With the NBA Draft coming up, I decided that I’m going to do some more NBA Draft posts. And we’re kicking that off with this blog: Where Every #30 Pick in the Last 10 Years is Now. It’s pretty simple; we’ll look at the #30 pick in the NBA Draft from 2010-2019 and assess where they are now. With that, let’s get started with the #30 pick in 2010.
The Washington Wizards selected Lazar Hayward, from Marquette University. He played with Jimmy Butler at Marquette, and was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves shortly after being drafted. He averaged 3.8 points per game on 10 minutes per game his rookie season. The 6’6″ small forward had a career that was in and out of the G-League. When it was all said and done, he played seven seasons in the NBA and a total of 72 games, with career averages of 2.9 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 0.5 assists. Not very impressive at all.
The Chicago Bulls select the teammate of Lazar Hayward, Jimmy Butler! Yup, Jimmy Butler was the #30 pick in the 2011 draft. He is, no doubt, the best player to ever be drafted at #30. He has played for the Bulls, Timberwolves, 76ers, and now plays for the Miami Heat. He’s a 5-time All-Star, 2-time member of the All-NBA Third Team, a 4-time member of the All-Defensive Second Team, and the Most Improved Player in 2015. He also just led the Miami Heat to a first round sweep in the 2020 playoffs. So yeah, best player on this list by far.
The Golden State Warriors select Festus Ezeli! Who? Apparently, he’s the guy who was drafted five picks earlier than Draymond Green, and he played with the Golden State Warriors. He won a championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2015, then got demoted to the G-League, and then spent the 2016-2017 season with the Portland Trail Blazers. His pro career ended after that, playing 170 total games in the NBA, while having career averages of 4.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 0.4 assists. He most recently went home to Nigeria and re-united with his grandmother, who he hadn’t seen since he was 13 years old. A great way to end this story for Festus. However, the Warriors could have selected All-Star Small Forward Khris Middleton, and then hey, maybe they wouldn’t have signed Kevin Durant. All (potentially) because of one man: 6’11” center Festus Ezeli.
The Phoenix Suns select Nemanja Nedović. Another “who” person. He is a 6’3″ shooting guard, who was traded to the Golden State Warriors and played for them for a grand total of one season. He played 22 games that season, and averaged 1.1 points, 0.5 assists, 0.6 rebounds, 0.5 fouls, and six minutes per game. And these were his career averages, because he never played on another NBA team again. Ever. As for where he is now, he’s is currently playing in the Euro League, for the AX Armani Exchange Olimpia, averaging eight points in the 2019-2020 season. After the Warriors, he played in both the Euro League and the Liga ABC. Not the greatest comeback story, but he at least somewhat redeemed himself.
The San Antonio Spurs select Kyle Anderson. He is a 6’9″ small forward and power forward, and he played college basketball at UCLA. He played for the San Antonio Spurs until 2018, and since has been playing for the Memphis Grizzlies. In 2020, he is still on their roster as a solid role player, averaging 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. I mean, the San Antonio Spurs made a decent draft choice, but if they really felt like continuing their dynasty with Greg Poppovich, they could have drafted Spencer Dinwiddie, 3-point champion Joe Harris, or Nikola Jokic! Could you imagine a young Jokic learning from Tim Duncan in his final season, and then taking over as the new face of the franchise? The Spurs would be an unstoppable juggernaut! But instead they took Kyle Anderson and missed the playoffs this year. Nothing wrong with Anderson, but better players were available.
The Golden State Warriors select Kevin Looney! Yeah, I had no idea he was picked #30 overall. The Warriors made a very good selection here, as Kevin is still on their roster and a reliable, solid, back-up center. He is currently injured, but is a 3-time champion. The only player better then Kevin that was available was Josh Richardson, but you can’t blame the Warriors for not taking him when they had Steph Curry and Klay Thompson already. Kevin Looney played college basketball at UCLA. It seems a lot of #30 picks played at UCLA or Marquette…
The Golden State Warriors (again) select Damian Jones! Yup, you’ll notice a common trend here, the Warriors getting so many #30 picks. It’s because they almost always had the best record in the NBA, giving them the #30 pick quite a few years in a row. Anyway, they drafted Damian Jones, another solid big man. He was on the Warriors from 2016-2019, bouncing back and forth from the G-League. This season, he is playing for the Atlanta Hawks. And just in case you’re wondering, he played college basketball at Vanderbilt, not UCLA or Marquette.
The Utah Jazz select Josh Hart from Villanova University. However, he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers on draft night, along with Thomas Bryant (now with the Wizards). Josh Hart was an MVP in the Summer League in 2018, and put up decent numbers in his first few seasons in the league. He wasn’t getting too much playing time, however, and he was recently traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in a deal that involved Anthony Davis, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball. He is currently on the Pelicans, still developing his game and brightening his future.
The Atlanta Hawks select Omari Spellman, from… Villanova. What is it with the recurring colleges of the #30 picks in the NBA Draft? Anyways, Omari Spellman is a somewhat solid forward, who played one season for the Atlanta Hawks, and was then traded to the Golden State Warriors. After the 2019-2020 season, he found himself on the Timberwolves averaging 8, 5, and 1 a game. He still has a long way to go, but he is very young and could very well win a championship soon alongside D’angelo Russell, KAT, and the #1 pick in the 2020 draft.
The Milwaukee Bucks select Kevin Porter Jr, from USC. He was traded on draft night to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he plays today. He has only been there for one season, but there have been some bright spots already, including a 30-point game. Kevin Porter Jr. is a left handed shooting guard, and if he keeps working on his game, maybe he’ll bring back a little respect for the Cavaliers.
Those are your #30 draft picks from the 2010s decade, with the best of them being Jimmy Butler (so far), and the worst being… Nemanja Nedović.
There were also two players selected from Marquette, two from UCLA, and two from Villanova. If you want more posts like this one, please make sure to like this post, rate it and/or comment, and follow the blog. Thank you for reading, and as always, have an awesome day!