Friday, June 25, 2010

2010 NBA Draft Results: Top 15 Storylines of the 2010 NBA Draft

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The 2010 NBA Draft went pretty much as expected Thursday night, however several intriguing subplots emerged throughout the evening.
The Golden State Warriors decided against adding more offense and got defensive with Baylor's Ekpe Udoh.

The Utah Jazz opted to go small at No. 9, selecting Butler's Gordon Hayward inside of North Carolina's Ed Davis or Nevada's Luke Babbitt.
Only a handful of NBA teams were active on the trading front during the draft, none more so than Oklahoma City, which pulled off several trades and bolstered a weak front line with Cole Aldrich and young German center Tibor Pliess.
As usual, a handful of players went earlier than anticipated while several players slipped considerably down the draft board. When NBA teams spoke to Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin about Lance Stephenson, he filled them in on the Brooklyn native. The gist? In the 2011 draft, he'd be snapped up in the lottery.
"I'll tell you what I told all the teams that I talked to -- that if he had come back to school he'd be a top 10 pick next year," Cronin told The Post hours before last night's NBA Draft.
"So my message is you might get a guy [with pick] 20 on down that would have been a lottery pick next year. So you've got to take him a year early and develop him."
The 19-year-old Stephenson, a 6-foot-5 freshman guard at Cincinnati and a Lincoln HS alum, went to the Pacers with the 10th pick of the second round, 40th overall.
Actualy, Larry Bird, the Pacers' president of basketball operations, thought Stephenson would have gone in the first round.
"Lance is young and has some growing to do, but he's very talented," Bird said. "I'm surprised he made it through the first round."
Unfortunately for Stephenson, he doesn't go into a great situation roster-wise. The Pacers took Fresno State small forward Paul George 10th overall last night, and they also have Danny Granger, Mike Dunleavy Jr., Dahntay Jones and Brandon Rush. That's a lot of two-guards and small forwards.
Stephenson averaged 12.3 points and 5.4 rebounds with the Bearcats, shooting 44 percent. Cronin said his shot selection and ballhandling need work. But he praised Stephenson's passing and called him "a playmaker."
Fellow local and Big East player Devin Ebanks went three spots after Stephenson with the 13th pick of the second round to the Lakers. The 6-8 Ebanks, a sophomore from West Virginia, hails from Long Island City. He was an All-Big East Third Teamer, averaging 12 points and 8.1 rebounds on a Final Four team.
"I think what his strength is; he really understands how to play. He's got a great aptitude to learn the game," West Virginia coach Bob Huggins told The Post. "You can call a timeout and say Devin needs to do this and this and he does all of it."
Huggins added, "And then he's a guy that doesn't need the ball. . . . He got everything that he got out of the context of the game."

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