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NEWS | July 1, 2010

2010 NBA Draft: Winners and Losers

By Senior Airman Patrick McKenna Capital Flyer staff writer

Each year, the NBA Draft offers a glimmer of hope to all 30 teams. Hope that their respective team lands an impact player that can be the face of their franchise for the next decade or perhaps for teams closer to the promised land, a solid guy to come off the bench and give your stars a breather. Every draft is different. Some are strong due to the obvious impact talent available (2003 NBA Draft picks-Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all drafted top five). Others, not so much (2000 NBA Draft-Kenyon Martin, Stromile Swift, Darius Miles, Marcus Fizer and Mike Miller were the top five picks).

It will take a few years to determine how the 2010 draft shakes out, and sure, it'd be easier to just wait and see before judging who did the best and worst jobs, but, where'd the fun be in that?

Chicago Bulls: Winner

You might be wondering how the Bulls can be winners if they didn't make a single selection in the recent draft. Easy, they dealt Kirk Hinrich and his $9 million contract and their first round pick (17th overall) to the Wizards for a meaningless second round pick. Taking that $9 million off of their books put them in a position to sign two elite free agents to max contracts. They already have an excellent young core with Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah and now they'll be able to sign two premier players that will make the Bulls the favorite to win the Eastern Conference.

Sacramento Kings: Winner
When teams acquire an upper echelon player via the draft it usually involves hours upon hours of scouting, debates and drills. But sometimes, a team is just in the right place at the right time and a great player falls right into their laps. The Kings found themselves in such a situation in this past draft when DeMarcus Cousins fell to them at the fifth pick. Cousins is the most talented big man in the draft and gives the Kings a dynamic young nucleus with Tyreke Evans and Carl Landry.

San Antonio Spurs: Winner

Stop me if you've heard this before. The Spurs, despite picking late in the first round, managed to snag a highly productive player. Their latest coup is James Anderson from Oklahoma State. He is a polished scorer with good size who should immediately be a quality role player off the bench. He slid in the draft and the Spurs, much like the Kings, are grateful to those teams that passed on him.

Portland Trail Blazers: Loser
Portland being listed here has nothing to do with their actual drafting, but the antics they were involved in leading up to the draft. They informed general manager Kevin Pritchard his services would no longer be needed, but that he still had to help them draft that evening. What??!?! Keep in mind that Pritchard had done a fine job ridding Portland of horrible contracts over the years while drafting some very good players (Brandon Roy, Lamarcus Aldridge). He essentially got canned because Greg Oden can't stay healthy. They had every right to fire him, but to make him stick around and draft a player he'd never have a chance to watch develop is low. He'll have a long line of suitors whenever he decides he'd like to run a team again.

Utah Jazz: Loser
Look, everyone loves a cinderella story in sports. That doesn't mean you draft one with a top ten draft pick. Gordon Hayward put the Butler basketball team on his back during March Madness and led them to within one halfcourt shot of winning the championship. But, he's a project who will struggle to get his shot off against NBA defenses. Those kinds of players are perfectly fine to draft...outside of the lottery. The Jazz have some serious needs with the likely departure of Carlos Boozer and could have used the pick to draft someone who's less of a project.