Ooops! The 2009 NBA Draft Redo
The 2009 NBA Draft is almost a year old now so we decided to take a look back at the players drafted in the lottery and see whether or not they were worthy of their selections.
Some decisions may have looked good at the time, but in the end, some teams definitely would take a mulligan.
We're giving them exactly that and calling a redo on the lottery of the 2009 NBA Draft based on the performance of the players, their rookie season, and their potential going forward.
Something tells me we won't be seeing Hasheem Thabeet go No. 2 overall again.
1. Los Angeles Clippers—Blake Griffin, PF, Oklahoma
Unfortunately for Clippers fans this is the only court time the No. 1 overall pick has seen this season. As we said, this is a draft based on performance this season AND the potential going forward.
Blake still has the most potential of anyone in this draft and is such a hard worker that there's no reason to think he won't come back 100 percent from injury next season.
Griffin has the ability to face up, but also has the strength to absolutely bully smaller forwards on the block. He has an incredible nose for the ball and grabs every rebound in sight (or at least that's what he did in college).
He's an explosive finisher and uses his athleticism to provide great weak-side help defense.
If the Clippers had to do it all over again, they'd still take Blake Griffin.
2. Memphis Grizzlies—Ricky Rubio, PG, DKV Joventut
The Grizzlies probably want a do over more than any other team in the past year's draft. If they had the opportunity to turn the clock back they'd probably take the Spanish point guard, Ricky Rubio.
Again, this is based on potential and on team fit. Tyreke Evans has been great, but he wouldn't really fit in with OJ Mayo and Rudy Gay.
Same is true of Brandon Jennings. That's what brings us to Rubio.
Ricky is a player with unquestioned court vision, who makes all the players around him better.
One look at the YouTube highlights and you'll see a seasons worth of highlight passes and ball handling. He wouldn't need to score and could work on his shot while adding yet another young star to a promising Grizzlies roster.
To be honest, anyone but Thabeet would probably make the fans in Memphis happier.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder—Brandon Jennings, PG, Lottomatica Roma
A backcourt of Brandon Jennings and Russell Westbrook would have been a dream for Thunder fans, and an absolute nightmare for every other team in the NBA.
Jennings has shown that he is an absolute star in this league and one of its best young scorers. He's averaging 16 points and six rebounds as the focal point of the Bucks offense.
If you put him on a team with more weapons, like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City, he would be getting more open looks and seeing no double teams.
Many will think that Jennings wouldn't be able to co-exist with Westbrook, but he showed his willingness to be a part of the team while playing in Italy.
A young core of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Jennings would have the Thunder poised to make deep runs for at least the next five years.
4. Sacramento Kings—Tyreke Evans, PG/SG, Memphis
Tyreke is probably the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year based on his performance with the Kings this year. For the season, Tyreke is averaging 20 points, five rebounds, and six assists, and the Kings are already seven games improved from last season.
Evans has the ability to get his shot off whenever he wants: Whether it's lowering his shoulder and getting to the rim with ease against smaller guards or by backing them down.
He's too fast for bigger guards to defend and gets the ball up from absurd angles. He needs to work on finishing through contact and being more consistent when attacking the rim, but that will come with experience.
If he can add a consistent mid-range jump shot he could be one of the best scorers in the NBA.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves—Stephen Curry, PG/SG, Davidson
Coming into the 2009 NBA Draft people weren't quite sure what to make of Stephen Curry.
He played in a weak conference, against inferior athletes, and people questioned if he could get his shot off against the best defenders in the world.
Well, it turns out he absolutely can. He's also shown an ability to handle the ball that many were uncertain of before the season started.
The Timberwolves are set in the front court with Al Jefferson and Kevin Love, and this draft was thin on wing players.
Adding a sharpshooter like Curry gives them pop in the backcourt, and on nights when his shot isn't dropping, the two big men up front can clean the glass.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves—Terrence Williams, SG/SF, Louisville
When you look at Terrence Williams' season numbers of eight points, four rebounds, and two assists you probably are wondering why he'd go sixth.
When you look at his performance this month: 14 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, it becomes more clear.
Williams might be the most complete player in the entire draft and his lock-down perimeter defense is just another reason he'd fit in with the Timberwolves.
He's the perfect small forward for a team that would feature Steph Curry at point guard, Corey Brewer at shooting guard, Al Jefferson at power forward, and Kevin Love at center.
He and Brewer would cause gray hairs for opposing coaches. Everyone on the perimeter would be a threat to knock down the outside shot if teams double Love and Jefferson.
Also, he could play four positions, giving the Timberwolves tremendous versatility with their lineups.
7. Golden State Warriors—Ty Lawson, PG, UNC
When judging Ty Lawson, it's important to look beyond the box score.
Lawson plays a back-up role for the Nuggets, one of the best teams in the West, and has bought into his role as a facilitator before looking for his own offense.
Have no doubt though, on an up and down team like the Warriors Lawson would be putting up some crazy stats.
Lawson played on the fastest team in college basketball, so the move over to Golden State wouldn't be a stretch.
He's more effective shooting the ball than most scouts thought he would be, making over 40 percent of his threes on the season.
The backcourt would be small with him and Monta Ellis playing together, but the Warriors are more concerned about pace and speed than defense and size.
He would be a great fit and could be putting up numbers similar to Steph Curry if given the chance.
8. New York Knicks—Jonny Flynn, PG, Syracuse
Conventional wisdom had the Knicks selecting a Point Guard that could learn Mike D'Antoni's system, but that wisdom went right out the window when the Knicks took Jordan Hill.
Given another chance with Flynn on the board, I think the Knicks stick to the game plan.
Not only does he give them a dynamic point guard, but also a player LeBron James would be very happy playing with. James was instrumental in getting Flynn to sign with agent Leon Rose, and the two are close off the court.
Flynn played one of his biggest games in Madison Square Garden, the six OT thriller while he was at Syracuse. Getting to play on the big stage every night in a fast-paced offense would be in Flynn's wheelhouse.
He excels at getting to the rim and finishing in traffic. A lineup of Flynn at the point, with Galinari on the wing, and David Lee underneath would be great running mates with LeBron James in 2011.
9. Toronto Raptors—James Harden, SG, Arizona State
James Harden might be in the best situation of any NBA rookie. He plays on a fantastic young team, gets to dress like Farnsworth Bentley, and is asked to knock down open shots and little else.
There isn't anything more a rookie could ask for. Well, in our redraft he gets sent up to the Great White North with the Toronto Raptors.
On the Raptors he'd be on a team with two strong point guards and in a system where he'd be called on to do more scoring.
He'd still get plenty of open looks with Chris Bosh seeing so many double teams. While the Thunder is an ideal situation for a young player like Harden, he may grow even more when given a bigger role.
10. Milwaukee Bucks—Darren Collison, PG, UCLA
The Bucks got one of the biggest steals of the 2009 NBA Draft when they took Brandon Jennings. Jennings is long off the board in this "do-over" draft, but they get another strong point guard in Darren Collison.
While Collison might not have the high ceiling of a player like UCLA teammate Jrue Holiday, he's shown that he can be a highly effective NBA point guard.
In the absence of Hornets star point guard Chris Paul, he averaged 22 points, eight assists, and four rebounds. Those numbers are better than Jennings or any of the other rookie point guards.
The Bucks may not have Jennings based on our redraft, but they still get a starter for the future in Collison.
11. New Jersey Nets—DeJuan Blair, PF, Pittsburgh
The Nets recently won their 10th game, assuring they will not hold the record for the NBA team with the fewest wins in a season.
Fans of the team have reason to be hopeful though: point guard Devin Harris, SG/SF Chris Douglas- Roberts, and center Brook Lopez give them a young core that can grow together.
Adding a front court presence like DeJuan Blair gives them another young piece to the puzzle.
Blair has shown the ability to contribute for a playoff-caliber team. There is no reason to think he couldn't be just as effective, if not more effective, on a team where he was asked to do more.
When given starter minutes, DeJuan was able to put up 28 points and 21 rebounds against the Thunder.
While the Nets shouldn't expect numbers like that constantly, Blair may become a consistent 20/10 player in the not-so-distant future.
12. Charlotte Bobcats—DeMar DeRozan, SF, USC
If this picture gives you flashbacks of Vince Carter, no one would blame you. DeRozan is an absolute physical specimen who looks as though he was built to play Small Forward in the NBA.
DeMar hasn't been as effective as the Raptors wanted this season, but when they took him they knew he was a project, and if the Bobcats took him they'd know the same thing.
The true test will be whether DeMar can turn into the player Vince Carter was in his prime: finishing above the rim, developing a reliable outside game, and taking games over in the final minutes.
All the potential is there and Larry Brown might be just the person to tap into it.
13. Indiana Pacers—Rodrigue Beaubois, PG/SG, Cholet
Rodrigue "Roddy" Beaubois was coveted by the Mavericks from the minute they worked him out. He's very athletic and is lights out from beyond the arc. He can play either guard position effectively, but is more dangerous off the ball.
He would be a great fit for Indiana because he could take some of the scoring burden off All-Star Danny Granger. The backcourt would be undersized with T.J. Ford and Beaubois, but Rodrigue has incredible length that when coupled with his speed could give opposing shooting guards real trouble.
14. Phoenix Suns—Taj Gibson, PF, USC
Taj Gibson is a great example of the new school power forward. He has the ability to step out and knock down open jumpers and run the floor well. He could bring offense when paired up with Robin Lopez, or man-to-man defense when Amare is with him in the front court.
The fit is great because the fast pace offense will allow him to either outrun the bigger power forwards in the league, or to trail behind the initial break and knock down open jump shots.
For more coverage of the 2009 NBA Draft check out our site: The Rookie Wall!