The 2010 NBA Draft felt more like an NHL or NFL draft than the typical NBA experience. The summer's free agent class clearly took away from a number of prominent teams wanting to even be a part of the selection process, and turned the night into a drawn out swap meet.
But there were still a lot of proud parents, as a lot of confused basketball players will eventually know where they will get a chance to live their dream next year. When the dust settled, there was at least one man in the room who was happy no matter how many trades happened: John Calipari. For the first time in league history, five players from the same school, Kentucky, were selected in the first round of the draft.
With all the deals that went down, and some that reportedly cannot be consummated until July, it's hard to estimate statistican projects for the rookies less than 12 hours after the draft. However, we can look back at the wild action that took place and determine which teams and players have put themselves into both good and bad situations heading into 2010-11.
Let's look at some winners and losers.
The Bulls will not have a player from this year's draft on their roster next year, but that's why they received one of the highest grades from this year's selections. Chicago has reportedly agreed in principle to trade guard Kirk Hinrich and the 17th overall selection, Kevin Seraphin from France, to the Washington Wizards for essentially nothing.
So how is trading a captain and top-20 pick for nothing a good thing? It opens enough cap space this summer for the Bulls to sign two max contracts to join Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. Of the teams with a lot of cap space, Chicago has the best pieces in place to fill the roster around a top-tier free agent like LeBron James or Chris Bosh. By clearing enough cap space to sign two max deals, they are now poised to be a major player this summer.
They win for all of the same reasons the Bulls do. The unloaded their first round pick with Daequan Cook on Wednesday to clear enough space that Miami can now afford to sign Dwyane Wade and two other max contracts. Miami might be the first team in the history of any professional sport to completely empty their roster and start from scratch, though, as they now have only three players under contract for 2010-11, highlighted by underwhelming Michael Beasley.
The Pistons won't be players for a superstar in free agency this summer, but did an excellent job of adding two qualiy players in the draft. When Georgetown big man Greg Monroe fell into their lap at the seventh overall pick, Detroit did a good job to grab him. Detroit has dealt with the losses of key frontcourt players like Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess, and the reality that Ben Wallace is old, in the past couple years and ended up in the top ten picks because their only real big man was Jason Maxiell last year. Monroe is an instant upgrade, and could see significant minutes in a good situation for a polished big this year.
In the second round the Pistons selected athletic Terrico White, who will bring a creativity to the backcourt that Ben Gordon doesn't provide.
New Jersey Nets
The Nets are an intriguing case study because they took the opposite approach of Chicago and Miami. They had the third overall selection and, with a lot of cap space, are trying to get LeBron to make them relevent for the first time since Carter-Kidd-Jefferson broke up.
Despite enough trade buzz to make their draft room sound like a World Cup match (thank you, vuvuzelas), the Nets kept the pick and selected Derrick Favors. Favors could turn into a true superstar in the NBA, and should absolutely be considered a key piece moving forward as the Nets try to recruit big free agents. He's athletic and big and could make noise in the Eastern Conference from Day One.
Later in the draft the Nets added Texas' Damion James, who was a rare four-year senior hearing his name on draft night. James has been compared to James Posey and could be a really nice complimentary piece on a team with a lot of young talent already.
They only added one player on draft night, but it was Evan Turner. The significance of adding the reigning Player of the Year is that Turner plays the same position as Andre Iguodala, who has been a hot name in a lot of trade rumors and will likely continue to be as teams assess their chances of landing LeBron. Turner has a polished, pr0-ready game that could make him a solid pick to have a Brandon Roy - like impact.
How does a team with the number one overall pick, who uses that pick appropriately, end up a loser in the draft? The Wizards certainly did well by landing John Wall to be their point guard of the future, but it was the rest of the event that makes the Wizards a huge question mark moving forward.
The team's biggest headache, and the reason they were in play for the top overall pick in the lottery, was because Gilbert Arenas spent a big part of last year in jail. Now the Wizards add to a backcourt with expensive questions another big contract in Hinrich from Chicago, and Serafin was a reach at 17 if he was the player Washington wanted.
Teams like the Lakers and Spurs win consistently because there always appears to be a method to their madness. The Wizards appear to have madness to their method.
They're looking at potentially losing Carlos Boozer this summer, and have an up-tempo offense with arguably the best point guard in the game in Deron Williams, and they were sitting at ninth overall.
And they take Gordon Heyward?
The kid was a nice story at Butler this year, but looks like Woody from "Toy Story" and doesn't have a body that appears to be ready for the Western Conference. He's athletic, but looks like his upside is Kyle Korver. Not what you would want in the top ten.
Portland Trail Blazers
They fired GM Kevin Pritchard an hour before the draft, and then traded Martell Webster for the rights to Luke Babbitt and Ryan Gomes. Any team that fires their general manager an hour before he does something for the first time in months to earn his salary, you're an epic failure. Pritchard was popular and did a good job of putting together a pretty good Blazers team, but it appears he's filing for unemployment on Friday morning because Greg Oden can't stay healthy.
Bush league move.
The team has one marketable players, Danny Granger, so they draft... Paul George? At ten? This deal is another in a long line of questionable "upside" selections by the Pacers that will have Hoosiers scratching their heads all year. George has a lot of talent, but he plays the same position as Granger and doesn't do it nearly as well. For a team with as many holes as the Pacers are dealing with, to draft at the one position that isn't an issue is ludicrous.