Over 100 days still remain for the 2009 NBA Draft, but it still is not too soon to attempt to predict who will go where. Like all drafts, this one could be vital to certain franchise's futures, or, could simply add a piece they might need to get over the hump and contend.
I will be using the projected order currently on NBADraft.net to make my picks.
1] Los Angeles Clippers - Greg Monroe (Georgetown)
While the Clippers might be stacked up front with Marcus Camby, Zach Randolph, Chris Kaman and have a solid prospect already in DeAndre Jordan, Monroe's potential is too much to pass up, as is the possibility of a fully developed Jordan-Monroe combination up front to replace the current Randolph-Camby duo.
2] Washington Wizards - Blake Griffin (Oklahoma)
Blake Griffin is a beast, plain and simple, and he will provide the post presence that will allow the Wizards' perimeter players (Gilbert Arenas, Nick Young, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison), with a low post threat, and take pressure off of them. On top of that, with McGee and Griffin, the Wizards could have a potent big man rotation.
3] Sacramento Kings - Brandon Jennings (Virtus Roma - Italy)
The Kings are in an interesting position as they have promising youth at every position throughout the depth chart, but what they seem to be missing greatly is a point guard who can run the offense. Enter Brandon Jennings, who was once coveted to be the best point guard prospect before bolting to Europe and playing against superior competition.
4] Oklahoma City Thunder - Hasheem Thabeet (UConn)
When they were still the Sonics, the Thunder drafted three seven footers who were raw, and none of them panned out. Now, they have a chance to take one that will, at the very least, be a defensive presence, and redeem past mistakes. Thabeet will protect the paint and take defensive responsibilities off of Kevin Durant and Jeff Green.
5] Memphis Grizzlies - Jordan Hill (Arizona)
Memphis adds the final piece to the puzzle with Hill, a solid young PF to go alongside Mayo, Gay and Gasol. If Hill can improve his decision making, it could make him one of the best in this class, and put the Grizzlies in a great position three years down the line.
6] Golden State Warriors - James Harden (Arizona State)
Harden, dropping this far, could be considered a steal by many. It would also be a surprise if the Warriors draft a swing man when they have plenty at the position. Personally, I see the W's moving this pick, but if not, Harden should be their choice since he is the best player available and would succeed Jamal Crawford.
7] Minnesota Timberwolves - Jeff Teague (Wake Forest)
Every young team needs a solid point guard to learn from, or grow with, which is what Teague will provide the T-Pups with in Minnesota. Although Teague is more of a scorer, rather than a distributor, the Wolves need a floor general to go alongside Sebastian Telfair.
8] Toronto Raptors - Al-Farouq Aminu (Wake Forest)
The Raptors' biggest problem is that they have no perimeter players to go alongside Chris Bosh down low and Jose Manual Calderon running the show. Enter Aminu, the young small forward out of Wake Forest. Aminu is still raw, but is oozing with potential and can become a better version of Chicago's Luol Deng.
9] Indiana Pacers - Gani Lawai (Georgia Tech)
Indiana adds a front court partner for Roy Hibbert by taking the athletic and explosive Lawai from Georgia Tech. Lawai will come in and fit nicely between Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert. He could also learn from veterans Troy Murphy and Jeff Foster.
10] Charlotte Bobcats - BJ Mullens (Ohio State)
Charlotte finally adds a big man that can score in the post with Mullens, which allows Emeka Okafor to finally focus on what he is really good at, and that is defense. Many compare Mullens to the Clippers' Chris Kaman, and if that is true by any means, Charlotte can have a solid PF-C duo.
11] New Jersey Nets - Earl Clark (Louisville)
Clark, a junior, is a rare type of small forward, who doesn't look to score often, instead, will make life around those easier by finding them for easy baskets along with being able to take pressure off the point guard and handle the ball when needed. He will be a great fit with Devin Harris, Vince Carter, Ryan Anderson, and Brook Lopez.
12] Chicago Bulls - Gerald Henderson (Duke)
The Bulls are in desperate need of a big man, but none are worth selecting around this pick unless they want to reach for Tyler Hansbrough or DeJuan Blair. Instead, the Bulls take the replacement for Ben Gordon, and look to ship him out for a big and/or go after Carlos Boozer of Utah hard.
13] New York Knicks - Eric Maynor (Virgina Commonwealth)
Maynor seems to be made for D'Antoni's running system with his athleticism, ball handling skills, ability to get into the paint and score, or dish it out to the open teammate for an open look. Having a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in his sophomore season shows that he can take care of the ball, a huge plus.
14] Utah Jazz - Chase Budinger (Arizona)
The Jazz need a SG in the worst ways, and Budinger can be that guy. A very athletic swingman, Budinger also has good basketball IQ, is a good passer, and can knock down jumpers. Only knock on him are his defensive woes.
15] Milwaukee Bucks - Stephen Curry (Davidson)
Bucks add a solid combo guard to take the scoring load off of Redd and Jefferson.
16] Philadelphia 76ers - Demar DeRozen (Southern California)
76ers add a guard with a solid outside shot and good athleticism.
17] Phoenix Suns - DaJuan Summers (Georgetown)
Suns draft their SF of the future to go with Amare, Dragic and Lopez.
18] Detroit Pistons - Damion James (Texas)
Detroit is in a mess right now, so they take the BPA with James.
19] Minnesota Timberwolves [Via Miami Heat] - Patrick Patterson (Kentucky)
Get a high energy PF to back Love and Jefferson.
20] Atlanta Hawks - Patrick Mills (Saint Mary's)
Law doesn't seem to be working out, Bibby is a free agent, so a PG is needed.
21] Dallas Mavericks - Darren Collison (UCLA)
Kidd will be a free agent, they need a PG like Atlanta, and go with Collison over Lawson.
22] Sacramento Kings [Via Houston Rockets] - Taj Gibson (Southern California)
Kings add a big that will do all the dirty work and won't need the ball in his hands to be effective.
23] Portland Trailblazers - Tyler Smith ( Tennessee)
The loaded Blazers add a solid SF prospect.
24] New Orleans Hornets - Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina)
Hornets add a solid backup to David West and Tyson Chandler.
25] Oklahoma City Thunder [Via Denver] - Omri Casspi (Maccabi Tel Aviv - Isreal)
Add a kid with tons of skill and potential, just needs to get his head on straight.
26] Oklahoma City Thunder [Via San Antonio] - AJ Price (UConn)
27] Orlando Magic - Ty Lawson (North Carolina)
Jameer went down this year, and his backup was Anthony Johnson. Safe to say, they need a point-man to backup Nelson.
28] Cleveland Cavaliers - Austin Daye (Gonzaga)
Strengthening the bench by adding a knock down shooter.
29] Los Angeles Lakers - Sam Young (Pittsburgh)
Young is a solid shooter.
30] Minnesota Timberwolves [Via Boston Celtics] - James Johnson (Wake Forest)
Get a solid SF to go with Brewer.
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