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2009 NBA Draft Retrospective: Ranking the Rookies of the First Round

Joe MintzerCorrespondent IMarch 4, 2010

Every year there are many different players that come into the NBA. Here is a list of the draft picks from the 2009 NBA Draft and whether they rank as a superstar, star, average player, or a bust.


1. Blake Griffin, F, Los Angeles Clippers


Griffin may be a very good power forward someday. However, we won't know until he comes back from a preseason injury. 


2. Hasheem Thabeet, C, Memphis Grizzlies 

Bust (Big Time)

Despite a good career at UConn and a Second Team All-American selection in college, Thabeet is a major bust. He was being compared to former Grizzly Dikembe Mutombo coming into the draft. Now he isn't even on an NBA court. Thabeet became the highest draft pick to ever be sent down to the NBA Development League. Thabeet is making history, just not the way he wants to. He's definitely deserving of being labeled a bust.


3. James Harden, G, Oklahoma City Thunder


Harden is having a solid rookie season. He is on a young, talented team featuring Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Those three players should be able to keep the Thunder relevant for many years to come. Harden is a star.


4. Tyreke Evans, G, Sacramento Kings


Evans is putting together a fantastic rookie season. He has brought a lot of attention to the Kings. 'Reke is the leading candidate for the 2010 Rookie of the Year award, showing that he was definitely worth the No. 4 overall pick. He is one of the top young guards in the NBA and is absolutely a superstar.


5. Ricky Rubio, G, Minnesota Timberwolves


Despite being drafted No. 5 overall and being offered millions, Rubio decided to play in Spain for another year.


6. Jonny Flynn, G, Minnesota Timberwolves


Flynn is another talented young guard from this draft. He was the best guard out of the four T-Wolves drafted in the first round. Despite his small stature (6'0", 185 pounds) he is still averaging over 13 points per game. Flynn will be a superstar for years to come.


7. Stephen Curry, G, Golden State Warriors


Curry is a great shooter. He was born to shoot the basketball, and he is proving that this year. Stephen is shooting 46 percent from the field in his rookie year. This marksman has a bright future in the NBA. He is a legitimate superstar.


8. Jordan Hill, PF, New York Knicks (later traded to Houston Rockets)


If you're not even on the same team you were drafted by in your rookie season, you know you're in trouble. He has already been traded to the Houston Rockets. Hill's stats are flat-out poor. His highest scoring game this season was a 10-point effort against the Golden State Warriors when he was with the Knicks. Hill is obviously a bust.


9. DeMar Derozan, G/F, Toronto Raptors


Derozan is quietly having a very good rookie season. He is putting up good numbers. However, Derozan has gotten more attention for coming in second in the dunk contest than his solid rookie campaign. He may not be the best rookie guard, but he is still a star.


10. Brandon Jennings, G, Milwaukee Bucks


Jennings started the year out on fire. He appeared to be running away with the Rookie of the Year award. He has cooled down a bit since then, but he is still having a great rookie season. Jennings is leading the Bucks in assists and has brought some much-needed attention to the Bucks organization. No one will disagree that Jennings is an NBA superstar.


11. Terrence Williams, G, New Jersey Nets


Williams is a decent guard on a terrible team. His stats aren't quite bust-worthy, but they're definitely not star-worthy. Unfortunately for him, the Nets will most likely be bringing in John Wall very soon. Wall or not, Williams is stuck with "The Rest."


12. Gerald Henderson, G, Charlotte Bobcats


Henderson has been an absolute non-factor this year. His stats are almost nonexistent. And for a guard to be averaging 0.3 assists per game is unacceptable. Gerald Henderson is labeled as a major BUST.


13. Tyler Hansbrough, F, Indiana Pacers


Hansbrough is proving doubters wrong. Despite being doubted by just about everyone, he is playing some good basketball for the Pacers. He was a tough choice between average and star, but, at the moment, the label of star is appropriate.


14. Earl Clark, F, Phoenix Suns


Clark has not been anything but a benchwarmer for the Suns this year. His stats are bad. Call him a bust.


15. Austin Daye, G/F, Detroit Pistons


This 6'11" swingman's size can't make up for his ineffectivness. The size is there, but the numbers aren't. While he does have a bit of potential, for now he is getting the bust label.


16. James Johnson, F, Chicago Bulls


James Johnson hasn't contributed to the Bulls at all. His numbers are not worth star consideration. Consider him a bust.


17. Jrue Holiday, G, Philadelphia 76ers


Holiday is average at the moment. He may be a star someday, though. He is pretty young and does have some good potential. Holiday has come on recently, dropping a career-high 23 points against the Orlando Magic. However, he is not a star yet.


18. Ty Lawson, G, Minnesota Timberwolves (traded to Denver Nuggets) 


Lawson was a great trade for the Nuggets. They ended up with one of the best rookie point guards in the NBA. Like Flynn, Lawson is a small player. Despite this, he has put up some very good numbers. Lawson has a good career ahead of him.


19. Jeff Teague, G, Atlanta Hawks


Teague has struggled to find minutes on a talented Hawks team. Teague's stats are forgettable and unimpressive. You won't see his name on an All-Star roster anytime soon. He is a bust.


20. Eric Maynor, G, Utah Jazz (later traded to Oklahoma City Thunder)


Maynor has a tough job: backing up Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook. He hasn't been that bad. His stats aren't going to blow you away, but he is getting some decent playing time. That tells you that the coaches like what he is doing. He surely isn't a star, but average is right where he belongs.


21. Darren Collison, G, New Orleans Hornets


Collison was a great pick for the Hornets. To find a guy with his talent at pick No. 21 is an accomplishment for any team. He has been great in the absence of Chris Paul, doing all he can to keep the Hornets alive. Collison is definitely emerging as an NBA superstar.


22. Victor Claver, F, Portland Trail Blazers


Claver opted to play in Spain rather than begin his NBA career.


23. Omri Casspi, F, Sacramento Kings


Casspi and Tyreke Evans have made a great rookie duo for the Kings. The two will be able to lead the Kings for many years if they stay together. Casspi is a big man with a lot of potential. He is already showing that. It is difficult to rank him, though. He is definitely a great talent, but he may not be ready for the superstar label quite yet.


24. B.J. Mullens, C, Dallas Mavericks (traded to Oklahoma City Thunder)


Mullens has barely played this year. His stats are nothing. This is an easy one: bust.


25. Rodrigue Beaubois, G, Oklahoma City Thunder (traded to Dallas Mavericks)


Beaubois seems like a good, young guard. He is averaging 5.3 points in just over 11 minutes per game. He has the ability to score, making him a threatening point guard off the bench. He has some potential, but it is doubtful that he will ever be a star.


26. Taj Gibson, F, Chicago Bulls


Gibson is a very good, promising forward. He will be a superstar in no time. His 8.3 points and seven boards per game are very good stats. Gibson has a long career ahead of him. Gibson is a star for now, but look for him to blossom into a superstar as soon as next year.


27. DeMarre Carroll, F, Memphis Grizzlies


Carroll's stats are average at best. He hasn't done anything to impress. Maybe he could be considered average, but is he really going to get any better? Most likely, no. He's a bust.


28. Wayne Ellington, G, Minnesota Timberwolves


Ellington is getting great playing time, earning over 17 minutes per game. He has been very good off the bench for the Timberwolves. Ellington is a star. He and Johnny Flynn will wreak havoc for other teams for years to come.


29. Toney Douglas, G, Los Angeles Lakers (traded to New York Knicks)


Douglas is a decent guard for the Knicks. He has gotten a good amout of playing time. His stats aren't great, but he is deserving of an average grade.


30. Christian Eyenga, F, Cleveland Cavaliers


Eyenga decided not to play in the NBA, opting to play in Spain until he is ready for the NBA.

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