Top 5 NBA Players from 2010 NBA Draft
Best Current Players Picked in the 2010 NBA Draft
Four years after being drafted is typically when experts and fans begin to really evaluate players from that draft class because they are coming to the end of their rookie contract and many are looking at receiving large contracts for their play. While the 2010 NBA Draft hasn’t produced a lot of great players, some of those who have become stars were definitely surprises.
It’s hard to go back and say a certain team should have taken a certain player. At the time of the draft, that player may not have fit the team’s direction or have even been on many teams’ radars. But when their potential fully blossoms during their first four years, it’s inevitable that many will question the decisions makers from that time. Luckily for some, fate intervenes and places the right player with the right situation, giving everyone a new superstar player to watch each night.
Looking back at the 2010 NBA Draft could make your brain hurt. At the time, the Top 10 felt like solid picks, with Paul George being the most random selection. But six of the 10 remain with the team they were drafted by and only four have a contract extension past this year. Players like Evan Turner and Gordon Hayward are finally making a splash here in their fourth season, but not enough to be considered a star yet.
Once you get past the Top 10 it gets even more dicey. You could say about 12 players from picks 11 through 60 have made any memorable contributions in their first fours years. Players like Ed Davis, Jordan Crawford, Eric Bledsoe, Lance Stephenson, Larry Sanders and Patrick Patterson standout for their solid NBA careers up to this point and a couple have been rewarded with contract extensions.
In the future this list could definitely change, but for now these are the Top 5 players from the 2010 NBA Draft.
5. Greg Monroe
The Detroit Pistons needed a towering center who could score, rebound and defend the rim, which is exactly what they have received from Greg Monroe with the seventh pick. Monroe has missed one game so far and has started every game since his sophomore season. He’s averaging 13.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 0.5 blocks for his career, but is slowly becoming expendable thanks to the play of Andre Drummond.
4. John Wall
John Wall was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, but it’s hard to say he’s lived up to that billing. Wall’s health has been his biggest issue thus far. But when healthy, Wall is one of the best point guards in the NBA. He’s averaging 17.5 points, 8.1 assists and 4.4 rebounds for his career, but hasn’t led the Washington Wizards to the playoffs or even made an All-Star team. He comes in at No. 4 because he’s not had much help in Washington until now and has begun to show the superstar qualities that he displayed while in college.
3. Lance Stephenson
You could say Lance Stephenson is either the biggest or second biggest surprise from the 2010 NBA Draft class, depending on how you rank the No. 1 on this list. Larry Bird saw something in Stephenson to make him the Indiana Pacers' second round pick. Stephenson played sparingly in his first two seasons, but an injury to Danny Granger gave him the shot he needed. His career numbers aren’t flashy -- 8.0 points, 2.9 assists and 3.7 rebounds -- and he isn’t even the best player from the 2010 draft on his team. Stephenson comes in at No. 3 because his potential hasn’t been met, but it’s tough to say Wall or Monroe have outplayed him after seeing what he could do these last two seasons.
2. DeMarcus Cousins
Coming out of college, Cousins was known to have an attitude problem, especially in the maturity department. Those concerns didn’t scare away the Sacramento Kings who took him with their No. 5 pick. He’s had his run-ins with his coaches, referees and even broadcasters, but when he’s reigned in, he’s one of the most dominating players in the league. He’s averaging a double-double for his career -- 17.9 points, 10.0 rebounds and 0.9 blocks -- and getting better each season. The Kings have their franchise player, and he comes in at No. 2 because he could become the next superstar from this group.
1. Paul George
Possibly the biggest surprise of the 2010 NBA Draft, Paul George has become the only 2010 draftee to make an All-Star team or All-NBA team. Larry Bird worked his magic once again, like he did with Lance Stephenson, and drafted a guy full of potential that others decided to look over. George came out of his shell and became the Indiana Pacers franchise player last season when Danny Granger went down. His career averages are lower than those of Wall or Cousins, 14.5 points, 2.8 assists and 5.9 rebounds, but since he finally embraced his superstar role, he’s upped his game. Out of all the players taken in 2010, George is the only legitimate superstar so far, the only one to lead his team deep into the playoffs and beside Stephenson, the only one close to obtaining a championship ring while playing significant minutes, which is why he’s No. 1 on the list.