The 2010 NBA Draft class is in danger of dying out quickly

The 2010 NBA Draft class is in danger of dying out quickly

On Tuesday, July 18, @KhizHoop’s tweet was shared by Bleacher Report. “Paul George and Gordon Hayward are the only players from the 2010 NBA draft who are still on an NBA roster,” the tweet says.

https://twitter.com/KhizHoop/status/1681150452438556672?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1681150452438556672%7Ctwgr%5Eb5be0362e8ce69bf46088eaa4f91fec4476cb5da%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fhoopshabit.com%2F2023%2F07%2F19%2Fendangered-rapid-fall-2010-nba-draft-class%2F

This makes us wonder how a whole NBA draft class from 13 years ago can be made up of just two guys. Paul George and Hayward were two of the best players in the league at one point. They did important things for every team they played for and are still considered stars in the game. But where did the rest go?

A group of 60 players who all joined the NBA on the same night are almost all gone now. Some of the names in this group were big in the league for a while before going away. So let’s find out what happened to this lost group’s best players.

John Wall from the University of Kentucky was chosen first.

Getting picked first in a NBA draft is a big deal. We’ve seen some people live up to standards and others give up when the pressure gets too much. One of those who did succeed, at least for a while, was John Wall.

Wall became the face of the Washington Wizards as soon as he joined the team. With him and Bradley Beal leading the way, the team in the nation’s capital was at least good enough to compete.

Wall was a five-time All-Star and the winner of the Slam Dunk contest. He was also named to the All-NBA Third Team, the All-Defensive Second Team, and the All-Rookie First Team. Before he got hurt a lot, he had a lot of honors. Wall left DC in 2020 as a shell of himself, even though he led the Wizards to the playoffs four times and became the team’s fourth all-time top scorer.

When he played for the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Clippers, it was clear that the car was still going, but the engine wasn’t working as well. In February, Wall was sent back to Houston by the Clippers. Three days later, he was let go. He had been the first player NBA picked, but no one would take him now.

DeMarcus Cousins, University of Kentucky, was the fifth player chosen.

It was a good time to be a Wildcat at the 2010 NBA Draft. Wall was the first NBA pick, and his friend at Kentucky, DeMarcus Cousins, was close behind as the fifth. In his first season, Cousins averaged 14.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. He was a key player for the Sacramento Kings for the next seven years.

At his best, he might have been one of the best big men of his time. Like Wall, he was a bright star who lost his way after getting hurt. In 2017, he went to New Orleans to play with Anthony Davis. This was the first of many short stays and bad luck for Boogie. Cousins played for five NBA teams from 2018 to 2022. Four of those things took place in the last two.

Kentucky must have tied wall and Cousins together. They met again in Houston Rockets in December 2020, but two months later, the Rockets let Cousins go. Wall would feel the same way years later. Yikes.

Cousins now plays in Puerto Rico’s Baloncesto Superior Nacional for Mets de Guaynabo.

Hassan Whiteside, from Marshall University, was the 33rd NBA pick.

Sacramento picked Hassan Whiteside around the middle of the evening. In his first game with the Kings, he got two fouls in two minutes, and that was all he did. The teams in the NBA G League, NBL China, and the Lebanese Basketball League then switched places several times.

All three of these players have had knee injuries at some point in their lives. It’s like the basketball gods sprinkled knee injury dust on this NBA draft class. But Whiteside’s experiences in the minor leagues and teams in other countries gave him a chip on his shoulder. In 2014, he joined the Miami Heat, and he still looked as good as ever.

Whiteside was in Florida for five years while the Miami Heat tried to figure out who they were without LeBron James. In 2016, he was named to the All-NBA Second Team. That same year, he led the league in blocks and boards. After he hurt his hip, he was reduced to a role player and had to wait a while before he could play again. He led the league in blocks again with Portland in 2020, and the Kings gave him a second chance the next year. Think of that as his last game in the NBA. Whiteside played for Piratas de Quebradillas in Puerto Rico with Cousins in 2023.

Lance Stephenson, University of Cincinnati, was the 40th player chosen.

Lance Stephenson was a good NBA player. You may know him for his blooper reel, but that doesn’t change the fact. He was known for his pranks, but he played his roles well for the most part. He scored 14.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game in his fourth year with the Indiana Pacers.

His early best years in the league were the first four he played with Indiana Pacers. But over the next four years, Stephenson switched teams seven more times in the NBA. In 2019, he decided to leave the league and move to China.

But Stephenson hit the Undo button faster than most people would have thought. In 2021, he played for the Grand Rapids Gold and the Atlanta Hawks before finishing his career with the Indiana Pacers. Stephenson left in 2023 to go to – you got it – Puerto Rico, where he plays for Leones de Ponce.

So they got hurt, were let go, and moved to Puerto Rico. But what about the other people?

When you look at all of the 2010 NBA draft picks, you can see that there was little depth to them. Aside from the players I listed in this article, you might not recognize some of the names. Most of them needed to do better to scratch the top of the league. If the best players from this class have a hard time staying in the NBA, it’s not surprising that others left much sooner.

The 2010 class has had more bad luck than any other class. Who would have thought that a little more than 10 years later, Wall would be hoping for a call-back while Cousins, Whiteside, and Stephenson are playing basketball in the tropics? Paul George and Hayward are the last of a kind that is going extinct, and their fame is also going away.

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