2009 NBA Re-Draft: How Would the 1st Round Play Out 2 Years Later?

Preston DeGarmoAnalyst ISeptember 16, 2011

2009 NBA Re-Draft: How Would the 1st Round Play Out 2 Years Later?

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    As a fan of the Portland Trailblazers, there have been times when I wished I could go back in time and take control of the draft for the team. 

    Most notably, when the Blazers passed on Michael Jordan in favor of Sam Bowie, and most recently when Portland chose Greg Oden over Kevin Durant.  

    The Blazers are not the only team that has been hurt by mistakes in the draft. After all, drafting a player is a very tricky matter, as a number of factors must be taken into account and the possibility of drafting a bust always looms in the air. So it's no surprise that fan bases have been devastated by the failures of players like Darko Milicic, Kwame Brown and Michael Olowokandi, who just never lived up to their potential.

    Had the Blazers known how Greg Oden's career would turn out to this point, would they have instead picked Kevin Durant? What if the Pistons had taken Dwyane Wade rather than Darko Milicic? What if Michael Jordan had never played for the Bulls?

    Now that we're in this reflective mood, I'd like to take a look back at the 2009 NBA draft, dubbed "The Year of the Point Guards," to attempt to predict how, two years later, the general managers of the NBA might change their selections.

    Obviously, there's no way a re-draft could ever occur, but consider this article as a way of ranking the value of the most prominent members of the 2009 Draft Class.   

1. LA Clippers: Blake Griffin (drafted 1st Overall)

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    Career Stats: 22.5 PPG, 12.1 RPG, 3.8 APG in 38.0 MPG

    Position: Power Forward

    Age: 22

    This one is really a no-brainer. Griffin was an absolute beast during his delayed rookie season, winning the Rookie of the Year Award over John Wall in a landslide. Although the Clippers had to wait a year on Griffin while he recovered from injury, he proved to be well worth it.

    Griffin was selected to compete in the All-Star Game in his rookie season, a rare feat, and should be an MVP candidate for years to come, provided the Clippers learn how to win games.

    This guy has potential to become the best power forward ever, and that's saying something.  

2. Memphis Grizzlies: Tyreke Evans (drafted 4th Overall)

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    Career Stats: 19.1 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 5.7 APG IN 37.1 MPG

    Position: Guard

    Age: 21

    There isn't a single team that would benefit more greatly from a do-over in the 2009 NBA Draft than the Memphis Grizzlies. 

    The Grizzlies wasted the second overall pick on Hasheem Thabeet, and if they had the chance to try again, there is little doubt in my mind they would go with Tyreke Evans. Evans won the 2010 Rookie of the Year Award while averaging 20-5-5, becoming only the fourth player in NBA history to do so (the others being Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Oscar Robertson).  

    Although this selection might have sent O.J. Mayo to the bench a year earlier, Evans could have also supplanted Mike Conley in the starting lineup.

    The Grizzlies already looked like contenders last season, but imagine if they had a starting lineup of Mike Conley, Tyreke Evans, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol.

    Goose bumps?  

3. Oklahoma City Thunder: James Harden (drafted 3rd Overall)

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    Career Stats: 11.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.0 APG in 24.9 MPG

    Position: Shooting Guard 

    Age: 21

    Call me crazy, but I think the Thunder made the right choice in drafting James Harden third overall in the stacked 2009 NBA Draft.

    Harden's numbers thus far in his career haven't been as flashy as those of fellow 2009 draftees Stephen Curry, Jrue Holiday or DeMar DeRozan, all of whom I have being picked behind "The Beard." However, while those three players have spent the majority of their careers in the starting lineup, Harden has served as the Thunder's sixth-man throughout his first two seasons, and consequently hasn't always gotten the minutes he deserves.

    After showing tremendous defensive improvement towards the end of his second season, Harden has a good chance of replacing Thabo Sefolosha in the Thunder's starting lineup this season. But whether he starts or comes off the bench, expect Harden to have a breakout season and emerge as a reliable third scoring option for the Thunder.

4. Sacramento Kings: Stephen Curry (drafted 7th Overall)

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    Career Stats: 18.0 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 5.9 APG in 35.0 MPG

    Position: Point Guard 

    Age: 23

    Tyreke Evans won the Rookie of the Year Award, and deservedly so. But by the end of the 2009-10 season, Stephen Curry was the best rookie in the NBA.

    Curry came into the NBA amidst questions regarding whether or not he could man the point guard position effectively or keep up with NBA players on defense.

    Curry proved the doubters wrong, to say the least. Coming out of college he was known as an elite shooter and mediocre distributor, but once in the NBA he showed outstanding playmaking ability, leading all rookies in APG with 5.9 per contest.

    The Golden State Warriors were lucky to snag Curry with the seventh overall pick, and the Sacramento Kings would be wise to select him with the fourth pick with Tyreke Evans already off the board. Whereas it is still somewhat unclear which guard position best suits Evans, Curry will without a doubt be one of the league's top point guards for years to come.   

5. Minnesota Timberwolves: Ricky Rubio (drafted 5th Overall)

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    Career Stats: N/A

    Position: Point Guard

    Age: 20

    Ricky Rubio burst onto the NBA scene during the 2008 Olympics, when the 17-year-old point guard dazzled the opposition (and NBA scouts) with his remarkable passing ability and overall skill.

    Since then, the road hasn't been entirely smooth for Rubio. As a member of Barcelona last season, Rubio had a terrible year, averaging just 6.5 points and 3.5 assists per game while shooting a horrific 31 percent from the field. He followed that up with an even more disappointing performance in this summer's EuroBasket, in which he averaged 1.4 points and 1.9 rebounds while shooting just 20 percent from the field.    

    Based on his performance in the last year, Rubio is far from deserving of a fifth overall selection in a stacked draft. But considering David Kahn's history of questionable decisions and his extreme faith in Rubio's abilities, I would expect him to take a chance on the young Spaniard once again.

6. Golden State Warriors: DeMar DeRozan (drafted 9th Overall)

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    Career Stats: 13.0 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.3 APG in 28.4 MPG

    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 22

    DeMar DeRozan has participated in the Slam Dunk Contest in both of his first two seasons. Why? Because he is an absolute freak of nature. 

    DeRozan is more than just a dunker, though. During his sophomore season he quietly emerged as one of the top shooting guards in the league, averaging 17.2 PPG for the season while providing Raptors fans with hope for the post-Chris Bosh era. 

    The Timberwolves are absolutely stocked on quality young forwards at the moment, but lack a legitimate starting shooting guard. They could certainly have benefited from selecting DeRozan over Jonny Flynn.

    Alas, Kahn is Kahn.  

7. Golden State Warriors: Jrue Holiday (drafted 17th Overall)

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    Career Stats: 11.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 5.2 APG in 30.1 MPG

    Position: Point Guard

    Age: 21

    Jrue Holiday's career stats don't exactly jump off the page at you, but he improved drastically from his rookie season to his sophomore campaign, and proved to be the top facilitator in the 2009 Draft. 

    Holiday is firmly set as the Sixers' point guard of the future, and was easily the steal of the first round, slipping to Philadelphia at the 17th pick. In a re-draft, the Warriors would not let him slip past 7th.

    Although Holiday's scoring ability is not as refined as that of Golden State's current point guard, Stephen Curry, Holiday is two years younger and both a better distributor and a more adept defender.

    Holiday has serious star potential and still plenty of time to put it all together.   

8. New York Knicks: Brandon Jennings (drafted 10th Overall)

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    Career Stats: 15.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 5.3 APG in 33.4 MPG

    Position: Point Guard

    Age: 21

    Brandon Jennings was unstoppable during the first month or so of his rookie campaign. He was a monster on the offensive end of the floor, averaging over 20 PPG from the point guard position. After exploding for 55 points in a single game against the Golden State Warriors, the general public proclaimed him a surefire winner of the Rookie of the Year Award.

    Then, something happened. Jennings' scoring numbers and shooting percentages plummeted, and by the end of the season he had proven to be one of the most inconsistent players in the league.

    Despite his up-and-down rookie season, Jennings has proven to be a talented young point guard with a knack for putting the ball in the hoop. The Knicks, who are in dire need of a point guard of the future, would love the chance to select him over Jordan Hill. And Jennings' personality and swagger would fit perfectly in the Big Apple.  

9. Toronto Raptors: Wesley Matthews (Undrafted)

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    Career Stats: 12.6 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 1.8 APG in 29.2 MPG

    Position: Shooting Guard 

    Age: 24

    Despite being eligible for the 2009 NBA Draft following his senior season at Marquette, Wesley Matthews went undrafted and was forced to seek another way onto an NBA roster.

    Matthews fought his way onto the Jazz roster, where he turned out to be a huge steal. He became the Jazz's starting shooting guard and put together a rookie season superior to those of most players who were selected in the draft.

    Matthews further proved his value last season upon signing with the Portland Trailblazers. Matthews averaged just a shade under 16 PPG while proving to be lockdown defender and excellent three-point shooters. Matthews filled in admirably well for the crippled Brandon Roy, and appears to have a strong hold on Portland's starting shooting guard spot.

    Were a re-draft to occur, the Raptors would be thrilled to select Matthews at the 9th spot. With DeRozan already off the board, the Raptors wouldn't get their high-flyer at the shooting guard spot, but Matthews can throw it down too, and he is a much better shooter and defender than DeRozan.    

10. Milwaukee Bucks: Darren Collison (drafted 21st Overall)

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    Career Stats: 12.8 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 5.4 APG in 28.8 MPG

    Position: Point Guard 

    Age: 23

    Darren Collison wowed the NBA world during his rookie season, producing at an incredible rate as a replacement for the injured Chris Paul. Collison averaged 18.8 points and 9.1 rebounds per game in 37 games in the starting lineup, and was so impressive that debates began over whether the Hornets should trade Paul and build around Collison. 

    However, the Hornets made the right decision, sticking with their superstar and shipping Collison to Indiana while receiving Trevor Ariza in exchange. Collison immediately took the reigns of the Pacers, and had a respectable, if not great, sophomore campaign.

    Collison is an equally adept point guard to Jennings and would likely be a better fit in Milwaukee due to his superior passing skills. Collison would likely still be a steal 11 picks earlier.  

11. New Jersey Nets: Marcus Thornton (drafted 43rd Overall)

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    Career Stats: 13.6 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.7 APG in 25.0 MPG

    Position: Shooting Guard 

    Age: 24

    Thornton was drafted by the Hornets midway through the second round, and turned out to be a major steal.

    He averaged 14.5 PPG as a rookie and often led the Hornets in scoring towards the end of the season. After experiencing a bit of a sophomore slump in New Orleans, Thornton was traded to the Sacramento Kings at the deadline, and in 27 games for the Kings he showed his true potential, averaging over 21 PPG to finish off the season.  

    The Nets had one of the worst records ever in the season following the 2009 Draft, and could have used some help on the offensive end, where they were absolutely horrendous. Terrence Williams had a strong finish to the season in his rookie year, but failed to contribute consistently, and the Nets would have benefited from the presence of a pure scorer like Thornton to help lead the offense.

12. Charlotte Bobcats: Tyler Hansbrough (drafted 13th Overall)

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    Career Stats: 10.2 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 0.2 BPG in 20.7 MPG

    Position: Power Forward 

    Age: 25

    Psycho T may not have the prettiest NBA game, but he got the job done last year as a member of the Indiana Pacers. 

    Hansbrough joined the starting lineup late in the season and produced at a fairly high level for the Pacers, averaging 14.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in 29 starts. However, the Pacers are rumored to be pursuing a new power forward in the upcoming free agency, which may be a sign that they do not view Hansbrough as starter material.

    Regardless, Hansbrough is a valuable hustle player with a solid mid-ranged jump shot, and the Bobcats could use another big man.   

13. Indiana Pacers: Ty Lawson (drafted 18th Overall)

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    Career Stats: 10.2 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 4.0 APG in 23.6 MPG

    Position: Point Guard 

    Age: 23

    Moving from Darren Collison to Ty Lawson wouldn't be a huge shift. The Pacers would lose a speedy, undersized point guard and get a...speedy, undersized point guard. 

    Lawson is expected to have a breakout season whenever he steps on the NBA court again, with full control of the Nuggets now in his hands.

    Lawson will likely never be a superstar, but his per-36-minutes stats round out to 15.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game. Not too shabby. 

14. Phoenix Suns: Taj Gibson (drafted 26th Overall)

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    Career Stats: 8.0 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.3 BPG in 24.4 MPG 

    Position: Power Forward

    Age: 26

    There is only one thing holding Taj Gibson back from becoming a very productive starter in the NBA. It has a name: Carlos Boozer.

    However, despite the many Boozer critics who want him out of Chicago after a subpar playoff performance, Gibson will likely have to be content with the bench for the time being. 

    Gibson would provide the Suns with some much needed defensive intensity and, paired with Marcin Gortat, would give the Suns a frontcourt to be reckoned with. Gibson is a ferocious dunker and boasts an improving jump shot, attributes that would make him a good pick-and-roll partner with Steve Nash.

15. Detroit Pistons: Terrence Williams (drafted 11th Overall)

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    Career Stats: 7.7 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.6 APG in 20.7 MPG

    Position: Shooting Guard/Small Forward 

    Age: 24  

    I'll let Terrence do the talking here. 

    T-Will has hops like few others and an immensely versatile skill set. He just needs to put it all together.  

16. Chicago Bulls: Rodrigue Beaubois (drafted 25th Overall)

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    Career Stats: 7.5 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 1.6 APG in 14.2 MPG

    Position: Guard 

    Age: 23

    The Bulls need a secondary ball-handler to take some of the playmaking burden off of Derrick Rose's shoulders. They also need a shooting guard who can a) shoot and b) guard. 

    Rodrigue Beaubois, anyone?

    Roddy is undersized for the shooting guard position, but he makes up for it with outstanding leaping ability and a killer scoring instinct. He buries the three-ball at a solid clip of 36 percent and with his quickness and long arms, he has all the tools to become a great defender under Tom Thibodeau.  

    And, as we saw in the Mavericks-Heat series, playing two point guards together can actually works pretty dang well.

    Oh, jeez. Now I really want Beaubois to play for Chicago.  

17. Philadelphia 76ers: Jonny Flynn (drafted 6th Overall)

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    Career Stats: 10.2 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 4.0 APG in 24.8 MPG

    Position: Point Guard 

    Age: 22 

    Jonny Flynn did a decent job as the Timberwolves' starting point guard in his rookie season, but was held back by the difficult triangle offense which he never fully learned. Flynn would likely have been far more successful in Philadelphia's up-tempo attack, where he could better utilize his speed and athleticism.

    Flynn would be a significant downgrade from Holiday at this pick, but the Sixers would still get a quality young point guard who could potentially be their floor general of the future.

18. Minnesota Timberwolves: Toney Douglas (drafted 29th Overall)

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    Career Stats: 9.8 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 2.6 APG in 22.3 MPG

    Position: Guard

    Age: 25

    Douglas would have been a much better fit than Jonny Flynn in Kurt Rambis' triangle offense, as he relies more on his three-pointer, much like Derek Fisher of the Lakers.

    With Rick Adelman now pegged as the Timberwolves' new coach, Douglas could still provide Ricky Rubio and Luke Ridnour with legitimate competition for the point guard spot.  

    And we all know David Kahn loves point guards. 

19. Atlanta Hawks: Chase Budinger (drafted 44th Overall)

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    Career Stats: 9.4 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.4 APG in 21.2 MPG

    Position: Small Forward

    Age: 23

    The Atlanta Hawks' current starting small forward, Marvin Williams, has proven to be a huge bust, especially considering he was taken directly before superstar point guards Deron Williams and Chris Paul. The Hawks could use a small forward to replace him. In retrospect, Chase Budinger would have been a great candidate for the job. 

    Budinger is an excellent scorer, and counter-evidence to the theory that white men can't jump. He is a superior athlete and shooter to Williams, and is less of a tweener. The Rockets got a huge steal by drafting Budinger with the 44th pick, and he would still be a steal at no. 19.  

20. Utah Jazz: Gerald Henderson (drafted 12th Overall)

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    Career Stats: 6.9 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 1.0 APG in 18.2 MPG 

    Position: Shooting Guard 

    Age: 23

    Gerald Henderson had a completely unremarkable rookie season, during which he averaged just 2.6 PPG and averaged single-digit minutes. 

    However, the shooting guard out of Duke became an important rotation player for the Bobcats during his second year, and eventually moved into the starting group, where he averaged 13.4 PPG. He showed considerable promise as a go-to scoring option during the Bobcats' last few games and would be a good value pick for the Jazz at the 20 spot.

21. New Orleans Hornets: Omri Casspi (drafted 23rd Overall)

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    Career Stats: 9.5 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.1 APG in 24.5 MPG

    Position: Small Forward

    Age: 23

    Omri Casspi is the first Israeli to ever play in the NBA, and boy can he play. Casspi had a strong rookie season with the Kings, averaging double figures in points and proving to be a steal. 

    Casspi hasn't been the most consistent player thus far in his career, but his unquestionable effort and versatile offensive game provide reason for selecting him. The Hornets could use some depth on the wings, and in a re-draft with Darren Collison off the table, Casspi would be a great pick. 

22. Portland Trailblazers: DeJuan Blair (drafted 37th Overall)

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    Career Stats: 8.0 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 0.5 BPG in 19.8 MPG

    Position: Power Forward/Center

    Age: 22

    The Portland Trailblazers never seem to have enough depth down low, and could use reliable additions to their frontcourt. DeJuan Blair, an undersized power forward who draws some comparisons to Charles Barkley, would have been a great pick at this spot. 

    Despite his height, Blair is one of the top rebounders in the NBA, and his quickness and tenacity outweigh his weaknesses. Blair would give the Blazers an excellent big man off the bench and could even potentially start at center for the club. 

    In addition, Blair would get the chance to talk with Brandon Roy and Greg Oden about what it's like having terrible knees. 

23. Sacramento Kings: Jonas Jerebko (drafted 39th Overall)

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    Career Stats: 9.3 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.0 SPG in 27.9 MPG

    Position: Forward

    Age: 24

    Can he shoot? Not really. Can he defend? Sort of. Can he hustle? YES. 

    Jonas Jerebko was actually really good in his rookie season. He's still recovering from injury, but expect him to play a big role on the Pistons for years to come. 


24. Dallas Mavericks: Jordan Hill (drafted 8th Overall)

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    Career Stats: 5.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 0.6 BPG in 14.7 MPG

    Position: Power Forward

    Age: 24

    The boos were deafening when David Stern announced the selection of Jordan Hill by the New York Knicks with the Eighth Overall pick in the 2009 Draft. 

    And rightly so. Hill was traded to the Houston Rockets at the trade deadline in his rookie season, and has yet to demonstrate that he will become anything more than an effective backup four. Still, he drew comparisons to Chris Bosh in college and has pretty good stats in limited minutes.   

25. Oklahoma City Thunder: James Johnson (drafted 16th Overall)

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    Career Stats: 5.1 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.3 APG in 15.3 MPG

    Position: Forward

    Age: 24 

    James Johnson was selected just outside of the lottery by the Chicago Bulls, but failed to make much of an impact in Chicago. Johnson played solid defense off the bench, but never got significant minutes and was traded to the Raptors midway through his sophomore season. 

    Once in Toronto, Johnson had a good run with the Raptors and seems worthy of solid minutes. However, in a draft as deep as this one, it's unlikely that the Bulls would pick Johnson with a mid-first rounder were they to have a do-over. 

    Johnson could be a serviceable backup to Kevin Durant, and could be a great pick for the Thunder in a re-draft. 

    And doesn't that face just melt your heart? 

26. Chicago Bulls: Austin Daye (drafted 15th Overall)

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    Career Stats: 6.3 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 0.5 BPG in 16.7 MPG

    Position: Forward

    Age: 23

    Austin Daye, a 6'11" shooter out of Gonzaga, looks like a reincarnation of Rashard Lewis from what he's shown so far. 

    Although he doesn't contribute in a whole lot of areas, Daye is an effective scorer in limited minutes who can stretch the floor and rebound the ball.  

27. Memphis Grizzlies: Jeff Teague (drafted 19th Overall)

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    Career Stats: 4.2 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 1.8 APG in 11.9 MPG 

    Position: Point Guard

    Age: 23

    Jeff Teague's first two NBA seasons have been generally unremarkable, but he put together a solid run in the Atlanta Hawks' playoff series against the Bulls. 

    While matched up against Derrick Rose, Teague averaged 11.8 points and 3.5 assists per game as a replacement for the injured Kirk Hinrich. Looks like he has future starter potential.  

28. Minnesota Timberwolves: Hasheem Thabeet (drafted 2nd Overall)

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    Career Stats: 2.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 0.9 BPG in 10.9 MPG 

    Position: Center

    Age: 24 

    Do you, David Stern, take Hasheem Thabeet to be the NBA's next mega bust?

    Thabeet looks like the next Kwame Brown thus far in his career, and his numbers are absolutely terrible. 

    Still, 7'3" shot-blockers don't grow on trees.  

29. Los Angeles Lakers: Jodie Meeks (drafted 41st Overall)

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    Career Stats: 7.9 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 0.9 APG in 20.7 MPG

    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 24 

    Jodie Meeks is a pure scorer, who thus far in his career looks like a poor man's Marcus Thornton. Meeks played well as a member of the Sixers last season, averaging over 10 PPG while providing instant offense to the starting lineup. 

    Despite his scoring prowess, Meeks isn't the most versatile player. As a guard playing over 20 minutes per game, his assist mark falls below one, and his defense hasn't been particularly impressive either. 

    Regardless, Meeks has a knack for putting the ball in the hoop and belongs on an NBA roster. He would be a great value pick for the Lakers here at 29. 

30. Cleveland Cavaliers: Earl Clark (drafted 14th Overall)

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    Career Stats: 3.3 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.3 BPG in 9.1 MPG

    Position: Small Forward

    Age: 23 

    Earl Clark is an athletic combo-forward who showed some promise as a member of the Magic, and re-drafting the former lottery pick with the last pick of the first round wouldn't be much of a risk. 

    Clark will likely never be a star, but he could be a solid role-player for the team, and it is always a bonus to have size at the small forward position

    On the other hand, he just signed in China.