Updated: Jul 8, 2020
By Eli Cooper
They say hindsight is always 20-20, and it's 100 percent true. So this is the first of a 10 part series I'll be doing, where I re-draft the first round of each NBA draft class over the past decade. These re-drafts will mostly be based on how each player has turned out over their careers. For the first part of this series, I'll be starting with the 2010 NBA Draft. This class went on to produce multiple all-star players, and a few quality role players. Let's take a look at how this draft, should have played out.
Pick 1: Washington Wizards
- Paul George, Fresno State
John Wall has by no means been a bust for the Wizards, and at the time he was an obvious choice for the Wizards. However it is safe to say PG has had the best career of the players in this draft class. He's by far the best two-way player from this draft, was the best player for a Pacers team that went to the conference finals and gave the "Heatles" a run for their money. His 69.1 career win shares are the most of this group by a large margin, and he missed an entire season after a gruesome leg injury he suffered with Team USA. He's now an elite second option for a Clippers team that has a strong chance at winning an NBA title when the league restarts in July. Since we have the privilege of using hindsight, Paul George is the obvious first overall pick for this re-draft.
Pick 2: Philadelphia Sixers
- Demarcus Cousins, Kentucky
Well, we've reached the part where I get to weep about one of the many missed opportunities in the draft by my beloved Sixers. Now I must say, when we drafted Evan Turner, I was actually really excited about it. He was a walking triple double at Ohio State, and one of my favorite players. I was blinded by my fandom to see his flaws that would keep him from being an elite NBA player. While he was a serviceable player for the Sixers for many years, he's no Demarcus Cousins.
Prior to his unfortuante achilles, and now ACL injuries, Demarcus Cousins was widely considered the best center in the NBA during the prime years of his NBA career. Even after the limited action over the past 2 seasons, he still holds career averages of 21.2 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. Prior to his injuries he was even improving as a stretch big man, shooting just over 35% on just over 5 attempts per game from 2016-2018.
Even though Boogie ranks just 7th in win shares amongst the 2010 NBA Draft, much of that is due to him playing for a completely inept franchise like the Sacramento Kings for most of his career. Cousins would have been an excellent fit for a Sixers team that featured players like Jrue Holiday, and a prime Andre Igouadala at the time. And his selection here, could have avoided the atrocious trade the Sixers ended up making for Andrew Bynum, which essentially pushed Philly to the beginning of "The Process."
Pick 3: New Jersey Nets
- Gordon Hayward, Butler
Now before you call me crazy, hear me out. There's multiple reasons Gordon Hayward makes sense here at the third pick over John Wall. The main reason is because it was widely known the Nets were trying to sign Deron Williams as a free agent this offseason (which they did). And with the Nets having that information, taking John Wall here wouldn't have made much sense.
However, Gordon Hayward is 3rd from this draft class in win shares (.4 behind Derrick Favors). And if it's not like the Jazz have had a ton more talent than the Wizards over these two players careers. Hayward shoots better from the field and 3 point line as well, and contributes in all areas. He would have made a great complimentary wing to Williams and Brook Lopez. So fit, and efficiency are the reasons Gordon jumps to third overall in this re-draft.
Pick 4: Minnesota Timberwolves
-John Wall, Kentucky
Finally, the original first overall pick comes off the board. Now at the time of this draft, had this actually happened, serious questions would have had to be asked about the direction of this franchise. The year prior, the Wolves infamously took back to back PG's with the 5th and 6th pick of the 2009 draft, and neither of those PG's were named Steph Curry.
However, Minnesota having the ability to use hindsight in our re-draft, would have had the opportunity to somewhat make up for that awful mistake by taking Wall here. Rubio was still in Spain at this point and while Johnny Flynn's rookie season wasn't awful, John Wall would have been a clear upgrade this franchise would have needed. Giving the T'Wolves a clear lead guard to support Kevin Love.
Despite John Wall's flaws discussed earlier in this article, he still holds career averages of 19 ppg and 9.2 apg, and a top 5-8 point guard in the league when fully healthy (or at least he was prior to his recent injuries). He's 6th in this draft class in win shares at 44.3 for his career. Wall would have likely turned Minnesota into a regular playoff team in the Western Conference.
Pick 5: Sacramento Kings
-Hassan Whiteside, Marshall
This pick is quite frankly the definition of hindsight being 20-20. Whiteside who actually landed with the Kings anyway with the 33rd pick of this draft, has more win shares than both John Wall and Demarcus Cousins (both by less than 1 win share). Whiteside didn't quite pan out with the Kings and was out of the league after his two seasons with them.
However, Whiteside returned 2 years later, to the Miami Heat after the depature of LeBron James, and began developing into one of the best shot blockers and rebounders in the league. His offensive game also continued to improve as well, in 2017 he averaged a career high 17 ppg and 14.1 rebounds per game (which led the entire league). And after two seaons of decline in Miami, which included some internal turmoil, he seems to have revivied his career somewhat with the Blazers this season averaging 16.3 ppg and 14.2 rebounds per game.
In our re-draft, The Kings see the potential Whiteside has as an elite rim protector and take him at #5 instead of 33, and hopefully are more patient with his development this time around.
Pick 6: Golden State Warriors
- Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech
Career numbers: 11.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 53.3 win shares (2nd amongst entire draft class)
Pick 7: Detroit Pistons
-Greg Monroe, Georgetown
Career numbers: 13.2 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 49.7 win shares (4th in class)
Pick 8: Los Angelos Clippers
-Eric Bledsoe, Kentucky
Career numbers: 14.2 ppg, 4.8 apg, 42.3 win shares
Pick 9: Utah Jazz
-Avery Bradley, Texas
Career numbers: 11.8 ppg, 16.2 win shares
Pick 10: Indiana Pacers
-Evan Turner, Ohio State
Career numbers: 9.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.5 apg, 20.2 win shares
Pick 11: New Orleans Hornets
-Ed Davis, UNC
Career numbers: 6.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 41.7 win shares
Pick 12: Memphis Grizzlies
-Patrick Patterson, Kentucky
Career numbers: 6.7 ppg, 4 rpg, 30.2 win shares
Pick 13: Toronto Raptors
-Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest
Career numbers: 7.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 27.5 win shares
Pick 14: Houston Rockets
-Trevor Booker, Clemson
Career numbers: 6.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 26.2 win shares
Pick 15: Milwaukee Bucks, Lance Stephenson
Pick 16: Minnesota T'Wolves,Nemanja Bjelica
Pick 17: Chicago Bulls, Landry Fields
Pick 18: Oklahoma City Thunder, Larry Sanders
Pick 19: Boston Celtics, Greivis Vasquez
Pick 20: San Antonio Spurs, Wesley Johnson
Pick 21: Oklahoma City Thunder, Jordan Crawford
Pick 22: Portland Trailblazers, Quincy Pondexter
Pick 23: Minnesota T'Wolves, Luke Babbitt
Pick 24: Atlanta Hawks, Epke Udoh
Pick 25: Memphis Grizzlies, Kevin Seraphin
Pick 26: Oklahoma City Thunder, Cole Aldrich
Pick 27: New Jersey Nets, Jeremy Evans
Pick 28: Memphis Grizzlies, James Anderson
Pick 29: Orlando Magic, Xavier Henry
Pick 30: Washington Wizards, Elliot Williams