The landscape of the NBA has drastically changed during the last few years. The league’s style of play has morphed, the star hierarchy has shifted and dominant franchises have all fluctuated.
What if we could rewind to the beginning of this decade and redo the 2010 NBA Draft? How different would the lottery look, given what we know now about the top prospects? We dissected each of the top picks to make revised decisions for every front office.
Our redraft isn’t focused much on what teams have done since 2010. Rather, it’s focused on what the prospects have done since then. Let’s break down what every top-10 team should have done with their 2010 selection:
1. Washington Wizards: John Wall, Kentucky, PG
Actual draft: WAS picked Wall
Wall’s career stats: 18.8 PPG, 9.2 APG, 1.7 SPG, 43.3% FG, 32.1% 3FG, 19.5 PER, 40.5 Win Shares
The Wizards’ choice in the 2010 redraft comes down to Wall vs. Paul George. They’re the most dynamic two-way assets in the crop, and both have proven to be alpha dogs on playoff-caliber squads.
Wall gets the nod, and not just because things have gone pretty darn well for him in D.C. It’s hard to find playmakers of his caliber, especially ones capable of checking the elite point guards. His speed, creativity and perimeter defense earn the No. 1 spot.
2. Philadelphia 76ers: Paul George, Fresno State, SF
Actual draft: PHI picked Evan Turner (George went 10th to IND)
George’s career stats: 18.1 PPG, 3.2 APG, 6.3 RPG, 43.2% FG, 37.0% 3FG, 18.5 PER, 44.5 WS
With all due respect to Turner, the 2010 Sixers would have loved to have plucked George. If they had known the Fresno State product would become a star, their franchise trajectory and rebuilding strategy might have changed significantly.
George is easily one of the top-two prospects in this draft and a worthy candidate for No. 1. Philly is getting tremendous value in this redraft thanks to his multipositional defense and offensive versatility.
3. New Jersey Nets: DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky, C
Actual draft: NJ picked Derrick Favors (Cousins went 5th to SAC)
Cousins’ career stats: 21.2, 10.8 RPG, 3.0 APG, 45.9% FG, 33.0% 3FG, 22.4 PER, 36.9 WS
The 2009-10 Nets were historically dreadful (12-70), so they shouldn’t be worried about specific positional needs. They’re looking for the best prospect available, and that’s a tight race between Cousins and Gordon Hayward.
Despite his volatile attitude, Kentucky’s big fella gets picked due to his inside-out talent. He scores in a myriad of ways and is a rebounding force. If he and the Nets gradually jelled, then perhaps both of their reputations would be much different than they are right now.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves: Gordon Hayward, Butler, SF
Actual draft: MIN picked Wesley Johnson (Hayward went 9th to UTA)
Hayward’s career stats: 15.7 PPG, 3.4 APG, 4.2 RPG, 44.4% FG, 36.8% 3FG, 17.7 PER, 43.0 WS
In 2010, Hayward was a lanky standout from the cinderella Butler Bulldogs. Now he’s a strong swingman who scored 21.9 points per game last season and inked a $128 million contract with the Celtics this summer. His shot-creating, passing and shooting are complemented by solid perimeter defense. Minnesota quickly learned it had made a blunder by taking Johnson at No. 4. Hayward would have been an awesome addition alongside Kevin Love.
5. Sacramento Kings: Hassan Whiteside, Marshall, C
Actual draft: SAC picked DeMarcus Cousins (Whiteside went 33rd to SAC)
Whiteside’s career stats: 13.6 PPG, 11.4 RPG, 2.6 BPG, 58.5% FG, 24.3 PER, 25.2 WS
While the Kings miss out on Boogie in this redraft, they get a different kind of impact center instead. They picked Whiteside 33rd in the real draft, but would have plucked him much sooner if they knew he’d be an elite rim protector.
It took a while for Whiteside to develop during his stints in the D-League and overseas. He’s now a towering presence who’s one of the top three or four defensive centers in the league. He has also shown some scoring chops, notching 17 points per game for the Heat last season.
6. Golden State Warriors: Eric Bledsoe, Kentucky, PG
Actual draft: GSW picked Ekpe Udoh (Bledsoe went 18th to OKC and was traded to LAC)
Bledsoe’s career stats: 13.1 PPG, 4.6 APG, 3.8 RPG, 44.4% FG, 33.4% 3FG, 17.5 PER, 23.2 WS
Even though the Warriors already have Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis in tow, we’re going with the best prospect available. Bledsoe would give the Dubs a ton of flexibility in the rotation and on the roster. The strong, shifty Wildcat went from John Wall’s backup to a 20-point, six-assist stud in Phoenix. He’d have a ton of fun developing his pro career in the Bay Area.
7. Detroit Pistons: Greg Monroe, Georgetown, C
Actual draft: DET picked Monroe
Monroe’s career stats: 14.1 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 2.3 APG, 51.1% FG, 20.1 PER, 45.2 WS
We can’t assume anything about what the Pistons did after 2010. We just know they needed some new blood in the frontcourt, and Monroe turned out to be a solid all-around center.
Monroe has good scoring touch and passing vision, and that has helped him mesh with many different types of players. At his peak, he can chip in 15-16 points, 10 rebounds and two assists per game. That’s decent offensive value for a mid-lottery big man.
8. Los Angeles Clippers: Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech, C
Actual draft: LAC picked Al-Farouq Aminu (Favors went 3rd to NJ)
Favors’ career stats: 11.4 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 1.3 BPG, 51.0% FG, 18.6 PER, 33.5 WS
While Favors shouldn’t have gone third in this draft, you could argue he’s more valuable than No. 8. When healthy, he has averaged 16-plus points on 52 percent shooting for the Jazz. The problem is that he has played a combined 112 games out of 164 the past two seasons thanks to injuries. At No. 8, his post moves and improving mid-range jumper are worth the risk for L.A.
9. Utah Jazz: Avery Bradley, Texas, SG
Actual draft: UTA picked Gordon Hayward (Bradley went 19th to BOS)
Bradley’s career stats: 12.1 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.1 SPG, 44.2% FG, 36.6% 3FG, 12.0 PER, 14.4 WS
Bradley was a steal for Boston in the actual draft, and there’s no way he’d last until No. 19 in a do-over.
The Jazz were coming off a 53-win season and had good star power in Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer. They would have loved to have gotten their mitts on a high-end role player like Bradley, considering his stifling defense and off-ball shooting. Bradley has turned into one of the best perimeter stoppers in the league and worthy of a top-10 pick.
10. Indiana Pacers: Evan Turner, Ohio State, SG/SF
Actual draft: IND picked Paul George (Turner went No. 2 to PHI)
Turner’s career stats: 10.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.7 APG, 43.1% FG, 29.8% 3FG, 12.3 PER, 15.9 WS
Indy landed a megastar in George in 2010, and they aren’t so fortunate in the redraft. However, Turner has been a pretty useful player at his peak in Philadelphia and Boston. His shooting is inconsistent, but his court vision and passing skills from the wing are valuable. He has averaged more than four assists per game in three different seasons, including 5.5 per game in 2014-15. This draft isn’t incredibly deep, so Turner is the best choice for the Pacers in the latter half of the lottery.
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