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Top 10 Picks From The Strong 2008 NBA Draft: Where Are They Now?

Fadeaway World

Fadeaway World

Back in 2008, basketball world was really looking forward to the NBA Draft, as it was one of the most talent-loaded classes in years, even more than the 2007 class that featured players of the likes of Kevin Durant.

When teams draft players, they obviously hope to make the most out of them, especially if they’re top 10 picks, as they have the upside and potential to become franchise changing ballers and turn the tables.

Sometimes, those things work out exactly that way and a newcomer kick starts a new era on a team, while other times, they wind up being huge busts. Today, we’re going to talk about the top 10 picks of the 2008 NBA Draft and where are they now.

10. Brook Lopez - New Jersey Nets

Brook Lopez

When the New Jersey Nets got Brook Lopez with the 10th overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft, they hoped they were going to have an offensive stud down low for years to come, as the big man had a great face-up game at the time.

They weren’t wrong, as Lopez became their franchise player for 10 years before he had a one season tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers. Now, the veteran is one of the main reasons why the Bucks have been so prolific to start the season.

9. D.J Augustin - Charlotte Bobcats

DJ Augustin

D.J Augustin is one of this class’ biggest busts, as he was supposed to become a dominant scorer at both guard spots and run the point for the Bobcats, but he’s been nothing more than a backup point guard at best throughout his career.

Augustin is a major defensive liability and has struggled with consistency ever since entering the league. So far, he’s played for the Bobcats, Pacers, Raptors, Bulls, Pistons, Thunder, Nugget and now Magic.

8. Joe Alexander - Milwaukee Bucks

Joe Alexander

If D.J Augustin was a bust, the biggest bust of this class’ top 10 has to be Joe Alexander, a small forward out of West Virginia that spent the most time in the G-league than having actual playing time in the NBA.

He played for the Bucks and Bulls before trying his luck overseas in Europe, where he’s still balling. Throughout his career, he posted averages of 4.2 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.7 assists on 41% shooting.

7. Eric Gordon - Los Angeles Clippers

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Early on, it looked like Eric Gordon was going to become one of the most dominant and prolific scorers in the league, as he had the skill to run the point but could also play off-ball and create his own shot with ease.

Even though Gordon didn’t fare as good as we all thought early on, he’s still managed to have a very good career, even winning the 6th Man of the Year during his Rockets tenure after playing for the Clippers and Pelicans.

6. Danilo Gallinari - New York Knicks

Danilo-Gallinari-Clippers

Danilo Gallinari was one of the guys with the most upside in this class, he was big enough to play the power forward and had a great range to play as a small forward, while also having some defensive upside.

Injuries have really taken a toll in Gallinari’s career, but even so, he’s managed to stay in this league, so that can tell you how freakingly talented he is. Nowadays, he’s the Clippers’ first offensive weapon, so let’s hope he stays healthy.

5. Kevin Love - Minnesota Timberwolves

kevin-love-partially-torn-thumb-ligament

Kevin Love was actually taken by the Memphis Grizzlies, but the team immediately trade him to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and he instantly became the team’s lone valuable asset for many years to come.

Love was eventually traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Andrew Wiggins, helping the Wolves finally start a rebuilding process and eventually end their playoff drought. Love would go on to win a Championship and is now the face of the post-LeBron Cavaliers.

4. Russell Westbrook - Oklahoma City Thunder

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It’s crazy to think Russell Westbrook was actually Darren Collison’s backup in UCLA, but still, he messed around and managed to be taken with the 4th overall pick, and it didn’t take him long before he showed why.

Nowadays, he’s the Oklahoma City Thunder ultimate icon and a local hero. He’s piled up back-to-back seasons averaging a triple-double, won 1 MVP and 2 scoring titles, but is yet to win an NBA Championship.

3. O.J Mayo - Memphis Grizzlies

oj mayo

oj mayo

O.J Mayo was once the highest ranked player in the nation, and some magazines had him as the best prospect to enter the league since LeBron James thanks to his great offensive skills, needless to say, they were vastly wrong.

The upside was there, but the work ethic wasn’t and Mayo was a complete disaster throughout his brief NBA career with the Grizzlies, Mavs, and Bucks. Today, he’s playing at Puerto Rico and is unlikely to ever come back to the league.

2. Michael Beasley - Miami Heat

Michael Beasley NBA Lakers

Michael Beasley is, will be, and has always been a walking bucket. With his size, length and ability to score from all three levels, he was a no-brainer pick for the Miami Heat with the 2nd overall pick.

Still, some off-court incidents, lack of work ethic and his troublemaking nature made Beasley an expandable guy through his entire career. After finally coming around for the Wolves, he was dealt to the Suns and then eventually waived. He played overseas, came back to the Heat, played for the Rockets and Knicks, and now isn’t a part of the Lakers rotation.

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1. Derrick Rose - Chicago Bulls

Derrick Rose MVP Chicago Bulls

Derrick Rose is one of the league’s biggest ‘what ifs’ ever. He was fast, strong, athletic, dominant and one of the most entertaining players to watch, and he was ready to take down LeBron James as the King of the Eastern Conference before injuries took that big of a toll on his career.

After struggling to stay healthy, the former MVP and ROY tried to get his career back from the ashes with the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers. He was later traded to the Jazz and immediately waived, but Tom Thibodeau gave him a shot with the Timberwolves and he winds up scoring a career-high 50 points to remind us all what he was capable of doing on a nightly basis.

Hopefully Rose win this year’s 6th Man of the Year, he knows the world is rooting for him.