The 2009 NBA Draft: The Way It Should Go
1. Los Angeles Clippers select Blake Griffin, PF, Oklahoma
There aren't many no-brainers in this draft, but Blake Griffin is one of them. He is about the only player in this draft who is guaranteed to at least produce a little bit. He's going to create a big man logjam for the Clippers, but the Clips really don't need Marcus Camby or Zach Randolph.
2. Memphis Grizzlies select Ricky Rubio, PG, Spain
Most likely Memphis will pick Hasheem Thabeet, but that will be a mistake. With Rubio, the Grizzlies will have a formidable nucleus for a running team. O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay would become full blown stars with Rubio creating open shots and dunks for them.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder select Hasheem Thabeet, C, UCONN
The Thunder quietly have built one of the better young teams in the league with Russy Westrbook, Jeff Green, and of course Kevin Durant. They are, however, missing defense and size. Thabeet gives them both of those and will be an important cog to their development. This is about as good of a fit as possible for Thabeet.
4. Sacramento Kings select Jrue Holiday, PG, UCLA
This is where we see a severe drop-off in the draft. Holiday has great potential and is a wonderful defender. However, he was a big disappointment at UCLA and may have leveled off after high school. He's a risky pick, but most of the guys in this draft are.
5. Washington Wizards select Jordan Hill, PF, Arizona
Hill averaged a double-double for the Wildcats last year and will give the Wizards an inside presence. The Wizards are looking to trade this pick but unless Rubio somehow falls to #5 its hard to see them getting many bidders. Hill was a later-bloomer in college, but was considered a top prospect coming out of high school.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves select James Harden, SG, Arizona St
Harden was probably the most underrated player in college basketball last year. He is a very efficient and smart player and will give the Timberwolves a decent outside presence to complement both Al Jefferson and Kevin Love.
7. Golden State Warriors select Tyreke Evans, PG/SG, Memphis
Don Nelson loves combo guards and the athletic Evans tops this bunch in this draft class. Evans is pretty much useless without the ball in his hands so in some ways is like Allen Iverson, however he is much taller and appears to have a more developed shot. Evans could be the best player in this draft or end up as a bust.
8. New York Knicks select Stephen Curry, PG/SG, Davidson
If there is any system where a combo guard can survive, its in Mike D'Antoni's "7 seconds or less" offense. Curry has been promised to be picked here by the Knicks if he is still available and will be an excellent complement to LeBron James when he shows up in 2010.
9. Toronto Raptors select Johnny Flynn, PG, Syracuse
The Raptors missed having T.J. Ford as Jose Caledron's backup last year and will be looking for his replacement in this draft. Flynn is similar to Ford in that he is incredibily quick and is a great penetrator. If Flynn can hit his outside shot, he's a defender's nightmare.
10. Milwaukee Bucks select DeMar DeRozan, SG, USC
The Bucks are an awful franchise and are utterly hopeless. They should re-sign Ramon Sessions and pick the best player available (in this case DeRozan, who has drawn some comparisons to Kobe Bryant), but will likely let budding star Sessions walk and draft a PG.
The draft continues on Page 2.