The 2009 NBA Draft's Top Five Immediate Impact Players
Year in and year out, certain players are drafted into a situation where they are able to produce and impact their respective teams in positive ways.
This year is no different, as players drafted both early and late will make a difference in their rookie season.
Here are just five of this year's NBA draft prospects that will be competing for the Rookie of the Year award.
5. Terrence Williams, G/F, Louisville
Williams is a player with extremely impressive physical stature and will be ready to produce right away because of his experience. Gary Payton has been training the Seattle native for his upcoming career in the NBA, and the Glove shouldn't be disappointed.
The 6'6" Williams is an explosive scorer who averaged 12.5 points per game during his senior season. Williams improved his jump shot tremendously during his four seasons at Louisville. His jumper went from lowly and unathletic to high and fundamental.
Along with his near 13 points per game, Williams is capable of rebounding (8.6 per game) and passing (five per game) as well.
Projected to be drafted somewhere as early as No. 11 to as late as No. 25, Williams will most likely come into a situation where he will be a bench player. However, Williams' versatility can make him a Mickael Pietrus-type bench producer in just his rookie season.
4. Tyler Hansbrough, F, UNC
UNC's Hansbrough was adored by Tar Heel fans but hated by nearly all other faithful fans that faced the 250-pounder.
Hansbrough had the heart and determination that no other player had in college.
This same heart and determination will trail this wonderful player into the NBA. Hansbrough has already been rising on draft boards across the world due to his hard work in the Combine and in team workouts.
The 6'9" Hansbrough is undersized for the NBA, but a team will pick him up looking to fit him in at power forward, a position where he will flourish. He will find endless ways to score in the post and mid-range.
Being nearly a 20-10 guy in college, Hansbrough will bring the NBA a style of play that has been missing since the Dennis Rodman days.
3. Stephen Curry, G, Davidson
Being a prolific scorer, Curry will grace the NBA with his endless arsenal of offensive talent.
As stated in my previous article, the 6'3" Curry averaged more than 28 points, nearly six assists, and more than four rebounds per game in his last season at Davidson.
The junior phenom hit the 20-point plateau 30 times this past season, the 30-point plateau 15 times, and the 40-point plateau four times.
Are you serious?
Since the kid can flat-out put the ball in the basket, he will be drafted early.
Curry will be eyed by a team looking for scoring ability off the bench or perhaps even a starter. Curry will have to learn to be a set shooter, however, he will gel to that role well.
2. James Harden, G, Arizona State
Harden is a unique talent that has incredible length and athleticism. His body, at 6'5", is great for an NBA two-guard, and his wingspan can pose problems for opposing shooting guards.
Harden was an accomplished scorer in college, averaging 20.1 points per game. Harden also rebounded and passed well, averaging roughly five per category.
The Arizona State guard will come into a situation, somewhere between picks two and seven, where he will be counted on to produce in his rookie season. He will not disappoint.
Many analysts and scouts are afraid of certain aspects of Harden's game, but the 222-pounder will prove to make his mark during his rookie season by being a great all-around player. He will adjust well to his role and give Blake Griffin a run for his money for ROY.
1. Blake Griffin, F, Oklahoma
Griffin is already a lock to go No. 1 overall tonight, but the amount of success he is set to have is highly dependant on whether the Los Angeles Clippers can move either Marcus Camby or Zach Randolph.
If the 6'10" Griffin is going to reach his full potential, he needs to start virtually his whole career.
Griffin has athletic ability that is not often seen. In college, he averaged nearly 23 points, 15 rebounds, one block, and one steal.
Griffin will prove the comparisons to the 2000 Draft wrong as he will be a tremendous player in the NBA for years to come.
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