Last week, the NBA announced that 103 players, including 80 players from U.S. colleges and 23 international players, have filed as early entry candidates for the 2010 NBA Draft. While many of these submissions make sense, with only 60 people drafted and countless numbers of seniors automatically entered, the odds certainly aren’t favorable for just anyone to get picked. With that in mind, to come out as a freshman, you’ve gotta know what you’re doing. And this year’s class certainly does, as they’re almost all certainly first round picks. Here are the Top 8 Freshman in the NBA Draft.
1. John Wall, Kentucky
Before Wall even played a game of college basketball, people thought he was the No. 1 pick. And thankfully, he didn’t disappoint in his lone season for the Wildcats. Depending on who wins the Lottery will determine whether or not Wall’s draft position (with the possibility of Evan Turner going first overall), but regardless, this kid was made for NBA basketball.
2. Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech
When I met Favors last year at the Jordan Brand Classic, he looked like he was ready to help an NBA playoff team. One year later, not much has changed. While his freshman season wasn’t as televised or publicized as the quartet from Kentucky, that will have no bearing on Favors’ production on the next level.
3. DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky
While some people might not think he’s mentally ready, Cousins was physically ready before he even went to college. Most people have him in the Top 5, but depending on his pre-Draft tryouts, he could move up or down. Regardless, he’ll be producing in the League next year.
4. Xavier Henry, Kansas
After gracing the covers of many national publications before the season, Henry never wowed people like we thought he might. Nonetheless, his body is NBA-ready and so is his game. Had Kansas not lost so early in the Big Dance, you’d have to think that a lot more people would be talking about him right now. Who knows, maybe he’ll drop down like Paul Pierce did and be one of this year’s biggest sleepers.
5. Hassan Whiteside, Marshall
You may have never seen Whiteside play, but the freshman was a beast this season. In addition to breaking the school’s career record for blocks by a player in just one season, he is widely believed to be a Lottery pick. The question is, will he become the next Stromile Swift?
6. Avery Bradley, Texas
I might be the biggest Bradley fan in the country. Despite Texas dropping from No. 1 to none, Bradley entered college basketball this season as the top player in his class. He’ll show you why on the next level. Tons of teams are in need of a PG/SG that can not only score, but also play D. And that’s exactly his game. Watch out!
8. Daniel Orton, Kentucky
Normally when you’re the fourth best freshman on your team, you’re not a first round pick in the NBA Draft. But things are different in Lexington. While Cousins got the major minutes for the Wildcats last season, Orton was a valuable contributor. Had he gone to a different school, his numbers would have definitely been improved, but what he learned was invaluable. It will be interesting to see where he lands.
What do you think? Would you want your team to take any of these guys in next month’s NBA Draft?
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