I fully understand that you can't judge any player a quarter of the way through his first year in the NBA, but ... still. Every year a handful of rookies explode onto the scene with impressive stats or immediately improving his team's record like Tyreke Evans last year.
This year seems different. I know a lot of draft experts said that this years draft was particularly weak, but come on... are there more than a handful of rookies that are even getting playing time? Not a good time for my beloved Utah Jazz to get an incredibly rare lottery pick. How many have they had? Something like 4 in the last 30 years.
I know Hayward is young, and Kevin O'Connor asked for 2 years before the pick is judged, but the early returns have not been promising. With the notable exception of one impressive dunk, and another missed one, he has done little to spark my imagination. Even though Deron supposedly struggled (not really, Sloan just didn't like him look it up), he had flashes of what he will one become. Even the much maligned CJ Miles when given the opportunity in his rookie year out of high school showed flashes (I have that game on DVD, yeah ... I'm that guy).
Lets take a look at this incredibly weak (yeah I know, this far) draft, pick by pick:
1. John Wall - Wizards 16.7 PPG 8.9 APG 3.4 RPG 2.3 SPG 40% FG 33% 3FG 82% FT
It's too bad that the rest of his team is awful, because he is really fun to watch. I have had a chance to see a couple of the rare nationally televised Wizards games and have been able to catch a few of his mythical coast-to-coast attacks. Impressive. No way he could not have been the number one pick in this draft. (15 games played, 13 started)
2. Evan Turner 6.4 PPG 4.5 RPG 1.8 APG
One of the bigger disappointments thus far. I am not afraid to admit I wanted him for the Jazz. I saw him as a bigger Brandon Roy with working knees. Instead he has been benched a couple times for the putrid 76ers. No looking good in Philly. (25 games played, 12 started)
3. Derrick Favors 6.7 PPG 5.6 RPG
You know things are bad when a guy averaging 6 and 5 has thus far been a top rookie. He looked awful during the Orlando Summer League, but was fairly impressive against the Jazz, mainly because he was dominating the boards against a Jazz team which has been led in rebounding in multiple games by PG Deron Williams. Supposedly he will be Denver's crown jewel in a Carmelo Anthony trade. Good luck Denver. (24 games played)
4. Wesley Johnson 9.2 PPG 3.4 RPG 2 APG
I actually like Wes. I thought he would have been a great fit for the Jazz. Ronnie Brewer with a nice jumpshot. Still, everyone knew going in that his ceiling was going to be a role player on a contender. He was the number 4 pick in the draft. Yikes. (26 games played, 22 started)
The Jazz have faced the Kings a couple of times so far and both times, Cousins looked HORRIBLE. Throwing shots wildly towards the rim. How he averages 11 points a game is beyond me. The Jazz supposedly tried everyway possible to move up to get Cousins. I would rather have Big Al. And I'm not the biggest Big Al guy out there. (23 games played, 11 started)
6. Ekpe Udoh .7 PPG .3 RPG
I liked Udoh for the Jazz. Maybe not so much now. He was injured throughout Summer League, Preseason, and most of the season to this point. I happened to be watching when he made his NBA debut, and I didn't think he looked bad. Pretty active, and he knocked down a jumper. This is the 6th pick in the draft. (3 games played)
7. Greg Monroe 5 PPG 5 RPG 20 MPG
Ah Greg. I wanted him so bad for the Jazz. I still think he will be good. Why he doesn't get more of a chance on the disgustingly bad Pistons is beyond me. Or maybe he's just not good. I don't know. Things are not looking good. (24 games played, 2 started)
8. Al-Farouq Aminu 6.4 PPG 3.2 RPG 47%3FG
Another guy I have seen a couple of times this year so far against the Jazz. He doesn't seem to do anything other than shoot 3's. He does it pretty well though! (26 games played, 14 games started)
9. Gordon Hayward 1.9 PPG 1.3 RPG 37% FG 8 MPG
Don't ... it's just too painful right now. (21 games played, 4 started)
10. Paul George 4.9 PPG 2.5 RPG
In Orlando Summer League, Paul George looked like Tracy McGrady. I don't know why the Pacers have only played him in 8 games. Injury? I don't know, but I was surprised about how good he was. For a Jazz team that struggles at times to score, he might have been a good pick.
11. Cole Aldrich 1.0 PPG 2.2 RPG
I thought this was going to be a great pick for the Thunder, and one that would help them out this year. Instead Cole has spent a lot of time in the D-League. (5 games played)
12. Xavier Henry 5.9 PPG 41% FG 11%3FG
Xavier had been getting hype heading into the first Jazz-Grizzlies game, and had found himself in the starting SG spot. During the game you would not have even noticed he was on the floor. For supposedly being a nice shooter, his percentages are stinky wiff. (24 games played, 13 started)
13. Ed Davis 5.8 PPG 5.9 RPG 52%FG
Davis has been injured, but in the handful of games he has played he has done okay. I was hoping that if the Jazz didn't land Monroe, Davis would be the picks. Nope. (9 games played, 1 started)
14. Patrick Patterson 3 points in 1 game played
I am so happy the Jazz didn't pick Patterson. It would have been vanilla. It would have been redundant. It would have been a disaster.
15. Larry Sanders 4 PPG 3.2 RPG 1 BPG
Another player that had been a little hyped and starting heading into a matchup with the Jazz, and like Xavier Henry, was completely invisible on the court. (18 games played, 8 started)
16. Luke Babbitt .8 PPG .5 RPG
Rumor was this was the Jazz pick. When they opted for Hayward, Portland swooped in as they often do with Jazz players. I am happy. (8 games played)
17. Kevin Seraphin 2.9 PPG 3.8 PPG 12 MPG
I did see him get posterized the other night by Lamar Odom.
18. Eric Bledsoe 7.9 PPG 6.1 APG 3.5 RPG 27 MPG
Finally! A good pick. How Bledsoe dropped this far in this stink-pit of a draft is beyond me. GM's scout right? He gave the Jazz problems here in the there during the 2 games played this year. Very nice late first pickup by the ... Clippers?!
19. Avery Bradley 1.6 PPG .8 APG
Good luck finding the court on the Celtics Avery. (5 games played)
20. James Anderson 7.0 PPG 1 APG 1 RPG
Good luck finding hte court on the Spurs James. (6 games played)
Skipping ahead ...
39. Landry Fields 10 PPG 7 RPG 31 MPG
HOW DID THIS DUDE FALL SO FAR DOWN?! He is sort of garbage man for the Knicks. A little Matt Harpring-y. 7 RPG? From a SF? That is value. (26 games played, 26 started)
55. Jeremy Evans 2.8 PPG 1.2 RPG 68% FG and F-ing CRAZY HOPS
This frankly inexcusable. In a draft this bad, somebody, somewhere before 55 should have taken a flyer on this guy. It's been hard for him to find the floor for the Jazz, but when he has he just starts catching alley-oops. He is my saving grace. Sadly, he may just be the Jazz's legacy of the 2010 draft. Here are the highlights: