The Top Five 2009 NBA Draft Prospects in the ACC
Now that the season is over and the NCAA tournament exercise is all that remains, a review of the best ACC prospects in the 2009 NBA draft appears in order.
The spotlight will shine upon the most likely candidates to make themselves available, as well as any upperclassmen who have completed their eligibility.
5. Ty Lawson, UNC
At 5'11" and nearly 200 pounds, Lawson seems an unlikely candidate for professional basketball, however, there is the matter of his quick dribble and excellent assist to turnover ratio.
Although the junior lacks a mid-range game, and can be overpowered by taller opponents, he appears to have the necessary weapons to make himself a player who can contribute in the NBA next season.
He is likely to go somewhere between picks 15 and 20 of the first round, and should end up with a contender, possibly the Hawks or the Jazz.
4. James Johnson, Wake Forest
At 6'8" and 235 pounds, this formidable sophomore may be the most talented player in the ACC, with tremendous potential to get even better.
A bear inside with a soft shot from the outside, the powerful "JJ" averaged 15 points and nine boards a game for the ultra-talented Demon Deacons this past season.
His quick feet, length, and strength should put Johnson in the 12 to 15 range of the draft, possibly ending up with the Bulls or 76ers.
3. Jeff Teague, Wake Forest
This sophomore sensation made a case early in the season for being the best guard in the ACC, if not the entire country.
At 6'2" and 180 pounds, the long-armed Teague averaged 19 points a game while hitting 45 percent from three point range.
Look for the rangy Teague to go between six and nine in the draft, possibly to the Warriors or the Raptors.
2. Al Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest
The 6'9", 210 pound freshman rekindles memories of a young Kevin Garnett.
His average of 13 points and eight boards a game do not begin to reflect the potential of this astounding athlete.
To increase his attention from pro scouts yet further, he is only 18 and a half years old.
Look for this teenager to go anywhere from six to 10 in the draft, possibly to the Bobcats or Pacers.
1. Gerald Henderson, Duke
Now that this 6'5", 218 pound junior has led the Blue Devils to the 2009 ACC Championship, it appears the time is right to move up to the professional game.
Henderson possesses that rarest of abilities, star quality.
His average of 17 points a game underpins the fact that he is a superior defender, solid mid-range jump shooter, and classic finisher on the fast break or in the half-court game.
If Henderson has a weakness, it is that he must work on being able to go both ways with the dribble and improve his free throw shooting.
Look for Henderson to go anywhere from five to nine, possibly with the Timberwolves or the Bobcats.
Well, there we have it. Congratulations to those on the list and let us hope they consider their choice wisely and make the correct decision to come out or stay in.
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