Two days before the 2010 NBA draft, and we’re help to assist and inform. We looked at the top 5 picks from the last five drafts, pushed some buttons on the calculator, and came up with what each pick gives you during the rookie season. Best value? Going at number 4. Can the Timberwolves make a right choice?
Number 5 Pick – 9.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists
Kevin Love, 2008 – Picked by the Grizzlies and traded to Minnesota, Love had a nice rookie season, especially after Kevin McHale took over as head coach, mentoring the former Bruin. Love usually came up from the bench for the Timberwolves, but after Al Jefferson tore his ACL, Love got much more playing time and even won the March rookie of the month award. He finished the season with 11.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game (9th in the NBA).
Raymond Felton, 2005 – Picked after Deron Williams and Chris Paul, Felton was actually better than Deron during his rookie season, becoming a starter for the young Bobcats franchise, averaging 11.9 points and 5.6 assists while playing just over 30 minutes a night.
Jeff Green, 2007 – Picked by the Celtics and traded to Seattle (part of the Ray Allen deal), Green had a good rookie season alongside Kevin Durant, also a rookie that year. Green averaged 10.5 points and 4.7 rebounds during his rookie season, making the 2007-2008 All-Rookie first team.
Shelden Williams, 2006 – Bust. 5.5 Points and 5.4 rebounds during his rookie season, playing 18.7 minutes a night for Atlanta. That has been his best season.
Ricky Rubio, 2009 - Preferred staying in Europe and sign with Barcelona than take his chances with the Timberwolves.
Number 4 Pick – 13.2 Points, 5.4 Rebounds, 4.7 Assists
Tyreke Evans, 2009 – The 2009-2010 NBA rookie of the year, Evans’ looks like a huge star in the making, taking over a young Sacramento Kings team from the get go, especially after Kevin Martin got injured in the beginning of the season that just ended. He averaged 20.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists in 37 minutes a night, only the fourth player in NBA history to do a 20-5-5. The other three? Oscar, MJ and LeBron.
Chris Paul, 2005 – Another rookie of the year (2005-2006) and when he isn’t injured, probably the best point guard in the NBA. Paul averaged 16.1 points, 7.8 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game in 36 minutes a night, immediately becoming the star and leader of the Hornets.
Russell Westbrook, 2008 – Part of the frightening team that was built in Oklahoma City the past three years. Westbrook was Kevin Love’s teammate at UCLA and opted for the pro’s alongside the big man. Westbrook had a very good rookie campaign, averaging 15.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 5.3 assists in 32.5 minutes, making the All-Rookie first team.
Mike Conley, Jr. , 2007 – Memphis have also been building something nice, and Conley is the point guard of the Grizzlies, finally becoming the sole holder of the starter position in 2009-2010. His rookie year? up and down, averaging 9.1 points with 4.2 assists in 26 minutes a night.
Tyrus Thomas, 2006 – Not a bust yet, but I’m pretty sure the Bulls regret the trade that sent Aldridge to Portland for Thomas on draft night. Thomas is no longer with Chicago, now playing with the Bobcats. He didn’t get much playing time during his rookie season, but showed lots of promise in 13 minutes a night, with 5.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.
Number 3 Pick – 12.2 Points, 4.4 Rebounds, 2.6 Assists
O.J. Mayo, 2008 – Picked by the Timberwolves but traded for Kevin Love and more, Mayo had an excellent rookie season, selected in the All-Rookie first team and finishing second behind Derrick Rose for Rookie of the year. He averaged 18.5 points in 38 minutes a night, starting all 82 games for Memphis.
Al Horford, 2007 – A two time NCAA Finals MVP, Horford left Florida as an all-conquering champion, winning two titles for Billy Donovan and the Gators. He was the final piece in the puzzle of making the Hawks a playoff team after a very long time, averaging 10.1 points and 9.7 rebounds in 31.4 minutes a night, making the All-Rookie first team.
Deron Williams, 2005 – It has been a common debate among fans, who’s better, Paul or Williams? Well, during their rookie season, Williams wasn’t nearly as impressive as CP3, starting 47 games for Utah while starting 33 on the bench, averaging 10.8 points and 4.5 assists in 28.8 minutes a night. He made the All-Rookie first team alongside Paul.
James Harden, 2009 – Didn’t start even once for the Thunder this season, but they do have a very good duo at Forward. Harden averaged 9.9 points and 3.2 rebounds in 22 minutes a night, making the All-Rookie second team.
Adam Morrison, 2006 – We already addressed Morrison’s bust status last month, but his rookie season wasn’t THAT bad. He was a starter at first of the Bobcats, but his awful shooting and defense sent him to the bench, and he hasn’t picked himself up since. He averaged 11.8 points, but shot 37.6% from the field. He’s since moved on to the Lakers, winning two titles by watching and cheering from the bench.
Number 2 Pick – 11 Points, 4.6 Rebounds, 1 Assist
Kevin Durant, 2007 – Arguably one of the top 3 players in the league, with some saying he’ll be better than LeBron in a few years. Durant was fantastic from the start, averaging 20.3 points with 4.4 rebounds playing with the Sonics during the final season of Basketball in Seattle (until someone gets them a new franchise), winning the 2008 Rookie of the year and proving Portland they should have went with him.
Michael Beasley, 2008 – Like Durant, Beasley had a monster freshman year in college, leading the nation in rebounding (12.4) while dropping 26.2 points a night and breaking the Big 12 double-double record with 26. Chicago went with Derrick Rose, wise choice. Beasly is good, but wasn’t great, and it’s doubtful he ever will be. Averaged 13.9 points with 5.4 rebounds, playing 24.8 minutes a night, usually coming off the bench. He was in the All-Rookie First team.
LaMarcus Aldridge, 2006 – Picked for his raw talent after two years in Texas, Aldridge didn’t produce right away, having a quiet rookie season, playing 22 minutes a night, providing 9 points and 5 rebounds a game. He’s much better now, averaging 18-8, with Chicago feeling sorry about trading him with Tyrus Thomas on draft night. He made the All-Rookie team in 2007.
Marvin Williams, 2005 – Played only one season with North Carolina, but winning the national championship made him think he’s had enough. Picked during Atlanta’s frenzy with athletic swing-men, Williams was picked ahead of Deron Williams and Chris Paul. He started only 7 times during 2005-2006, playing 79 games, averaging 8.5 points and 4.8 rebounds in 24 minutes a night. Although he’s a started for the Hawks now, he hasn’t made a huge leap and seemed to have regressed in 2009-2010.
Hasheem Thabeet, 2009 – What a failure. Yes, he’s been in the league for only a year, but getting demoted to the D-League during the season doesn’t bode well. Too raw of a talent, but who knows, with a lot of hard work could become a decent backup center. The Tanzanian left UCONN too early. He played only 13 minutes a night with Memphis, averaging 3.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.
Number 1 Pick – 11.7 Points, 5.5 Rebounds, 2.5 Assists
Derrick Rose, 2008 – Two years in the league and already an All-Star, Rose looks like a star who’s going to be with us for a long time. He needed only one college season to get picked number one in the 2008 draft, and immediately became the Bulls’ leader and best player, averaging 16.8 points and 6.3 assists, playing 37 minutes a night. He won the NBA’s Rookie of the year.
Andrea Bargnani, 2006 – A very surprising pick by Toronto a few years back, Bargnani isn’t exactly a superstar, but has developed into a very good player. He is the first European to be picked number one, and produced11.6 points in 25 minutes a night during his rookie season, making the All-Rookie first team. He has made a very big breakthrough the last couple of seasons, averaging 17.2 points during 2009-2010.
Andrew Bogut, 2005 – Another non-American picked first, Bogut took his time and developed slowly, like Bargnani, having a real breakout year in 2009-2010, slowed down only by injuries. His rookie campaign? 9.4 points and 7 rebouunds for the Bucks, making the All-Rookie first team.
Greg Oden, 2007 – Could go down in history as one of the biggest busts ever, instead of the “new Bill Russell”. Didn’t even play in 2007-2008 due to the surgery on his right knee, and did his rookie tour in 2008-2009, missing 21 games, averaging 8.9 points and 7 rebounds a night, playing 21.5 minutes. Showed some improvement in 2009-2010 but managed only 21 games before injuring his left knee, going out for the season.
Blake Griffin, 2009 – Like Oden, will start his rookie season a year late. Again, knee problem which didn’t heal well enough during the season, making 2010-2011 his official rookie year. During his 2008-2009 season with Oklahoma, he broke the Big-12 record for double-doubles, recording 30, and grabbing more rebounds (504) than anyone else in Big-12 history.