2009 NBA mock draft 2.0
The deadline has come and go, so the players who are in the draft, are in. here is my latest mock draft, some tweaks from my last one.
1. Los Angeles Clippers- Blake Griffin
Who else? The consensus choice as first overall pick, Griffin is extremely athletic, has a great work ethic, and is extremely creative at getting to the rim. However, he lacks a jump shot; expect that to develop over the years. Expect the Clippers to try to get rid of Zach Randolph and his contract.
2. Memphis Grizzlies- Hasheem Thabeet
Obviously, we have all heard the Mutumbo comparisons and as much as they like Thabeet, I think that the Grizzlies want to trade the pick. Thabeet can come into the NBA and be a defensive presence immediately, he is seven feet and he changes the game defensively. But offensively, he still has ways to go and lacks a go-to post move. He's very raw but the Grizzlies need height and Thabeet will be the pick at No. 2 although they give Rubio a long hard look, and give Mike Conley a last chance.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder- Ricky Rubio
Rubio is the best point guard in this year’s draft. A great distributor, the whole package, great court vision, he reminds me of a younger Steve Nash with a better defensive game. He would come in and make everyone on the team much better. Expect Russell Westbrook to move to shooting guard and Oklahoma City will have a nice core of young players with Durant, Rubio, Westbrook, and Jeff Green.
4. Sacramento Kings- Johnny Flynn
From what I have heard Flynn has had the best workouts and has established himself as the best point guard not named Rubio, I thought it was going to be Jrue Holliday since they love his upside, but the truth is Holliday would not really become the player they want him to be until a few years.
5. Washington Wizards-James Harden
Harden proved to be an elite scorer at Arizona State, extremely NBA-ready due to his size (6'5", 225) and can be an elite shooting guard. Harden is a true playmaker and can take over a game. Although Harden had a less than stellar NCAA tournament, he would be a great fit with the Washington Wizards under new head coach Flip Saunders and would fit well with the Arenas, Butler, and Jamison. Expect this southpaw to be among the rookie leaders in scoring.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves- Tyreke Evans
Originally I had DeRozan, but DeRozan is a lot of tempting upside. They take Evans since he is more NBA-ready than DeRozan. It would take a few years to make DeRozan a solid NBA player
7. Golden State Warriors- Stephen Curry
Curry is college basketball’s most prolific scorer, he has shown that he can play point although he has a small body. Curry is not the most athletic player, but he is a sharpshooter and will put the fans in the seats in Golden State. He can also be a nice distributor to guys like Stephen Jackson, however this would mean that Monta Ellis would move to the 2.
8. New York Knicks- Brandon Jennings
The Knicks would be disappointed that Curry is off the board, however Jennings fits perfectly in the New York; he is a great scorer and would start over Chris Duhon from Day One. Jennings is a dark horse in this draft and many of you who read my previous mock draft know how much I like Jennings. I still think that he is the best point guard not named Ricky Rubio, however many scouts haven’t seen him play, Mike D’Antoni will find a fit with Jennings like he did with Steve Nash.
9. Toronto Raptors- DeMar DeRozan
DeRozan has a lot of tempting potential, however, he is a few years from becoming a regular contributor but the Raptors have some options since Chris Bosh’s name will be involved in trade rumors. DeRozan is extremely athletic, and according to scouts he has drawn Kobe Bryant comparisons.
10. Milwaukee Bucks- Jordan Hill
It looks like Charlie Villanueva will leave soon and Milwaukee will get Jordan Hill. He's a steal. I actually like Hill more than Thabeet. Hill proved that he can score last year at Arizona. Hill is a mammoth of a man and looks like he can be a dominant force in the paint years from now, the best post player in a draft lacking big men.
11. New Jersey Nets – Earl Clark
The Nets get a great power forward who can shoot the ball, which means he can stretch the defense. Clark now has improved his jumper and can play the post.
12. Charlotte Bobcats-Gerald Henderson
Michael Jordan will go against his heart and pick a Blue Devil; Henderson is extremely athletic and reminds me a lot of Vince Carter. Henderson is extremely streaky, his hot is hot and his cold is extremely cold.
13. Indiana Pacers-Eric Maynor
Eric Maynor is the biggest sleeper and the top senior in the draft. Maynor is a great passer and scorer. He single handedly beat Duke in the 2007 NCAA tournament, so he is no stranger to the big moment. Maynor has a slow release but he has good height and he can shoot the outside shot.
14. Phoenix Suns-B.J. Mullens
Assuming Shaq is traded, Robin Lopez would take over the starting center job. Therefore they take B.J. Mullens, the seven-footer from Ohio State who is still a work in progress. Mullens had a disappointing freshman season, and he would get just as many minutes in Phoenix as he did at Ohio State. The Suns draft on potential and Mullens is two years away from becoming a solid NBA player.
15. Detroit Pistons- Austin Daye
With Mullens off the board the Pistons take Daye, the versatile forward out of Gonzaga. Daye could come in and play the 3 and the 4; this would put less pressure on Detroit to acquire Carlos Boozer.
16. Chicago Bulls- DeJuan Blair
Blair maybe a little undersized but he is a fearless rebounder, he was among the leaders in rebounds last year. Blair is about 277 pounds and manhandled Hasheem Thabeet which means he isn’t scared to play bigger guys, something he will have to do at the next level.
17. Philadelphia 76ers- Ty Lawson
The 76ers make the tough decision between Lawson, Maynor, and Teague. The 76ers have worked out Lawson and are really impressed. Lawson is lightning quick and has improved his three-point shot last season. If Andre Miller does not re-sign, Lawson may be asked to do a lot his rookie campaign, although he said he would have no problem sitting behind a veteran.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves- Jrue Holiday
Holliday has great upside, but he's unproven. Holiday is a combo guard and will fit in great with young talents like Love and Jefferson.
19. Atlanta Hawks- Jeff Teague
The Hawks are extremely happy that they get a point guard. They missed with Acie Law, but Teague is a score-first point guard who can shoot the ball from anywhere. He had a disappointing second half of the season but he will have the chance to be the point guard of the future for a young Atlanta team.
20. Utah Jazz- Tyler Hansborough
It looks like Boozer will depart via free agency which means Utah will take Tyler Hansborough. Hansborough brings a blue collar mentality to the Jazz that will fit in great. Hansborough improved a lot of aspects to his game like his post play and his jumper and would be a steal at 20 for Utah.
21. New Orleans Hornets- Terrence Williams
Williams is in the Andre Iguadala-Scottie Pippen mold, he is not a great scorer but he is a perfect perimeter defender. Williams failed to have a breakout year his senior season at Louisville, but his perimeter skills are great.
22. Dallas Mavericks- Darren Collison
Collison is the reason Jrue Holliday never got to showcase his point guard skills. The skilled senior from UCLA is extremely fast with the ball and an exceptional passer.
23. Sacramento Kings- Sam Young
Young will never be the top scoring option on his team. He's 24 years old, which scares a lot of teams away. However, we saw what he could do at Pitt and he is extremely creative when getting to the basket and has a great outside shot.
24. Portland Trail Blazers- Patrick Mills
Mills was great in the Olympics and was Saint Mary’s impact player. Mills is another score first point guard; he will sit behind a veteran like Steve Blake and learn.
25. Oklahoma City Thunder- James Johnson
This would be the biggest steal in this draft, since Johnson has been thought of as a lottery pick. The Thunder get a player who can play the 3 and the 4.
26. Chicago Bulls- Chase Budinger
This would be another great value pick as Budinger is a great shooter and could start if Ben Gordon were to depart via free agency.
27. Memphis Grizzlies- DeJuan Summers
28. Minnesota Timberwolves- Omri Casspi
Casspi was not great at the workouts, but he would be the first Israeli ever taken in the first round.
29. Los Angeles Lakers- Toney Douglas
It looks like Derek Fisher will retire, which means Phil Jackson needs a new point guard. Douglas is a shooting guard who can score, but at 6'2", there is no room for him to play the 2.
30. Cleveland Cavaliers- Derrick Brown