Esteban's NBA Mock Draft Part Three
First let's recap what I had in my first two mock drafts:
1. L.A. Clippers - Blake Griffin
2. Memphis Grizzlies - Ricky Rubio
3. OKC Thunder - Hasheem Thabeet
4. Sacramento Kings - Stephen Curry
5. Washington Wizards - James Harden
6. Minnesota T-Wolves - Earl Clark
7. Golden St. Warriors - Jordan Hill
8. New York Knicks - Brandon Jennings
9. Toronto Raptors - Tyreke Evans
10. Milwaukee Bucks - DeMar DeRozen
That just happened!
Now we move on to the last bit of the lottery, plus one. There's still a lot of guys who are available which some of these teams didn't think would be, and some who were snagged up earlier than usual.
Expect a bit of wheeling and dealing as it's part of every draft but Let's see who takes who. Jay-Z, you're on the clock
With the eleventh pick in the 2009 NBA Draft the New Jersey Nets select...
Chase Budinger, SF, Arizona
They need an upgrade at the small forward. Bobby Simmons' giant contract will mercifully end after this season, and so will Trenton Hassell's. Luckily for the Nets there are a few good swingmen available in the draft and Budinger is a good fit for them.
The guy is a dunking machine and should do well with Devin Harris feeding him alley-oop after alley oop. Especially with the attention Carter brings from defenses.
The fans will love Budinger not only for his hops but because he's a guy who always works hard and is always trying to improve himself. Word is that he is adding a lot of strength this year with a new trainer.
The only knock on him right now is his defense, but with his determination and work ethic he'll make sure he's not a liability for too long.
With the twelfth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft the Charlotte Bobcats select...
Wayne Ellington, SG, North Carolina
There are many reasons to take him at this pick, the top three are offense, offense, and offense.
The Bobcats were dead last in the NBA in scoring last season and don't have a go-to guy. Ellington will score in bunches for them and will hopefully put them over the top (By that I mean finally get into the playoffs.)
Ellington will be happy to stay in North Carolina and play for Jordan and Brown.
With the thirteenth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft the Indiana Pacers select...
DeJuan Blair, PF, Pittsburgh
This is a risky pick because of Blair's physique, or lack their of. But watching him dominate Hasheem Thabeet is what will get Blair picked up. He can dominate on the boards, and most importantly LOVES playing basketball.
The back court of the Pacers is pretty set with Ford, Rush, Jack and Dunleavy, and so is the center spot with Murphy and Hibbert. You're not going to draft a small forward with Granger there. So power forward is the logical pick for the Pacers, at least I think so.
With the fourteenth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft the Phoenix Suns select...
Gerald Henderson, SF, Duke
He's on the small side, for a shooting guard. He's very small for a forward, which is why he'll slip. He will run and gun and also has some good defensive skills.
For now though he will come off the end of the bench but by the end of the year he will be a regular contributor.
Alvin Gentry turned that team around and they might only have this year for a deep playoff push. Nash, Shaq and Hill are no longer getting old they're geriatric all stars. Amar'e was hurt again but will hopefully come back at full strength
With the Fifteenth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft the Detroit Pistons select...
B.J. Mullens, C, Ohio State
This one is a reach, for now. I think Mullens will start to rise in a lot of draft boards over the next month and the Pistons can definitely use him.
Wallace is on his way out of Detroit, boldly stating that if he doesn't get 8 million for next season he will retire. With the economy hitting Detroit harder than any other place the Pistons and Wallace will say their farewells after a successful marriage.
Mullens is a project who will get his fair share of minutes with only Kwame Brown to contend at centre. The knock on him is that he needs a mean streak, what better place to develop one than Detroit?
Detroit was a mess last year and they might have to get worse before they get better. They won't be able to be a big player in the free agent market this year and they are thinking of making a play for Bosh next off season.