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2009 NBA Mock Draft – Version 1.0

Posted by r1zzo23 on May 22, 2009

Draft 09

With the lottery completed and the order decided, it’s time to try my hand at an early mock for this year’s draft. There have already been some risers and fallers early on and I’m sure there will be more in the coming days. Some teams are looking to shop their picks, mostly in the late first round, but for now, I’ll just assume that there won’t be any trades. Of course, that means the Celtics won’t be drafting in the first round, but my rules are meant to be broken on draft day, so I’m sure Ainge will do just that. Let’s see how the first round of the draft could shake out.

1. Los Angeles Clippers – Blake Griffin, F, Oklahoma

This is a no-brainer pick. He has been the #1 pick in this draft since last November and has won every Player of the Year award you can think of. I’ve already posted my thoughts on this pick for the Clippers, so I won’t go over it again. He’s got the potential to be a top power forward in the league in a few years, but also if he doesn’t develop much of an offensive game, could have already plateud. I don’t expect that to happen, so he will develop into a very good, borderline great, power forward in the league.

2. Memphis Grizzlies – Ricky Rubio, G, Spain

Rubio’s agent has already said they will do what they can to avoid him going to either Memphis or Oklahoma City, but the same agent tried to do this with Yi last year and failed. Ultimately, I think Rubio decides to play for whoever takes him and Memphis, with the #2 pick, should take the 2nd best talent on the board. People widely consider Rubio and Thabeet to round out the top-3 with Griffin, but I could see Memphis consider Jordan Hill at this pick if they do not want to stunt the growth of Mike Conley, Jr. In the end, Rubio is the pick and should embrace the chance to play with OJ Mayo and Rudy Gay.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder – Hasheem Thabeet, C, Connecticut

The Thunder have many holes and are not in a position to draft by, well, position. Other than Westbrook, Durant and Jeff Green have solidified their spots on this team. Nenad Krstic was a nice pickup last year, but he’s not a center you would want to build around. Thabeet would give them an instant upgrade in the defense department and if his offense ever comes around, he could become a really nice player. He must bulk up, but who in the draft doesn’t? Also considered James Harden and DeMar DeRozan at this spot.

4. Sacramento Kings – Brandon Jennings, G, Italy

The Kings have drafted big men in the last two drafts with Spencer Hawes and Jason Thompson. Both of them look as if they will grow into good players in the league. Add to those two Kevin martin and Andres Nocioni, the lack of a playmaking point guard really holds this team back. Beno Udrih was given a horrible contract and the Kings will be eating that while Jennings runs the show. Though Jennings isn’t a pure point guard, his scoring ability will be greatly welcomed by the Kings.

5. Washington Wizards – Jordan Hill, F, Arizona

The Wizards are actually trying to shop the pick, but if they keep it, I think Hill will be a great pick at #5. I think that Hill will be the 3rd best prospect in the draft behind Blake Griffin and DeMar DeRozan. Hill has developed his game to a higher level after every season at Arizona and should only keep getting better. If he can add more weight and some refined post moves, he’ll be a very productive player in this league.

6. Minnesota Timberwolves – James Harden, G, Arizona State

Harden was considered a top-3 pick all season long, but his showing in the NCAA tournament this season may have dampered his draft stock a bit. Either way, the Timberwolves get a great shooter with a calm and a poise of a 10-year veteran. If he develops a killer instinct and learns to take over games, I definitely see a resemblance to Paul Pierce in this kid.

7. Golden State Warriors – DeMar DeRozan, G, Southern Cal

As I said earlier, I think DeRozan will be one of the top players in this draft class, and going to Golden State will help inflate his offensive numbers. I’m sure the Warriors would have loved to grab either Rubio or Jennings to move Monta Ellis to the off guard, but they will settle for the best player available. DeRozan has great speed and athleticism and has probably the most potential of any player in this draft.

8. New York Knicks – Stephen Curry, G, Davidson

Stephen Curry wants to play in New York. New York wants Stephen Curry. Curry is good friends with LeBron James. The Knicks want LeBron to come to New York in 2010. Looks like not only do the Knicks add a perfect piece to D’Antoni’s system, but also a potential key piece in luring LeBron to the Big Apple. Curry will, in my opinion, be a career bench player, but his shooting, basketball IQ and passing will be a great asset as a backup point guard.

9. Toronto Raptors – Earl Clark, F, Louisville

This was one of the tougher picks to make as I was juggling between Clark, Wayne Ellington and Chase Budinger. For now, Clark gets the nod but in later versions of this mock, don’t be surprised if that changes. Clark is an all-everything forward, just like Shawn Marion, but doesn’t do any one thing very well. Those type of players don’t always flourish in the league, but Clark could prove otherwise.

10. Milwaukee Bucks – Jonny Flynn, G, Syracuse

This is a lot earlier than other mocks have Flynn, but I think he deserves to go top-10. Milwaukee has Luke Ridnour, who has fallen out of favor, and Ramon Sessions at point guard. Ridnour will be shopped all season once again and I think the Bucks view Sessions as a nice backup point guard. Flynn can come in and spark the offense with Michael Redd, Richard Jefferson and a big man in Andrew Bogut.

11. New Jersey Nets – Chase Budinger, G/F, Arizona

The Nets have a nice core of players with Devin Harris at point guard and Brook Lopez at center for the next 7-10 years. Vince Carter is still a really good player in the league and could use another scorer at shooting guard. Yi Jianlian was supposed to fill the scoring void, but it’s looking more and more like the NBA is too much for him to handle. Budinger is 6’7″ and has great athleticism to go along with a sweet stroke. He may have trouble guarding quicker guards, but he could give teams a nightmare on the offensive end.

12. Charlotte Bobcats – Dejuan Blair, F, Pittsburgh

Blair was a beast in college basketball last year with his wide frame, big body and relentless rebounding mentality. I, personally, am not that high on him, but maybe that’s because I’ve never been a Pitt fan. Blair should be able to carve out a nice role on any team off the bench like a Glen Davis. If he can develop a jumpshot like Big Baby, then he could turn out to be a very good player for Charlotte, who is in desperate need of a banger (Sean May where are you?). Other players considered at this pick: Gerald Henderson, James Johnson

13. Indiana Pacers – Eric Maynor, G, Virginia Commonwealth

The Pacers need a point guard for the future as TJ Ford is looking more and more like injuries will hinder him the rest of his career. When healthy, he’s a great point guard, but that isn’t all too often. Jamaal Tinsley is on his way out and Maynor will be able to step in and play off the bench for two seasons before taking over for Ford. Maynor lead VCU to back to back NCAA tournaments and has the poise to lead a team as well as take the big shot at the end of a game. He’s got good size for a point guard at 6’3″ and would benefit greatly if he added the NBA three to his game.

14. Pheonix Suns – Gerald Henderson, G, Duke

The Suns are in love with Jonny Flynn, but the Bucks ruined the party at #10. Gerald Henderson slips down the draft board just a bit and would fit in with Pheonix’s uptempo game very well. He’ll need to add a consistent jumpshot in order to become a well rounded offensive threat.

15. Detroit Pistons – Tyreke Evans, G, Memphis

The Pistons could really use a big man as they will probably be losing both Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess, but this is too high for BJ Mullens or Gani Lawal to be selected. The Pistons finally decide on Tyreke Evans, the tweener guard from Memphis. He should be able to back up both Rip Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey on a consistent basis. Detroit prides itself on defense, so that will be an area of improvement for Evans.

16. Chicago Bulls – Wayne Ellington, G, North Carolina

I full-heartedly believe that the Bulls will deal Kirk Hinrich, most likely for a big man, leaving some much needed depth at shooting guard. Wayne Ellington is the best player available and fills a need, so the Bulls take the Tar Heel. Ellington has a great jumper and finally became an effective slasher in his junior season. He gives it his all on the defensive end, but he just may not have the tools or size to lock down many two guards in the league. Still, he should get some good looks from Derrick Rose.

17. Philadelphia 76ers – Ty Lawson, G, North Carolina

Back to back picks yield Tar Heels as Lawson was the floor general for this year’s national title team. Philly has it’s lineup pretty  much set with Iguodala, Young, Brand and Dalembert, but the inevitable departure of Andre Miller leaves a huge void at point guard. Lawson gets the nod for now, but Patty Mills could be the pick for the 76ers if he really impresses in workouts.

18. Minnesota Timberwolves – Patrick Mills, G, St. Mary’s

After adding a great prospect in James Harden, the Timberwolves continue to bolster the backcourt by adding the best Australian player since Andrew Bogut in Patty Mills. Randy Foye was drafted three years ago from Villanova and has been bit by the injury bug. Sebastian Telfair is a decent option off the bench, but they really need someone to come in and stabilize the position. I also considered Jrue Holiday here and hearing that he’s soaring up draft boards, he may not even be available at this pick.

19. Atlanta Hawks – Jrue Holiday, G, UCLA

Holiday was brought in to take over for Darren Collison, but since DC stayed at UCLA one more season, Jrue was played out of position at shooting guard. Still, he’s got great skills and can be a pest on the defensive end. Two years ago, the Hawks selected Acie Law IV and he hasn’t proven to be a worthy NBA point guard. With Mike Bibby free to sign with whoever he wants, the Hawks may want some insurance if he does bolt for another team.

20. Utah Jazz – James Johnson, F, Wake Forest

The Jazz are in disarray. Andrei Kirilenko has been shopped for two seasons now, Carlos Boozer is opting out of the last year of his deal and Mehmet Okur easily could do the same. Their backup power forward, Paul Millsap, is a free agent as well and will command much more than the $800,000 he earned this year. James Johnson is a 6’8″ small forward, but could move to power forward if the Jazz decided to go small. He’s got decent range on his jumpshot and should be a very solid player for years in the league. Also considered BJ Mullens at this pick, but with Kosta Koufos, another one and done Ohio State center on board, the Jazz decide one project center is enough.

21. New Orleans Hornets – Gani Lawal, F, Georgia Tech

The Hornets don’t lose any of their key contributors and are just looking to add a piece to the puzzle to help get them back to the Western Conference elite. Gani Lawal is a monster on the glass and is relentless in the paint. Could still enforce his will on players in the NBA off the bench. Must work on his shot as he really has zero offensive game outside of the paint.

22. Dallas Mavericks – Darren Collison, G, UCLA

The Mavericks very well could lose Jason Kidd to free agency this season, and if they do, they almost have to go point guard with this pick. The top two left on the board are Jeff Teague and Darren Collison. I view Collison as a more pure point guard as Teague is just a scorer, so the Mavericks won’t want to have a duplicate of Jason Terry. This is a reach, but the Mavericks are looking to win a title with their window closing, so they are drafting by position.

23. Sacramento Kings – Omri Casspi, F, Israel

The Kings are in full rebuilding mode and Casspi is being compared to other European forwards like Nocioni and Turkoglu. To me, he reminds me of Austin Daye out of Gonzaga except he’s not adept with the American game. Could be a nice building block for the Kings, or could be a bust. Either way, the Kings could do worse with this pick.

24. Portland Trailblazers – Tyler Hansbrough, F, North Carolina

Psycho T is finally off the board at #24 to the Blazers. Brandon Roy said that they could use a big man behind Lamarcus Aldridge and Hansbrough will come in right away and give you energy and a “lunch pail” attitude. His upside is definitely limited, but there will always be a roster spot for him in the league. Also considered Taj Gibson and Jeff Pendergraph.

25. Oklahoma City Thunder – Taj Gibson, F, Southern Cal

The Thunder, sliding Kevin Durant to shooting guard and Jeff Green to small forward, desperately need a power forward that will just rebound and block shots. Pairing Gibson with Thabeet gives the Thunder two good rebounders with some interior shot blockers. Gibson has a much better offensive game than Thabeet, but isn’t going to demand the ball, leaving Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to continue to dominate the ball.

26. Chicago Bulls – BJ Mullens, C, Ohio State

The Bulls added Ellington through the draft and now will add a project center in Mullens. Reportedly, the Bulls are trying to get a feel for the interest in Tyrus Thomas around the league. Brad Miller and Joakim Noah are currently their other big men. Miller won’t be there for long, so to allow Mullens a season to just sit and learn would be huge for his development.

27. Memphis Grizzlies – Derrick Brown, F, Xavier

The Grizzlies really would have liked to grab a big man in either Hansbrough, Gibson or Mullens, but with them all gone, they go best player available. Derrick Brown is a great athlete, and at 6’8″, should be a nice target for Ricky Rubio to get the ball to. The Grizzlies are now forming a true run-and-gun team with Rubio, Mayo, Gay, Warrick and now Derrick Brown.

28. Minnesota Timberwolves – Terrence Williams, G/F, Louisville

After adding Harden and Mills, the Timberwolves probably look to move this pick. If they can’t, I see them brabbing Williams, the do-everything G/F from Louisville. He averaged 12.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.0 assists last season, leading his team in all three of those categories. He’s a big short at 6’6″ to play small forward in the NBA, but he’s great at using his body and has great range on his newly found jumpshot.

29. Los Angeles Lakers – Dionte Christmas, G, Temple

The Lakers bench could use a spark in the worst way and Christmas has the sweetest stroke in the draft. He’s got legitimate three point range in the NBA and playing with Kobe in LA would get him plenty of open looks. The Lakers could look at a point guard here as Derek Fisher is clearly on his last leg and a backup behind Jordan Farmar would be a necessity. Curtis Jerrells from Baylor or AJ Price from UConn could be possibilities.

30. Cleveland Cavaliers – Sam Young, F, Pittsburgh

The Cavaliers could be a big player in free agency this season with Wally’s $13 million coming off the books. Cleveland prides itself on the defensive side of the ball and Sam Young is a great defender as well as an excellent athlete. He may be a bit on the short side, but he’s got enough bulk and foot speed to still be an effective defender at the professional level.

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25 Responses to “2009 NBA Mock Draft – Version 1.0”

  1. [...] http://biggreenmachine.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/2009-nba-mock-draft-version-1-0/17. Philadelphia 76ers – Ty Lawson, G, North Carolina. Back to back picks yield Tar Heels as Lawson was the floor general for this year’s national title team. Philly has it’s lineup pretty much set with Iguodala, Young, … [...]

  2. [...] http://biggreenmachine.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/2009-nba-mock-draft-version-1-0/17. Philadelphia 76ers – Ty Lawson, G, North Carolina. Back to back picks yield Tar Heels as Lawson was the floor general for this year’s national title team. Philly has it’s lineup pretty much set with Iguodala, Young, … [...]

  3. HELL YEAH!!! I’ve been on the Sam Young-to-Cleveland bandwagon for three months now! This is the first mock draft that has Young going to the Cavs. For that, you will always have a special place in my heart.

  4. r1zzo23 said

    Haha, thanks for the kind words. I’m not a Cavs fan (obviously being a Celtics fan), but I really do think he would fit in great with your team.

  5. Dominic said

    Good mock, but I think Terrence Williams dropped far too much. Teams like the Pistons have been scouting him up. So, unless something unforeseen happens, he’ll go between 15-20

  6. r1zzo23 said

    Dominic, I hear what you’re saying, but in my mock, if Evans is still there for the Pistons, I think they grab him. I’ve been a huge fan of TWill while he was at Louisville, but I think that players that are good at everything and not great at any one thing typically fall in the draft. Would it surprise me to see him land in the top-20? Not at all.

    Thanks for the comment!

  7. LantermanC said

    Do you think that Durant can play the 2-guard? They tried that his rookie year and it didn’t seem to work. He’s pretty good at blocking and rebounding for a man that’s as skinny as he is, but I don’t see him being able to keep up with some of the quicker guys.
    The two guys I would have suggested at the #25 pick would have been Collison or Hansbrough, but they’re both gone just a few picks before. Also, I don’t think Gibson would start over OKC’s Nick Collison at the PF spot.

    Great mock though.

    Also, why are you so down on Holiday, but seem to like Rozen? I think they’re similar players, and both had disappointing seasons.

  8. [...] 2009 NBA Mock Draft – Version 1.0 « Boston Celtics: The Big Green … [...]

  9. r1zzo23 said

    LantermanC:

    I think that Durant can play the 2 guard. His first season, he was a chucker and really hurt the team as much as he helped them. Now, he’s another season wiser and we saw his FG% greatly rise with a much better shot selection. Maybe I’m wrong, but it’s always an option.

    I don’t really expect Taj Gibson to start over Collison right away, but two years down the road I don’t see Collison sticking around especially if Taj grows as a player.

    I’ll openly admit that I may have pegged Jrue Holiday a few picks later than I may have liked. In my 2nd rendition of the mock, I’m sure he’ll be moving up, especially with the news he is moving up a lot of draft boards. Also with Holiday playing out of position at UCLA, I really didn’t get a good look at him to evaluate him as a point guard.

  10. It would be criminal if Sam Young was still there at # 30! He’s way too solid to drop that far.

    T-rex would be ideal for Portland.

    Good read.

  11. I also like Derrick Brown with Memphis, good value pick.

  12. [...] Big Green Machine 9. Toronto Raptors – Earl Clark, F, Louisville [...]

  13. r1zzo23 said

    LantermanC:

    I think that Durant can play the 2 guard. His first season, he was a chucker and really hurt the team as much as he helped them. Now, he’s another season wiser and we saw his FG% greatly rise with a much better shot selection. Maybe I’m wrong, but it’s always an option.

    I don’t really expect Taj Gibson to start over Collison right away, but two years down the road I don’t see Collison sticking around especially if Taj grows as a player.

    I’ll openly admit that I may have pegged Jrue Holiday a few picks later than I may have liked. In my 2nd rendition of the mock, I’m sure he’ll be moving up, especially with the news he is moving up a lot of draft boards. Also with Holiday playing out of position at UCLA, I really didn’t get a good look at him to evaluate him as a point guard.
    BTW I love your blog!

  14. [...] 2009 NBA Mock Draft – Version 1.0 With the lottery completed and the order decided, it’s time to try my hand at an early mock for this [...] [...]

  15. bugjackblue said

    Bobcats fan: Unfortunately, the Celts don’t have anything we’d really want for the 12th pick except maybe The Babe, but then they’d have to accept Nazr Mohammed’s unbelievably bad contract in the deal and make it a 3-way job that returns us something later in the 1st round, which there’s no reason for them to do. If they can get a decent slot in the 20s why should they bother with us at all, right?

    Cats will almost certainly take Henderson, which will be fine. If he’s gone, they’ll take Budinger. Personally, I’d be good with Blair as you project but I have this awful feeling they’re going to try to game the system and bring back Sean May (AAARGGHH!)

    • r1zzo23 said

      If Sean May ever got healthy, he could really help Charlotte out. With that said, I wouldn’t bet a dollar that he can ever get fully healthy again, so I think Blair would be a nice addition for you guys. But, you do have a gaping hole at shooting guard, so Budinger or Henderson could definitely be a choice.

  16. [...] 2009 NBA Mock Draft – Version 1.0 « Boston Celtics: The Big Green Machine 9. Toronto Raptors – Earl Clark, F, Louisville [...]

  17. Boney said

    “The Cavaliers could be a big player in free agency this season with Wally’s $13 million coming off the books. ”

    umm… it’s kind of hard to be a “big player” in free agency this offseason when you’re already $15 million or so over the cap next season WITHOUT re-signing Wally… $71 million+ in team salary doesn’t leave Cleveland with anything more than the MLE this offseason.

    I knew something didn’t smell right when the author had Tyreke Evans going #15 to Detroit when he’s projected as a high lottery pick

  18. [...] 2009 NBA Mock Draft – Version 1.0 « Boston Celtics: The Big Green … [...]

  19. Dave said

    Good stuff!

    I was surprised you had Ellington going so high. I thought he was on the bubble for the first round. Why are you so high on Ellington’s draft chances?

    • r1zzo23 said

      I think that there are others that may be higher on Ellington than I am, but I’ll admit it may be a bit high for him, too. I think the Bulls need SG depth as I believe that Hinrich will be dealt, so I think Ellington would be a nice player for the Bulls to pick up.

  20. [...] 2009 NBA Mock Draft – Version 1.0 « Boston Celtics: The Big Green … [...]

  21. [...] 2009 NBA Mock Draft – Version 1.0 « Boston Celtics: The Big Green Machine – 9. Toronto Raptors – Earl Clark, F, Louisville [...]

  22. [...] week and a half after publishing Version 1.0, it’s time to edit the first round of the draft. There will be many picks that don’t [...]

  23. Joe said

    You’re a muppet! It’s Paddy Mills not “Patty” as in the Irish nickname for Patrick or Padraig.

    After adding a great prospect in James Harden, the Timberwolves continue to bolster the backcourt by adding the best Australian player since Andrew Bogut in Patty Mills.

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