being a particularly deep group. These rankings are based on everything else being equal, as always. That basically means the question I’m asking when ranking these players is: Which player would I select if I were starting an NBA team?

For this update I decided to stick with players who are seniors or likely to enter the draft. Greg Monroe is the big name missing, because he has stated his intention to return to Georgetown. If a player is an underclassman I included him unless he has either declared an intention to return or seems almost certain to do so.

1. John Wall, PG Kentucky: Good of me to finally come around to the conclusion everyone else came to last summer and put Wall at the top of the list. I’ve been less enthusiastic when it comes to Wall than most have been this year. It isn’t that I don’t feel he is a strong prospect. He is. It is that the attitude out there seems to be that he’s the top pick no matter what. That is something I don’t see. He’s in a group of 4 at the top. If a team like Minnesota wins the lottery, there would be no reason to leave one of the other 3 top players on the board so they can add Wall to their logjam at PG. But that’s something for the lottery and the GMs to sort out. John Wall looks like a future NBA all-star at PG and the best overall prospect in the 2010 draft.

2. DeMarcus Cousins, C Kentucky: I’ve been higher on Cousins than just about everyone else, so it is probably a good time to raise a question or two about him. The first is: Does he block shots well enough to be considered a top center prospect? He finished at 3.0 B40, which is marginal, so that’s possible. There is a scary resemblance to Stanley Roberts in that sense. The reason I will give him the benefit of the doubt is one thing he showed as the season progressed was that he’s a player who can learn and improve his game quickly. The other question has to do with his attitude. I’m not even sure there is anything to this. All I can find is that he threw a couple of retaliation elbows early in the season and he didn’t handle the recruitment process particularly well as a prep. That just doesn’t seem like a huge deal to me. There is some risk in drafting Cousins, but the upside is so great and a willingness to work at his game seems to be there. I feel he’s an easy choice after Wall.

3. Derrick Favors, PF-C Georgia Tech: It is possible that he’ll play more center than PF and it might be time to start looking at him as such. He’s listed at 6’10” and 246, which is center size. He blocks shots more like a center than a PF. No matter which inside position he ultimately ends up playing, Derrick Favors is going to be very good.

4. Evan Turner, SG-SF Ohio State: My only concern with him would be his high TO rate. This is worth noting too, because his 4.9 per 40 minutes is higher than any all-star level wing player has ever posted. This is important, because anything other than an all-star career will label Turner a disappointment. My first reaction would be that this isn’t a big deal, because Turner functioned as the PG for OSU. But 4.9 is also pretty high for all-star PGs at this point in their career. More study is needed. Right now I’m going to say this isn’t a big deal and focus on the positives here, which are very impressive.

5. Ed Davis, PF North Carolina: He has faded some in the draft chatter and that just could be a case of out of sight, out of mind. In my mind Davis remains a solid prospect, especially as a defender. Now he has to make up his mind whether to go pro, or stay at NC where the college experience will allow him to see his numbers suppressed while sharing time with John Henson and Tyler Zeller as the supporting cast for Harrison Barnes.

6. Hassan Whiteside, PF-C Marshall: Because of the way talent is dispersed in this draft, I could see Whiteside going this high. He has a decent chance to bust, but at this point I’d probably go ahead and roll the dice. Great centers can do great things for franchises. Hassan Whiteside has the potential to become a great center and there just aren’t too many players this statement can be made about. He’s a talent too potentially good to pass on for the likes of Wesley Johnson, James Anderson or El-Farouq Aminu.

7. James Anderson, SG Oklahoma State: In a recent column ESPN’s Bill Simmons had this to say about James Anderson after his poor tournament showing against Georgia Tech: “Welcome to the D-League.” This was based on Simmons’ perception that Anderson struggles to get open shots. In the same column, Simmons called Jordan Crawford and Jacob Pullen NBA players. So let’s compare these 3 as players who can get their shots off and as SG prospects in general: 



2 pt pct

3 pt pct





























Numbers aren’t pace-adjusted. What I want to show is that Anderson can get off plenty of shots, as evidenced by his 17.5 FGA per 40 minutes. This is a fairly typical number for a college SG, perhaps even on the high side. Aubrey Coleman leads all prospects with 22.2, while Austin Freeman would be on the low end with 13.5. Most fall into the 15-19 range. The point is all 3 have been able to get off plenty of shots during the year. Anderson and Pullen have been better at turning the shots into points, as the PPS shows. Pullen falls short in a couple important stats though. His 2 pt FG pct is very low at .450. This suggests that he, not Anderson, is the one who has difficulties getting an open shot to fall. Then there is Pullen’s 5.7 RSB40. This is just too low. The more a SG prospect’s RSB40 goes south of 7.0, the more difficult a time he has had making it. Pullen did hit a much higher percentage of 3-pointers this season, but this is the first time in 3 seasons he has shot the trey better than Anderson. Because 3-point shooting can be a streaky thing, isn’t a huge indicator of NBA talent and Anderson has hit over .400 in a previous season, this isn’t something to be concerned about. James Anderson has solid prospect numbers across the board and I feel very comfortable calling him an NBA player and a much better prospect than Jacob Pullen. That’s obvious without even bringing up Anderson’s 6 inch height advantage on Pullen. Jordan Crawford also looks like an NBA player, but isn’t the lock Anderson is. Jacob Pullen’s best bet for staying out of the D-league would be to go back to K-State for his senior year and hone his PG skills.

8. Xavier Henry, SG Kansas: His season kind of ended on a downer. His production fell off and his team lost in one of the tournament’s biggest upsets in recent years. Even though his college career looks like it is going to end with a whimper, Henry is statistically in the territory that players like Michael Finley, Joe Johnson and Eddie Jones occupied as freshmen. That’s a good bang for your buck at a pick in the 7-12 range.

9. Cole Aldrich, C Kansas: Concern about Aldrich is there were some games where other center prospects put up some good numbers on him. Since his calling card is going to be defense, this is obviously worrisome. This was a problem for Shelden Williams a few years ago and he has yet to perform as well as his numbers and draft position suggested he would. This is something that requires deeper research, as it isn’t something I’ve actually tracked and verified, but just something that caught my eye. Just going by the numbers, any player with a rebounding and shot-blocking rate like Aldrich’s and no obvious flaws is a valuable addition to an NBA frontcourt.

10 & 11. John Henson, PF North Carolina and Daniel Orton, C Kentucky: I could see burning a late lottery pick on either of these two guys should they declare a year or so earlier than expected. The rationale being the same as it is for Whiteside at #6. There simply isn’t a player remaining on the board who I feel will be good enough to make passing on either of these two worth the risk. Both are projects who will offer little help immediately. But both are potentially very good NBA big men. Talented big men are hard to find in the NBA and no team should pass on a chance to get one when he becomes available.

12. Paul George, SG-SF Fresno State: George’s offensive numbers are a little on the soft side and that hurts him. That said, he’s only a sophomore and his defensive skills and size are off the charts. His offensive numbers aren’t so bad that I’d call him hopeless either. He’s ranked this high on upside, but he’s a decent player right now.

13. Wesley Johnson, SF Syracuse: SFs who became stars have typically scored more often and efficiently than Johnson has this year. They have also typically done so before reaching the age of most college seniors, like Johnson is right now. Considering this year represents a huge step up for Johnson from his two previous seasons, I doubt there’s a huge upside here. Right now he looks like a decent NBA player, but nowhere near an all-star. Not someone I would leave another top player on the board for. Especially in this draft where a “Wesley Johnson lite”, like Landry Fields or Tyren Johnson, will almost certainly be available in round 2.

14. Luke Babbitt, F Nevada: I like him best among the combo forwards, because he’s the best scorer. He isn’t as efficient an inside scorer as Patterson and is nowhere near the defender Aminu or Booker is, but when I think about a player who does what changeup PF needs to do, which is stretch the defense and bring some instant offense when the team goes to a small lineup, Babbitt seems like the best player out there for that role.

15. Trey Thompkins, F Georgia: I had him off the list earlier in the season and practically out of consideration, because his TO rate was so poor. He improved that, along with his entire game for that matter, enough during the final 9 games that I’m OK with debuting him just outside the lottery in this shallow draft.

16. Dominique Jones, G South Florida: He has endured some brutal shooting slumps, but overall his numbers are very solid for a SG. The fact that he can also play some point in a pinch helps his stock.

17. Ekpe Udoh, C Baylor: A wildly intriguing prospect. His inside offense is weak, but he does everything else so well that I could see him becoming a pretty effective NBA player. Now this could be a case of me going overboard after watching a player in the tournament. But he’s an excellent passer and defender who can also hold his own on the boards and hit the outside shot with some degree of accuracy. It seems like he should be able to find a place, but I don’t want to prop him up too high until I research a little more.

18. Patrick Patterson, F Kentucky: He showed some ability to step outside this year and that’s going to help his stock quite a bit. His numbers are a little soft and always have been. His best number is he has consistently hit close to or over 60% of his 2-pointers. This is impressive, but by itself probably isn’t enough to get him past journeyman.

19. Landry Fields, SF Stanford: Fields is a solid wing player who checked in with a great, but relatively anonymous season. Seems like the type who will be drafted later than he should and become one of the finds of the draft. I’ve been a little leery about elevating him too much and I’m not sure why. He grades out well as either a SG or SF and is a player teams should be taking a hard look at in the middle of round 1.

20. Jeremy Lin, PG Harvard: I found myself liking Lin more and more as the season went on. It is a big jump from the Ivy, or any small conference, to the NBA. But the 2 most important things for PGs making that jump are a high 2-point pct. and a decent RSB40. Lin has both those things covered. The passing numbers are a little low, but that could have something to do with Lin needing to take on more of a scoring role at Harvard, since he was by far the best player on the team.

21. Kenneth Faried, PF Morehead State: Not too many players from small conferences have ever rebounded this well. Faried was at 17.2 per 40 minutes this past year. Previous small college players who were over 15.0 R40 are Popeye Jones, Malik Rose, Kebu Stewart and Paul Millsap. Jones and Rose had long careers and Millsap looks like he’ll do the same. That’s 3 of 4 and Faried’s defensive numbers compare favorably with this group. The fly in the ointment of Faried’s long and profitable career is a low A/TO which makes him look as much like Kenny Adelke as the other 3.

22. Kyle Singler, SF Duke: During the tournament he showed the same maddening inconsistency that he has all season. He’s capable of carrying a team, but just as capable of putting up a 2-for-15 clunker. He played the perimeter more this year and the move didn’t go particularly well for him. Well, it went well for him in the sense that he was the best player on the eventual champion. But the season didn’t go well for him as far as his prospect status. The best thing he did was connect on almost 40% of his treys, but his numbers were low everywhere else. Right now he looks like a journeyman.

23. El-Farouq Aminu, F Wake Forest: His prospects just got worse as the season progressed. Offensively he just isn’t good enough to play either forward position. He’s a strong rebounder and a decent defender, but that’s all. Because he’s slight as NBA PFs go, I’m not sure how well his rebounding prowess is going to translate.

24. Elliott Williams, G Memphis: There is a lot to like about Williams. He’s a terrific scorer and has flashed some PG ability. His RSB40 is a tad low and that has always been a big negative with me. He’s at 6.5, which is close enough that I wouldn’t call it that big a deal. His isn’t a case like Willie Warren though where the number is so bad I’d simply dismiss him as a serious prospect.

25. Jarvis Vanardo, PF Mississippi State: Potentially a useful energy player.   

26. Gordon Hayward, SF Butler: I’m ready to crank him up the list just a tad. There is a lot to look at here, but my feeling is that after his play in the tournament and considering his numbers from last season, Hayward is somewhat better than his numbers suggest. I’m not going to go overboard with him. He’s still just another in a large group of draft-worthy SFs. But I think he’s shown enough that drafting him as high as #20 doesn’t seem like the crazy proposition it may have a month ago.

27. Greivis Vasquez, PG Maryland: His scoring has been erratic his entire career. This improved some his senior year, but not enough that he’s anything but a marginal prospect. He is a good defender and passer, with NBA size and athleticism. That’s good and should get him into the first round in a draft that’s short on PG prospects.   

28. Larry Sanders, PF-C Virginia Commonwealth: His numbers are soft, but not so bad that I could dismiss him. He still brings that great length and the potential that comes with it.

29. Tyren Johnson, SF Louisiana-Lafayette: The numbers all look pretty strong with Johnson. Things have to be looked at more closely, but everything suggests Johnson is a solid prospect. What could hurt him is SF looks like his only position. Fields could play some SG, Babbitt and Patterson could play either forward position. There isn’t much flexibility with Johnson.

30. Damian Saunders, F Duquense: There has to be a place for this guy. He rebounds like a PF, blocks shots like a center and ballhawks like a SG. There isn’t a TO problem. He doesn’t score much, but isn’t so inefficient that he looks like a disaster offensively as Singleton and Ebanks do.

31. Marcus Morris, SF Kansas: He’s been a very good scorer, but I’m not sure if he’s that good or just an opportunistic player taking advantage of playing on a talented team. His defensive numbers are very low and that worries me. My guess would be that he’s headed back to Kansas and we’ll know more about him a year from now.

32. Dexter Pittman, C Texas: Looks like a player who can help a team inside, but for very limited minutes. Right now he’s too foul-prone and TO-prone to be much else. I think there could be a good player here who will take a little more time to develop. His per minute numbers are very good so he’s definitely a player teams should be looking to bring in and work with.

33. Jordan Crawford, SG Xavier: See James Anderson comment.

34. Damion James, F Texas: His biggest strength in college was rebounding and I’m not sure how much that’s going to help him in the pros. He has perimeter size and enough skills that he’ll probably be penciled into a gunner/defender role. He might even excel in such a role, but his low A/TO suggests he’ll struggle.

35. Trevor Booker, F Clemson: Because he is small, he’ll have to play some on the perimeter. He seems to have the defensive chops for such a role, but needs to shoot the ball more efficiently.

36. Aubrey Coleman, SG Houston: Getting back to the comment on James Anderson, this is an example of a player who can get his shots off. Unfortunately, he doesn’t connect on enough of them. His defensive skills are outstanding though and his TOs are low. If he could somehow become a more efficient scorer with lower usage, he would be a solid pro.

37. Solomon Alabi, C Florida State: Just another big guy with weak prospect numbers. As is the case with Larry Sanders, teams can’t let a talented big guy slide too far, but in the case of Alabi they’re likely setting themselves up for disappointment. It is hard to put him ahead of the likes of Samhan, Jordan, Benson and Foote who all have posted some decent numbers. But with Alabi there still is some upside here. He has the potential to get to a point where he’s more than just another big body at the end of the bench and that separates him from the pack at center.

38 & 39. Avery Bradley, Texas and Eric Bledsoe, Kentucky: Keeping these 2 together, because their situations are so similar. Drafting either one would be quite a leap of faith. Much more so than drafting Jrue Holiday was at this time last year. Holiday actually looked like a pretty good PG prospect once I started digging a little. I can’t say that yet about either of these two. Both are still just highly-touted HS stars who have yet to prove they’re NBA PGs.

40. Chris Singleton, SF Florida State: No offense, but excellent defense. I prefer such a player to one who is the opposite, because offense is easier to develop. He does have a long way to go though.

41. Quincy Pondexter, SF Washington: Good senior year, but he looks like he’ll come up a little short to me. As with all the SFs, he’s in a deep, crowded field and that will hurt the draft position of them all. Unlike Fields and Johnson, Pondexter hasn’t established that he’s good at anything other than scoring. That’s usually a bad sign for SFs.

42. Jimmer Fredette, PG BYU: Good scorer. His defensive numbers are so low that I don’t consider him much of a prospect. He does score and handle the PG duties well enough that I could see him finding a place as a reserve.

43. Manny Harris, SG Michigan: He’s like Aubrey Coleman. He’s a talented, but erratic player who might become a useful pro if he learns to rein things in a little.

44. Jon Scheyer, PG Duke: As the season progressed his RSB40 declined to the point where I would normally call him a very shaky prospect. The reason I could see him finding a role and even having a long NBA career is he’s a low-mistake player. He also has been a very efficient scorer despite some low percentages.

45. Omar Samhan, C St. Mary’s: With Samhan, and also players like Benson, Jordan, Parakhouski and Foote, I see no reason they can’t latch on somewhere as a 3rd-stringer. All look like they can give a team some decent minutes of inside banging. All would come very cheap. I just don’t see much downside to having such a player at the end of the bench. I’m guessing the case which each player will come down to how hard they work, how well they pick up the system of the team they’re with and just finding the right situation.

46. Marquez Haynes, G UT-Arlington: He’s on the small side at 6’3” and is a 5th-year senior having transferred to UTA after 2 uneventful seasons at BC. But his numbers are solid and I could see him working out well in the important role of instant offense/part-time PG/combo/10th rotation player/guy off the bench type.

47. Wayne Chism, PF-C Tennessee: Might as well add his name to the mix of stretch-the-defense PFs. Chism can handle the rebounding and defensive part, while having a 4-year history of hitting over 30% of his 3-pointers.

48. Brian Zoubek, C Duke: A great rebounder and good at the layups and putbacks too. Defensively he’s weak, but like several centers in the draft he can probably give a team 5-10 minutes per night of decent inside play right away.

49. Lance Stephenson, SG Cincinnati: Just enough potential that I’ll give him a mention here.

50. LaceDarius Dunn, SG Baylor: Last year and early this year he was such a bad passer that he wouldn’t have been even considered. He has improved enough that he’s worth a look.

51. Marqus Blakely, SF Vermont: A player who has had a good career and does a lot of things well. There are some issues though. At 6’5” he’s short for a SF. He hasn’t shown enough in the way of an outside shot that I’d say he could handle SG. His numbers have been dominant though and that’s enough to make him worth a look in my book.

52. Artsiom Parakhouski, C Radford: A decent prospect, especially as a rebounder. He comes up a tad short on shot-blocking and scoring, but as is the case with Samhan, Zoubek and a few others he could probably offer some inside help.

53. Darlington Hobson, G-F New Mexico: Does a lot of things well, but doesn’t really fit anywhere. His two big strengths are rebounding and passing. Unfortunately he’s stuck in a SF’s body. His offensive game is too weak to think he could handle playing SF at the next level. It’s possible he could be valuable with less usage, like Coleman, Harris and some others. The problem with such players is finding a place for all of them.

54. Devin Ebanks, SF West Virginia: He has shown flashes, but the overall resume is very weak. This ranking is based on rep, length, athleticism etc. The thing is he has had two seasons to show something and just hasn’t gotten it done.

55. Devan Downey, SG South Carolina: I like him quite a bit as one of those quick, little guys who can create matchup problems. His numbers have regressed during his career, but there’s still enough here to think he can make it.

56. Willie Warren, G Oklahoma: Warren is going to enter the draft. It might be a good time for him in the sense that the perimeter prospects are not a deep group this year, so he has a better chance to stand out. I never cared much for him as a prospect, but he was top 5 in most mocks at the start of the year, so personnel people did have a very high opinion of him at one time. My feeling about him is his low RSB40 suggests he’ll be a bust.

57. Luke Harangody, PF Notre Dame: The problem Harangody is going to have is there are a lot of better players ahead of him in this draft who play the same position. He’s a combo forward who will have to stretch the defense as a PF to be useful. Right now Babbitt and Patterson are the top 2. After that Booker and Chism seem like better prospects, because of defense. Should Thompkins declare, that’s one more ahead of Luke.

58. Jerome Jordan, C Tulsa: Another center prospect who could probably come in and help a team.

59. Gani Lawal, PF Georgia Tech: I’m not real high on him, but there is some potential here if he can get the TOs down.

 60. Armon Johnson, PG Nevada: Not the 1st-round talent he’s been touted as in some places, but he can run an offense well enough that he could make it as a reserve. The fact that he lacks a decent outside shot and brings that dreaded low RSB40 will hurt him.

12 comments for “NBA Draft 2010: Post-Tournament Update

  1. KMils
    April 12, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Ed, how is Al-Farouq Aminu slight for an NBA PF but not Ed Davis. Until pre-draft measurements come out, Davis is an inch taller and five pounds heavier. Aminu was also a better rebounder. There are knocks on his shooting numbers, but you can’t say he’s undersized and simultaneously hype Davis up as alright.

  2. qwerty
    April 12, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Wow, I didn’t expect to see Lin so high. But he’s actually a great passer — like you said, his bland assist numbers are simply due to him being far and away the #1 scoring option on his team.

    As if to quash any doubts about his passing skills, Lin was the game leader in assists for all three of his Portsmouth games. The only big question mark is his erratic jumper…which is why I think he’ll be late 2nd round if he does get drafted.

  3. Ed
    April 13, 2010 at 8:28 am

    KMils: According the the official sites of their schools, Aminu is 6’9″ 215, Davis is 6’10 225. You’re right that we won’t know for sure until the measurements are done, but I think 1 inch and 10 lbs can be a significant difference. My point was that Aminu hasn’t been an effective inside scorer this year. That’s a problem for a guy who is more a PF than anything.

  4. Ebomb
    April 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm


    I always enjoy reading your articles. As a Timberwolves fan I think you make a great point about Wall not being a slam dunk pick at #1 with Rubio waiting overseas.

    In regards to Turner, I am willing to forgive the Turnover rates because I don’t think he is going to be the sole ball handler on the floor in the NBA. You can’t compare him to all-star level PG’s in college because those players need to be able to be a sole ball handler in the NBA because they are PG’s. You can’t compare him to all-star level SG’s in college because they likely weren’t asked to be the sole ball-handler in college. If you can excuse the turnovers, I think the remaining package is fantastic.

    I worry about both Anderson and Henry on defense that I’m not as optimistic as your projections. Your comparisons for Henry were Finley, Johnson and Jones and all of those guys were more athletic and better defenders in College.

    Kudos for ranking Wesley Johnson where he belongs, he’s a college senior citizen and just doesn’t have the upside as a Top-10 selection.

  5. Dave
    April 15, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Ed – I admire you ability to find the unknown talent missed by other analysts, who only seem to follow national spotlight. Your spotting Landry Fields is great example. He is good, and was PAC-10 top scorer – and #2 reb – #5 steals as a SF. You have the ability to see beyond the national media ‘group-think’. Since his team was weak he is was missed by most and not on national radar. He is likely to be a steal for someone.

  6. April 15, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Do you feel like Aminu’s age is any reason to be more excited about his potential?

    I just noticed that he’s over 15 months younger than Ed Davis and is essentially the same age as John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins.

  7. Ed
    April 16, 2010 at 8:46 am

    NickS: I did not know that about Aminu. Shame on me for missing that and thanks for the info. It does help his case, simply because younger is better. But even looking at him as a freshmen he’s still significantly behind the top guys.
    The thing with Aminu vs. Davis is this: I’m pretty certain Davis can become a solid NBA PF. Someone in the PJ Brown or Dale Davis mold. Possibly better than that and that’s a pretty good catch in the 7-12 range. With Aminu, I really have no idea where he’ll fit. Right now he’s too TO-prone to play much on the perimeter. He hit fewer than 50% of his 2-pointers this year (though he was at 57% last year), so his inside game is questionable too. He’s an impressive athlete, but he’s all upside now and that doesn’t always work out.

  8. Ed
    April 17, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Dave and Ebomb: Thanks. You’re right about Turner. He’s pretty good without the passing numbers, so that probably won’t be an issue.
    On Fields, the biggest thing for him could be getting to a place where he gets a chance. There just aren’t that many places available in the NBA. especially for wing players. But Marcus Thornton this year was a good example of what can happen when such a player gets a chance.

  9. Sulla
    April 19, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Did you take Hassan Whiteside’s age into consideration? He turns 21 in June.

  10. Ed
    April 25, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Sulla: Yes, Whiteside’s age was taken into account. Younger is always better, but 20 isn’t exactly over the hill. Mutombo was 22 during his first season at Georgetown, while putting up comparable numbers to what Whiteside did at Marshall this year.

Leave a Reply