Is the 2010 draft class one of the worst all-time?

The 2010 NBA draft started as a relatively strong class and after just 12 seasons, eight of the lottery picks are either out of the NBA, or free agents.

The 2010 draft class boasts just four all-star players, no rookie of the year winner (Blake Griffin 2009, won), and 50 of the possible 60 players (83.3%), are out of the NBA or a free agent. For whatever reason, this class lacked longevity. So where are the notable players now?

First overall pick: John Wall (Drafted by the Washington Wizards, currently on the Houston Rockets)

By Spencer Fielding

John Wall is in one of the oddest stories for an NBA player. He is a fully healthy star, sitting on the Houston Rockets bench as they have gone into full rebuild mode. The Washington Wizards sent Wall and a lottery-protected pick to the Houston Rockets for Russell Westbrook in 2020. The Rockets currently boast one of the NBA’s worst record’s as they are 10-28. The 5-time all-star agreed to not play for the Rockets this season, in turn, the Rockets will attempt to trade Wall. But with Wall’s gigantic contract and his account injury-ridden past, it will be a difficult task, to say the least.

Second overall pick: Evan Turner (Drafted by Philadelphia 76er’s, retired in 2020, currently an assistant coach on the Boston Celtics)

Career stats: 9.7 points per game, 43.4% from the field, 29.4% from three, 4.6 rebounds per game, and 3.5 assists per game.

Evan Turner was drafted by the Philadelphia 76er’s in their darker years. He was a sacrifice towards the “Process” and he was eventually traded to the Indiana Pacers. Turner would never be able to replicate his Sixer’s success, he would also never be able to live up to the expectations that were set after his impressive college career. Before the 2021-22 season started, Turner would retire and accept an assistant coaching job with the Boston Celtics.

Third overall pick: Derrick Favors (Drafted by the New Jersey Nets, currently on the Oklahoma City Thunder)

Career stats: 10.7 points per game, 53.4% from the field, 7.2 rebounds per game, and 1.2 blocks per game.

Derrick Favors has had an interesting NBA career. He has been a very steady contributor for many years. He never really lived up to his expectations as a top-3 pick but he has turned into a reliable role player. He has played on three different teams in the past three seasons. It is also looking like Favors could be moved again this season since he doesn’t fit the Oklahoma City Thunder’s future plans.

Fourth overall pick: Wesley Johnson (Drafted by Minnesota Timberwolves, currently an assistant coach on the Raptors 905, G-League team)

Career Stats: 7 points per game, 40.4% from the field, 33.7% from three, and 3.2 rebounds per game.

Wesley Johnson brings us the first player in this draft class that is currently out of the NBA. Johnson had all the tools to succeed in the NBA. He had good length, good athleticism, and good size, but he was never able to put it all together. His career will be remembered for being a part of one of the nastiest crossovers in NBA history. (See James Harden crossing up Wesley back in February 28th, 2018.)

Fifth overall pick: DeMarcus Cousins (Drafted by the Sacramento Kings, currently on the Denver Nuggets on a 10-day hardship deal)

By Spencer Fielding

DeMarcus Cousins was one of the best centers in the NBA at the height of his career. Known for his aggressive play and his highlight reel posters, Boogie could do it all on the offensive side. On the defensive end, Boogie was never really a rim protector, but he was a big body that was nearly impossible to move in the post. Boogie is a 4-time all-star, 2-time All-NBA player, and a 2010-11 all-rookie as well. Unfortunately, injuries derailed Boogie’s career. A torn Achilles in February 2018 really hindered his free agency over the following summer. So he would sign a contract with the Golden State Warriors, where he would deal with a quad injury that would limit his play all season. A torn ACL kept him out of the 2019-20 season. Boogie would bounce around to different teams over the next few seasons, but recently he was signed to the Milwaukee Bucks as Brook Lopez deals with a lingering injury. Unfortunately, Boogie would be cut as the Bucks went a different direction, he is now on the Denver Nuggets, on a 10-day hardship deal.

Sixth overall pick: Ekpe Udoh (Drafted by the Golden State Warriors, currently Beikong Royal Fighters)

Career NBA Stats: 3.5 points per game, 45.3% from the field, 1.1 blocks per game, 14.8 minutes per game.

This one hurts since I am a big Warriors fan. I really thought Ekpe Udoh was going to be really good. His main problem was the offensive end. Udoh really never developed any kind of finishing moves. On top of that, his finishing around the rim in general was not good. He also never developed a jumper, so defenders knew exactly what he was going to do. Udoh’s calling card was the defensive end though. I know per-36 minutes isn’t an effective way of showing stats, but for Udoh, it shows his impressive defense. For per-36 stats, Udoh averaged 3 blocks a game. Unfortunately, Udoh was so ineffective on the offensive end, that he was virtually unplayable.

Seventh overall pick: Greg Monroe (Drafted by the Detroit Pistons, currently signed to a 10-day hardship deal with the Washington Wizards, on the Capital City Go-Go)

Career stats: 13.2 points per game, 51.4% from the field, 8.3 rebounds per game, and 1.1 steals per game.

Greg Monroe is the epitome of a good player in the wrong era. He may have been really good in the ’80s, where big men were prioritized and post players were needed, but unfortunately for Monroe, he was drafted in an era where athletic bigs were prioritized. If you weren’t gifted athletically, then you better have a jumper and hang around the perimeter as a stretch big. But he is neither of those things. Monroe is a gifted post player with incredibly slow feet. Even though he is a masterful post player, he was too slow to guard the new age bigs. Monroe could still contribute a lot offensively, but he is too much of a liability on the defensive end. But because of COVID, Monroe has gotten a second chance in the NBA, on a 10-day hardship deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Washington Wizards.

Eighth overall pick: Al-Farouq Aminu (Drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers, currently on the Boston Celtics)

Career Stats: 7.5 points per game, 42% from the first, 33.2% from three, 6 rebounds per game, and 1 steal per game.

Al-Farouq Aminu is definitely an interesting player from this draft. In his “prime” Aminu was a solid role player. He was a good defender that had good length, which allowed him to defend some of the tougher wings for the Portland Trailblazers. He was also able to become a decent shooter for the Blazers as well. He was a good option when the Blazers needed to be bailed out late in a possession. Now Aminu is sitting on the bench for the Boston Celtics.

Ninth overall pick: Gordon Hayward (Drafted by the Utah Jazz, currently on the Charlotte Hornets)

By Spencer Fielding

Gordon Hayward is one of the best players from this draft. The one-time all-star has been a consistent scorer for most of his career. Hayward eventually became a very effective scorer. His time in Boston was a bit tough since he did endure a gruesome ankle injury on opening night of his first game as a Celtic. Many believed Hayward’s career would be over, but he steadily came back and has been a very good player for the young Charlotte Hornets. Hayward definitely holds one of the more interesting “what-if stories”. If Hayward hadn’t suffered that devastating ankle injury, would he have been the best player in the draft?

Tenth overall pick: Paul George (Drafted by the Indiana Pacers, currently on the Los Angeles Clippers)

By Spencer Fielding

In my opinion, Paul George is the best player in this draft class. He is the most decorated player in the draft by far. The 7-time all-star has one of the most heroic stories in the NBA. From an up-and-coming star with the Pacers to a gruesome leg injury while competing for a roster spot to be on Team USA for the FIBA Basketball World Cup. Like Hayward, many thought he would never be the same player. But PG-13 would pick up right where he left off. After being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder to team up with Russell Westbrook, George would enjoy his best season as a pro. He would finish third in MVP voting, behind James Harden and the eventual winner, Giannis Antetokounmpo. George would average 28 points per game on 43.8% from the field, 38.6 from three, 8.2 rebounds, and an NBA leading, 2.2 steals a game. Paul George is carrying the Clippers in a season where they were supposed to be irrelevant with superstar Kawhi Leonard sidelined this season.

Eleventh overall pick: Cole Aldrich (Drafted by the New Orleans Hornets, traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder on draft night, currently semi-retired)

Career stats: 3.1 points per game, 52.7% from the field, and 3.3 rebounds per game.

If you are not sure who this is, I would not blame you. Cole Aldrich played eight seasons in the NBA and also played for six different teams as well. Unfortunately for him, he never truly lived up to being a lottery pick. The big man from Minnesota ended his NBA career with the Minnesota Timberwolves, a storybook-ending at least.

Twelfth overall pick: Xavier Henry (Drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies, currently a free-agent or retired)

Career stats: 5.7 points per game, 40.6% from the field, and 32.5% from three.

Xavier Henry is a player who saw his basketball career derailed by injuries. Shortly after tearing his Achilles in practice, the Los Angeles Lakers would cut Henry a month after. This would be his last NBA stint, other than signing training camp deals with the Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks. He would join the D-League, now renamed the G-League.

Thirteenth overall pick: Ed Davis (Drafted by the Toronto Raptors, currently on Cleaveland Cavaliers)

Career stats: 6.1 points per game, 56.7% from the field, and 6.5 rebounds per game.

If you are like me, it feels like Ed Davis has been around for the longest time. He had worked himself into a pretty decent roleplayer prior to the last couple of seasons. Davis is a fantastic rebounder and a decent defender. He has played on five different teams, over the past five seasons as well.

Fourteenth overall pick: Patrick Patterson (Drafted by the Houston Rockets, currently a free-agent)

Career stats: 6.7 points per game, 44.7% from the field, 36.9% from three, and 3.9 rebounds per game.

Patrick Patterson has been a pretty decent role player over his career. He worked himself into a pretty decent shooter for a big man and he was always a good rebounder as well. Patterson last played in the NBA on a training camp deal with the Portland Trailblazers. He was cut shortly after the preseason ended.

Notable players later in the draft:

Fifteenth overall pick: Larry Sanders (Drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks, currently retired, has discussed NBA comeback, but plays for the “Big 3”)

By Spencer Fielding

Larry Sanders is one of the most interesting players from this draft. He was a rising star in the NBA before he retired out of the blue. Sanders was a force on the defensive end and had incredible athleticism to be a real lob threat on the offensive end.

If you would like to read more about Sander’s retirement, read this article: https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/larry-sanders-bravely-explains-why-he-walked-away-from-the-nba/

Sanders now plays basketball in Ice Cube’s basketball league, the “Big 3.” Essentially a three-on-three basketball league for old players.

Eighteenth overall pick: Eric Bledsoe (Drafted by Oklahoma City Thunder, traded on draft night to the Los Angeles Clippers, currently on the Los Angeles Clippers)

Eric Bledsoe perfectly epitomizes the 2010 NBA draft class. A majority of the draft class started out incredibly hot and fizzled out around their early 30’s. Bledsoe has played on three NBA teams in the past three seasons. In his prime, Bledsoe was a great scorer that could hold his own on the defensive end. Even though he stood at 6’1, he was a good inside-scorer because of his larger frame. After Bledsoe struggled throughout the NBA bubble in the 2019-20 season, he was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans. His numbers would dip again and he would be unloaded back to the Los Angeles Clippers. He is having his lowest-scoring season since the 2012-13 season.

Nineteenth overall pick: Avery Bradley (Drafted by the Boston Celtics, currently on Los Angeles Lakers)

Career Stats: 11.3 points per game, 43.4% from the field, 36.2% from three, and 1 steals per game.

As one of the most feared defenders in his prime, Avery Bradley was a force on both ends. Bradley was a great player with the Boston Celtics, but after being dealt to the Detroit Pistons, his efficiency plummeted. The Pistons would then deal him to the Los Angeles Clippers and Bradley would never average double-digits scoring again after that. Now Bradley is on a non-guaranteed deal as he fights to stay on the Los Angeles Lakers roster.

Thirty-third overall pick: Hassan Whiteside (Drafted by the Sacramento Kings, currently on the Utah Jazz)

By Spencer Fielding

Hassan Whiteside played 19 NBA games throughout his first four years as an NBA player. He played two seasons overseas before making an NBA comeback with the Miami Heat. He became one of the NBA’s most feared rim protectors, averaging a staggering 3.7 blocks throughout the 2015-16 season. Even though his career has taken a turn, he is still contributing to one of the NBA’s top teams, the Utah Jazz, as he acts as Rudy Gobert’s backup.

Thirty-five overall pick: Nemanja Bjelica (Drafted by the Washington Wizards, currently on the Golden State Warriors)

Career Stats: 7.8 points per game, 46.5% from the field, 38.8% from three, 4.6 rebounds per game, and 1.6 assists per game.

Nemanja Bjelica is your prototypical stretch big. Although, the former EuroLeague MVP was being underutilized by his former teams. He is a good shooter, but he is also a very capable playmaker as well. He does get a little passive at times, but he makes up for it in the end. He is a decent defender, and now he has found his way to one of the best teams in the NBA, the Golden State Warriors.

Fortieth overall pick: Lance Stephenson (Drafted by the Indiana Pacers, currently on a 10-day hardship deal with the Indiana Pacers, on the Grand Rapids Gold)

By Spencer Fielding

Lance Stephenson is one of the most interesting characters to come out of the 2010 NBA Draft Class. He was a late bloomer with the Indiana Pacers, but in his best season, he would fill up the stat sheet. He was a capable defender and a decent scorer. He was essentially the guy that did all of the dirty work. Unfortunately, he bet on himself and left Indiana. Since leaving, he has never stayed on a team for more than one season. Another unfortunate thing, he may also be remembered for blowing in LeBron James’ ear during a playoff game. In better news, Lance has played out of his mind on his current 10-day hardship deal, so the Pacers are planning to retain him for the rest of the season.

Fifty-fifth overall pick: Jeremy Evans (Drafted by the Utah Jazz, currently on the Panathinaikos B.C.)

By Spencer Fielding

Jeremy Evans makes this list because of his contributions to the NBA Dunk Contest. In his short NBA career, he was known for his crazy athleticism in the open court.

Undrafted NBA players from the 2010 Draft

Jeremy Lin (Currently on the Beijing Ducks)

By Spencer Fielding

Jeremy Lin is one of the most popular players from this draft. He will always be tied to the city of New York because of Linsanity. During a 12 game stretch, he would average 22.5 points per game and 8.7 assists per game. Jeremy Lin is one of the biggest inspirations to Asian American people all over the world. He proved to so many people that with hard work, you can do anything. Jeremy Lin will always be a person I personally look up to because of everything that he has done for the Asian community.

Boban Marjanovic (Currently on the Dallas Mavericks)

By Spencer Fielding

Boban Marjanovic got a late start to his career, but he has turned into one of the most likable players in the NBA. The friendly giant has made a name for himself because of his size at 7’3, but also because of his ability to block shots as well.

Ish Smith (Currently on the Charlotte Hornets)

By Spencer Fielding

Ish Smith has bounced around from team to team for his entire NBA career. There will never be a shortage of teams who want Ish because of his consistent play. You know what you are getting when you sign him, a quick guard who can score a bit and play make. He is going to keep the turnovers down and he will facilitate the offense while your starter gets some rest.

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