2009 NBA Draft Big Board: Top 70 Prospects
With the draft truly on the horizon, it's time to unveil my 2009 NBA Draft Big Board.
During and after the draft I will be using my Big Board to analyze the value of the picks. My big board won't resemble the pick order which is a good thing because there’s always busts up top and great value at the bottom of the draft.
I look at a player's floor (how good are they right now? are they ready to play? how strong/athletic are they?) and their ceiling (how good can they be? can they add size and strength? will they develop their scoring ability?) in order to rank the players. Some earn their ranking based on their through-the-roof ceiling (oxymoron?) and others get ranked because of their NAB ready floor.
As a reference, I consider there to be much more volatility with my lower rankings. I haven't spent as much time scouting these prospects and a difference of 10 spots at the bottom of the list is about the same as a few spots at the top.
1. Blake Griffin, F/C, Oklahoma - Girffin has held the top spot on this list since he decided to return to Norman, OK last year.
2. Brandon Jennings, PG, USA - The best high schooler in 2008 has grown as a basketball player and as a man in Europe.
3. Ricky Rubio, PG, Spain - The highest ceiling in the draft, Rubio will have to start competing soon.
4. Hasheem Thabeet, C, Connecticut - Should challenge Dwight Howard for the blocks title for years to come.
5. James Harden, SG, Arizona State - Bigger and more athletic than scouts thought he was in college.
6. Stephen Curry, G, Davidson - Best shooter in the draft, he will adjust to the NBA PG role just fine.
7. Terrence Williams, G/F, Louisville - A three-position player with elite athleticism.
8. Tyreke Evans, SG, Memphis - Long combo-guard can score, but can he pass?
9. Earl Clark, F, Louisville - With all of the PG buzz, Clark has flown under the radar.
10. DeMar DeRozan, SG, USC - Best upside behind Rubio and Griffin, but will he reach it?
11. Jordan Hill, PF, Arizona - Can be a solid starting PF for over a decade but doesn't show All-Star potential.
12. Jonny Flynn, PG, Syracuse - Isaiah Thomas rates prospects by Intensity, Concentration, and Energy—Flynn has I.C.E. in his veins.
13. Jrue Holiday, G, UCLA - Big, smart, and balanced play but he struggled with some of the quicker guards.
14. Jeff Teague, G, Wake Forest - Combo-guard could be a future 6th Man Award winner.
15. James Johnson, F, Wake Forest - Tough and athletic but still needs some time to develop.
16. Tyler Hansbrough, F, North Carolina - High floor and a higher ceiling than people anticipated.
17. Ty Lawson, PG, North Carolina - Experienced and ready to take his winning edge to the next level.
18. Wayne Ellington, SG, North Carolina - Unlimited range and an explosive leaper but he's had a unimpressive draft process.
19. Gerald Henderson, SG, Duke - Extremely tough and plays above the rim, but was he a one-year-wonder?
20. Sam Young, SF, Pittsburgh - Age (24) hurts his stock but he is NBA ready.
21. B.J. Mullens, C, Ohio State - With few 7-footers someone will gamble on his upside.
22. Eric Maynor, PG, VCU - Plenty of time on the court but it wasn't against the best competition.
23. Austin Daye, G/F, Gonzaga - Can shoot over anyone but what else can he do?
24. DaJuan Summers, F, Georgetown - Tough tweener with a soft stroke.
25. DeJuan Blair, PF, Pittsburgh - Elite college player but he needs to keep weight off and improve athleticism.
26. Nick Calathes, G, Florida - Did signing with a Greek team scare teams off, or help him?
27. Chase Budinger, G/F, Arizona - All the tools you want in a prospect he doesn't display a killer instinct.
28. Toney Douglas, G, Florida State - Undersized combo-guard will be a sparkplug off the bench.
29. Jermaine Taylor, SG, Central Florida - Possibly the steal of the draft, Taylor has serious first round talent.
30. Patrick Mills, PG, Saint Mary's - Rubio isn't the only one with Olympic PG experience.
31. Omri Casspi, SF, Israel - A pure gamer, he thrives in 5-on-5 action.
32. Darren Collison, PG, UCLA - Great defender in college but who can he guard in the NBA?
33. Jeff Pendergraph, PF, Arizona State - Hidden behind Harden at ASU, he’s possibly the next impressive second round PF.
34. Derrick Brown, F, Xavier - Potentially a great NBA role player.
35. Marcus Thornton, G, LSU - SEC Player of the Year may struggle against the size.
36. Victor Claver, F, Spain - Will refine his game overseas before hitting the NBA.
37. Nando De Colo, G, France - Huge PG will have to adjust to the speed of the NBA.
38. Jonas Jerebko, F, Sweden - Isn't the prettiest player but he fights to get the job done.
39. Jack McClinton, G, Miami - He can add nine points in three shots off the bench.
40. Jodie Meeks, SG, Kentucky - Starter potential but why did he pass on a National Championship opportunity?
41. Danny Green, SF, North Carolina - Terrific role player was understated in title run.
42. Taj Gibson, PF, USC - Big, athletic, and played with/against premium talent for three seasons.
43. DeMarre Carroll, F, Missouri - Relentless hustle but he's caught between the small and power forward.
44. Dante Cunningham, F, Villanova - Very good jumper will solidify his spot on the court.
45. Josh Heytvelt, PF, Gonzaga - First round tools but where is his head at?
46. Paul Harris, SG, Syracuse - PF trapped in a SG's body.
47. Dionte Christmas, SG, Temple - Will add extra points to any roster.
48. Patrick Beverley, PG, USA - Started in Arkansas, developed in Europe, hungry for the NBA.
49. Jon Brockman, PF, Washington - College standout was MIA during some of the draft process.
50. Joe Ingles, F, Australia - Professional game but a semi-pro athlete.
51. A.J. Price, PG, Connecticut - Scouts have had time to downgrade his game but he plays like a winner.
51. Victor Faverani, F/C, Brazil - Another Brazilian post who can get out and run.
52. Jeff Adrian, F, Connecticut - Defensive specialist may not have enough O to earn PT.
53. Jeremy Pargo, PG, Gonzaga - Bouncy PG led Gonzaga to many impressive wins.
54. Ahmad Nivins, PF, Saint Joe's - Scoring post could surprise teams off the bench.
55. Leo Lyons, F, Missouri - Can play inside and out but doesn't always bring his A-game.
56. Wesley Matthews, G/F, Marquette - The best NBA game of Marquette's high-octane trio.
57. A.J. Abrams, G, Texas - One of college basketball's premier shooters.
58. Rodrique Beaubois, PG, France - Will work players up and down in practice but how long until he's ready to play.
59. Dar Tucker, G/F, DePaul - Great leaper needs to work on his J.
60. Goran Suton, C/F, Michigan State – Big man can extend the D and works hard to rebound.
61. Sergio Llull, PG, Spain - Your standard European shooter, and he can pass too.
62. Lee Cummard, G/F, BYU - Good size and stroke but he has a few years on most the prospects at age 24.
63. Micah Downs, G/F, Gonzaga - Former HS All-American was suppressed amongst the Zags' offensive weapons.
64. Jerel McNeal, SG, Marquette - Had an opportunity to play the point but didn't flourish.
65. Robert Dozier, SF, Memphis - Really improved his shooting as a senior.
66. Tyrese Rice, PG, Boston College - Heady PG can score in bursts.
67. Josh Shipp, SG, UCLA - Potentially a good role player but isn't quite big enough.
68. Henk Norel, F/C, Netherlands - Offensively inclined but where's the D?
69. Ben Woodside, PG, North Dakota State - Man can he shoot, if only he caught a late growth spurt.
70. Luke Nevill, C, Utah - A true 7-footer, it should be enough for him to find a roster.
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