2009 NBA Mock Draft – Version 2.0
Posted by r1zzo23 on May 31, 2009
A 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 change, but there are definitely some risers and fallers and that will be depicted in this version.
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.
Memphis’ brass has been over in Spain interviewing this kid and Marc Gasol, fellow Spaniard, has talked to him as well and it seems as if Rubio is coming around to the idea of being in Memphis.
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 – Tyreke Evans, G, Memphis
Evans fills the void at shooting guard that the Raptors desperately need to fill. By drafting Evans, they can let Anthony Parker walk and give this kid all the minutes he can handle. If the Raptors choose to bring back Shawn Marion, the Raptors would look poised to be a very good up-tempo basketball team.
Pick Change: previously Earl Clark
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 – DeJuan Blair, F, Pittsburgh
The Nets would love to add another big man next to Brook Lopez. Blair was last year’s Big East’s co-Player of the Year and was one of the toughest players to handle in the paint in the country. He has been shooting up draft boards and if a team really fell in love with him, they may have to move up this high just to get him.
Pick Change: previously Chase Budinger
12. Charlotte Bobcats – Earl Clark, G/F, Louisville
I could easily see the Bobcats grabbing either Gerald Henderson or Wayne Ellington here, but I ultimately think they end up with Earl Clark. Clark is a freak athlete, standing at 6’10″, and can do just about anything on the court. He reminds me a lot of Shawn Marion and, to some extent, Gerald Wallace. Charlotte has tried shopping Wallace on numerous occasions, so maybe drafting Clark allows a trade for a shooting guard to come to fruition.
Pick Change: previously DeJuan Blair
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. Phoenix 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 Phoenix’s uptempo game very well. He’ll need to add a consistent jump shot in order to become a well rounded offensive threat.
15. Detroit Pistons – Jrue Holiday, G, UCLA
The Pistons experimented with Rodney Stuckey at point guard. It worked well, but I think it limits what the team can do. Grabbing a kid like Holiday allows them to groom a true point guard and pushes Stuckey to the bench to relieve both the point guard and shooting guard position. Holiday has been rising up the boards and could even sneak into the lottery.
Pick Change: previously Tyreke Evans
16. Chicago Bulls – Ty Lawson, 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 point guard. The Bulls have recently said they are looking to draft a point guard because it is by far the deepest position in the draft,. Lawson brings a winner’s mentality, a defensive headache and three years of seasoning from UNC.
Pick Change: previously Wayne Ellington
17. Philadelphia 76ers – Patrick Mills, G, St. Mary’s
Philly has it’s lineup pretty much set with Iguodala, Young, Brand and Dalembert, but the impending departure of Andre Miller leaves a huge void at point guard. Philly would have liked either Eric Maynor or Ty Lawson to fall to them, but they will have to settle with Patty Mills. This kid showed he can play with the best the world can offer as he did last year in the Olympics. He has great speed and has a jumper that must be respected.
Pick Change: previously Ty Lawson
18. Minnesota Timberwolves – Josh Johnson, F, Wake Forest
After adding their future 2-guard in James Harden, it’s time to right the wrong that was the pick of Corey Brewer. Currently, Mike Miller is manning the small forward position, but with only one year remaining on his contract, Johnson would be a good backup that could turn into a good starter in a year or two.
Pick Change: previously Patrick Mills
19. Atlanta Hawks – BJ Mullens, C, Ohio State
Atlanta would have loved to add a point guard at this pick, but Jeff Teague isn’t intriguing enough to do so. With Zaza Pachulia possibly leaving in free agency, the Hawks add a project center with huge upside. Mullens is a legit 7-footer and is very mobile for his size. Mullens is as raw as they come, but could turn out to be a great center to pair up with Al Horford in the long run.
Pick Change: previously Jrue Holiday
20. Utah Jazz – Wayne Ellington, G, North Carolina
Watching the Jazz play the Lakers in the playoffs this season was a slap in the face to the shooting guard position for Utah. Ronnie Price started at the position and Kobe Bryant refused to cover him due to his lack of shooting ability. Wayne Ellington brings a great shooters stroke and an ability to get to the rim at times. He’s very active defensively and could benefit from playing with a great point guard like Deron Williams.
Pick Change: previously James Johnson
21. New Orleans Hornets – Austin Daye, F, Gonzaga
The Hornets don’t lose any of their key contributors and are just looking to add a piece to help groom for future help. I personally think the Hornets trade or sell this pick, but if they keep it, Austin Daye is a player with amazing potential. I originally didn’t have him in my first round, but I think New Orleans could bite and groom him to become a running mate with Chris Paul for a long time.
Pick Change: previously Gani Lawal
22. Dallas Mavericks – Chase Budinger, G/F, Arizona
The Mavericks need to find a better starter than Antoine Wright at shooting guard. Dallas could go point guard here with Jason Kidd possibly gone, but I think there’s a good chance they keep him in Big D. Budinger is a great athlete and has a sweet stroke, something Dallas could use at the shooting guard position.
Pick Change – previously Darren Collison
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 Gani Lawal, but I think Portland would rather grab a more polished player with the possibility of instant impact.
25. Oklahoma City Thunder – Gani Lawal, F, Georgia Tech
Gani Lawal is a player with tremendous upside, but is a bit small for the power forward position. What he lacks in size, he makes up for it with his athleticism. He’s a very good rebounder, but has a very limited offensive game outside of layups and dunks. If he can work on a couple post moves and a 13-15 foot jumper, he could turn himself into a good player in the league.
Pick Change – previously Taj Gibson
26. Chicago Bulls – Terrence Williams, G/F, Louisville
After adding a point guard to the mix, the Bulls continue to bolster their perimeter with the all-everything guard/forward from Louisville, Terrence Williams. He’s not as tall, nor the athlete, as his teammate Earl Clark, but he’s got the same all-around game that makes him very intriguing. He lead the team in scoring, rebounds and assists and could turn out to be a good replacement for Ben Gordon if he ends up leaving.
Pick Change – previously BJ Mullens
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 – Jeff Teague, G, Wake Forest
With James Harden and Josh Johnson already selected, the Timberwolves look for a possible franchise point guard as the Randy Foye era could be coming to an end sooner rather than later. Teague is more of a scorer, but he did lead Wake Forest this past season to he top spot in the AP Poll at one point and they were constantly ranked in the top-10. He’ll need to work on his defense as he may not be able to get by with just his offense in the NBA.
Pick Change – previously Terrence Williams
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. Darren Collison from UCLA, 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.