2010 NBA Draft Western Conference Grades


DeMarcus Cousins Kings

Only one team in the Western Conference received a grade lower than a C-.  Can you guess which team it was?  Read this article by Peter Christian for an in-depth absolute bashing (and deservedly so) of what David Kahn did for the Timberwolves.  Click on the team name for individual player grades.

Check out my Eastern Conference grades.

Click here to see my NBA Draft Trades Analysis.

By: David Kay

Dallas Mavericks (C-)
I am actually a little confused by what the Mavs did.  They needed to get a center since both of theirs could be gone this summer and found a great value in drafting first round prospect Solomon Alabi with the 50th pick.  However, Dallas turned around and sold his rights to Toronto.  I liked Jones at South Florida but where does he fit in the Maverick backcourt?

Denver Nuggets (Inc)
Denver had zero picks in the draft and reportedly struck out in trying to acquire a late second round pick to land Derrick Caracter.

Golden State Warriors (B)
G-State actually had a solid draft for the second straight year.  Udoh fills a need for a shot blocker inside and should be ready to contribute right away.  He may not have the up-side that Monroe or Davis have but is a fairly safe pick at six.  The Warriors used their 34th selection to get cash and another pick which they then dealt in the salary dump trade of Corey Maggette.

Houston Rockets (A)
In a draft somewhat underwhelming after the top five prospects, the Rockets scored a great fit with their only pick of the night.  Houston had no real pressing need, but landed a physical power forward who should be able to come in right away and provide some energy and physicality off the bench, possibly making a nice frontcourt mate for a returning Yao.

Los Angeles Clippers (A-)

Their two biggest needs were finding a small forward and adding some backcourt depth so the Clips definitely made some smart decisions.  (Yes, I am actually saying that about the Clippers organization.)  Aminu could become the team’s starting small forward right away depending on what they do in free agency while Bledsoe and Warren both have home run potential especially considering how low they fell.  My only concern is if the Clippers end up giving a lottery pick to OKC down the line in the Bledsoe trade.  But for present time, kudos to the Clips for a very impressive draft.

Los Angeles Lakers (A-)

When you are the defending champs and only have two second round picks, you are looking for guys who can potentially be groomed into role players.  That is exactly what the Lakers found.  Ebanks and Caracter won’t be asked to do much during their rookie seasons but were solid values and should get exponentially better just practicing with the Lakers.  In a couple of years, both guys could develop into second round steals.  My only beef is the Lakers not adding a young point guard which is why they get an A- instead of an A.

Memphis Grizzlies (B-)
Heading into the draft with three first round picks, the Griz came out of it with Xavier Henry, Greivis Vasquez, and cash which is a good, but not great haul.  Vasquez went a little high at 28 for my taste, but Henry at 12 could be a great get down the line.

Minnesota Timberwolves (D+)
2009 was the point guard draft for GM David Kahn as he used the team’s first three picks on the position (though one was traded.)  This year it was all about the small forward as Kahn drafted four small forwards with five picks, trading one of them and SF Ryan Gomes for another small forward.  I am not sure what Kahn is thinking.  He did upgrade their wing depth which was a must but I think he gave up too much to get Webster and didn’t address the need for an athletic big man which makes me think Darko will be re-signed.  Ish.

2010 NBA Draft

New Orleans Hornets
New Orleans went with the quantity over quality approach in the draft, trading down from the 11th spot to acquire two picks in the twenties.  In the process, the Hornets shed about $6.6 million in salary for the up-coming season by trading Morris Peterson.  Brackins and Pondexter are quality picks and should contribute off the bench right away.  I actually would have given a higher grade if they would have kept Aldrich but I do like them dumping some salary.

Oklahoma City Thunder (B+)
Sam Presti was incredibly active with his four picks, making four draft day trades.  He turned #32 into Daequan Cook and #18 which was a great decision even though Cook doesn’t figure to be a rotation guy.  He then took on more salary in order to get the 11th pick and the defensive-minded center the team was looking for.  OKC also dealt the 18th pick to the Clippers for a future first rounder which based on the Clips history, could be a great deal for the future.  Presti also bought a pick from Atlanta to grab a foreign guy the team thinks has a promising future and acquired cash and a late pick for their 51st pick.  That must be one expensive phone bill with all the calls they were making but in the end, OKC added some depth to their wing (if Cook and Mo Pete even stay on the roster), some nice young size, and more flexibility for the future.

Phoenix Suns (B)
With no first rounders and a pair of second round picks, Phoenix did a nice job with what they had.  As expected, the Suns added some depth at the four with Amare Stoudemire likely leaving via free agency.  Lawal is nice selection at 46 while Collins is a solid Mr. Irrelevant.  My only concern is that Lawal and Collins do not have the ideal games for a run-and-gun style of offense but you can only do so much in the second round.

Portland Trail Blazers (C)
First off, WONERFUL timing by the Blazers.  Way to tell your general manager he is getting canned just hours before the draft.  Still, give Kevin Pritchard credit for not intentionally butchering this draft.  Here is what confuses me about their picks; Portland is a pretty deep team but added four bodies through the draft.  Williams and Johnson will join an already crowded backcourt while Babbitt and Gomes play the same position.  I thought for sure Portland would address their need for an insurance policy at center since Greg Oden is ALWAYS hurt.  They added talent on draft day, but will they actually see playing time?

Sacramento Kings (A)
From a pure talent standpoint, Sac-town ended up with two of the best players in the draft.  However, there is no bigger risk/reward draft than taking Cousins and Whiteside who are probably the two most immature players and biggest question marks in the draft.  Five years from now, the Kings could look like absolute geniuses for these two selections or they could be absolute disasters.  I love that they rolled the dice and why not?  It’s not like any other player available was going to make a franchise-changing impact like these two guys possibly could.

San Antonio Spurs (A)
R.C. Buford made more draft magic again for the Spurs.  A year after stealing DeJuan Blair in the second round, San Antonio made two great picks.  Anderson is a proven scorer who adds some punch to the wing and ready to be a rotation guy from the opening tip.  I really like Richards’ potential and think he has the chance to be a valuable NBA player even if he ends up staying in Europe for another year or two.

Utah Jazz (C-)
Let me just get this cliche joke out of the way: Hayward is a perfect fit in Utah because he is white.  Ok.  Moving on… I think nine is too high on Hayward when players like Ed Davis, Xavier Henry, and Paul George were still on the board.  With that being said, Hayward will probably be a nice fit in Utah who was looking for a shooter on the wing since Kyle Korver is a free agent.  I don’t see Evans being an NBA player, but look what Utah did with undrafted free agent Wesley Matthews last year, so you never know.


  1. paulmbanks says

    I agree the gordon hayward jokes are cliche. kind of funny but still cliche. I was rather disappointed in Utah’s draft. Yet another disappointment like all those guys I interviewed and wrote about this year (Bouldin, Scheyer, etc.) who didn’t get drafted.

  2. agtsmo159 says

    Soon thereafter the first man prayed for a house, clothes and more food. The next day, like magic, all of these things were given to him. However, the second man still had nothing.

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