2012 NBA Draft Grades: Austin Rivers to Hornets at No. 10

New Orleans Hornets | Last Season: 21-45 | Draft Picks: 1, 10, 46

Season Summary: Not a single person expected the Hornets to be a threat last season following the Chris Paul trade. It should really be no surprise they finished at the bottom of the Western Conference and the entire NBA. Eric Gordon only playing nine games all season was a huge blow to this team and a handful of other injuries prevented this team from really competing with most teams in the league.

Draft Needs: New Orleans selected Anthony Davis right away at No. 1, but the team needs to consider selecting a guard at No. 10.

#10 Pick: Austin Rivers | SG | Duke

Rivers is a combo guard.  He can play point guard, but that takes away his ability to attack at all times.  However, he’s not just a shooting guard either.  He’s great creating for himself and his teammates off the dribble and in pick and roll situations.  Being the son of an NBA coach, Rivers has been preparing for this his entire life.  He doesn’t back down or defer to teammates in clutch situations.  His guys wants to take the big shot, and has proven he can hit it.

Grade: B

2012-2013 Outlook: Obviously, the big question will be how quickly Anthony Davis makes an impact on the Hornets during his rookie season. Still, even if Davis displays big numbers during his first NBA season, this team still seems to be another year or two away before they can even be part of the discussion of playoff contenders.

Check out all of Rant Sports 2012 NBA Draft Grades from the 1st Round.