Denton: If 2010 NBA Draft Was Redone

By John Denton
June 22, 2013

ORLANDO – In the days, weeks, months and years following the June 27th NBA Draft, the players selected will become subject to revisionist history. Not only will that draft class be forever linked, but those players will also be compared against one another every time they face off.

Because the impact of a high draft pick can be so great – or disastrous, for that matter – there will be much attention paid to the order that players are selected in the NBA Draft later this month. The Orlando Magic have the second pick, just behind the Cleveland Cavaliers at the top of the draft order. Washington, Charlotte and Phoenix round out the top five picks.

The Magic have a long history of getting it right when they select in the top five of the NBA Draft, picking Dennis Scott (1990), Shaquille O’Neal (1992), Chris Webber (who was traded for Penny Hardaway in 1993), Mike Miller (2000) and Dwight Howard (2004). O’Neal, Hardaway and Scott formed the foundation on Orlando’s 1995 team that reached the NBA Finals, while Howard led the 2009 Magic to the NBA Finals. And Miller emerged from a weak draft class in 2000 as the Rookie of the Year.

The course of history in the NBA could have been dramatically different had players been properly evaluated and drafted accordingly. While some picks were dead on, most GMs would like a do-over with the benefit of history to make their picks.

Imagine if any of three Hall of Famers Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley or John Stockton had gone No. 2 to Portland instead of Sam Bowie in 1984. What if Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade or Chis Bosh had been taken by the Detroit Pistons in 2003 instead of wasting that pick on Darko Milicic? And what if Portland, and not Oklahoma City, had grabbed Kevin Durant with the top pick in 2007 rather than the brittle Greg Oden?

As the saying goes, hindsight is always 20/20, so with the benefit of history before us let’s look back at the past 10 years of NBA Drafts and pick how those draft nights should have unfolded. There have been draft night home runs and major misses in recent years, so let’s pinpoint how the top five picks (plus the Magic’s picks) of those drafts should have played out.

Today, we’re going to break down the 2010 NBA Draft – a draft that was notable for yet another point guard going first overall. John Wall was drafted first just a season after a run of 12 point guards went in the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft. The second pick, Philadelphia’s Evan Turner, flopped once again and the depth from this draft was severely lacking.

Here’s how the 2010 NBA Draft might unfold today if GMs were given a do over:


1 Wizards John Wall Paul George


REVIEW: Former Indiana president Larry Bird was criticized at the time for selecting Paul George with the 10th pick when the Pacers already had Danny Granger on the roster. But clearly Bird knew what he was doing in taking an ultra-smooth forward who should be an all-star player for years to come. Washington is in a tough spot now trying to decide whether to give Wall a lucrative contract extension when he’s really had only one sustained stretch of stellar basketball in three seasons.


2 Sixers Evan Turner Greg Monroe


REVIEW: Turner was just another in a long line of second picks who failed to produce much in the NBA. A big part of his problem is he is without a true position – he’s not skilled enough to play shooting guard, not athletic enough to play small forward and he’s not big enough to play power forward. In the right situation, Monroe could become an all-star center because of his no-frills production and consistency.


3 Nets Derrick Favors DeMarcus Cousins


REVIEW: Cousins had the skill set to be the first overall pick, but his lack of maturity and discipline issues caused him to fall to the fifth spot to the Sacramento Kings. Had he gone to the Nets he could have been the second coming of Derrick Coleman, the top pick of the 1990 Draft who underachieved in his career because of immaturity and lack of work ethic. If Cousins ever gets the right coach and some strong veteran leaders around him, he could become a dominant force on the low block.


4 Wolves Wesley Johnson John Wall


REVIEW: A year after foolishly drafting three point guards (Ricky Rubio, Jonny Flynn and Ty Lawson), the Timberwolves botched another draft by picking small forward Wesley Johnson ahead of Cousins, Monroe and George. Johnson is a wing player who can’t shoot and in two seasons with Minnesota he never cracked 40 percent from the floor. He spent last season with the Suns, but he is still a career 40 percent shooter and a 33 percent shooter from 3-point range. Wall also has had his troubles with his jump shot, but he finally showed signs of progress late this past season. He has the explosiveness to get into the lane, but he still dominates the ball far too much and teammates don’t enjoy playing with him.


5 Kings DeMarcus Cousins Derrick Favors


REVIEW: Favors got shipped from New Jersey to Utah midway through his rookie season and it’s taken him three years to finally carve out a role with the Jazz. Because he’s had to play behind Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Enes Kanter, Favors’ growth has been retarded. He did average career highs in points (9.4) and rebounds (7.1) this past season and he could be the starter at power forward next season if Jefferson isn’t retained.


28 Magic Daniel Orton Lance Stephenson


REVIEW: Former Magic GM Otis Smith drafted Orton on a recommendation, but the 7-footer never became much of a threat because of a troublesome knee that has bothered him since high school. To make matters worse, Orton fell out of favor with former head coach Stan Van Gundy early on because of a questionable work ethic. Few knew that Stephenson would stick in the NBA, as evidenced by him falling to 40th in the draft. But his strength, toughness and playmaking abilities shined in the Eastern Conference Finals for the Pacers.


Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Orlando Magic. All opinions expressed by John Denton are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Orlando Magic or their Basketball Operations staff, partners or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Magic and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.





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