The 2009 NBA Draft Lottery Set and Potential Picks

Alec McAfeeCorrespondent IMay 20, 2009

MEMPHIS, TN - MARCH 29:  Blake Griffin #23 of the Oklahoma Sooners walks off the court after losing to the North Carolina Tar Heels during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional Final at the FedExForum on March 29, 2009 in Memphis, Tennessee. The Tar Heels defeated the Sooners 72-60 to advance to the Final Four.  (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

The 2009 NBA Draft Lottery occurred May 19 in Secaucus, New Jersey.

The Los Angeles Clippers won their third lottery in team history, and their first since 1998—when they drafted eventual bust Michael Olowokandi.

We will break down the lottery 1-14 and discuss who they should choose and other possible options.

1. Los Angeles Clippers—Blake Griffin

The Clippers blew their last chance at No. 1 and will most likely have better luck this time around. Blake Griffin, last season's NCAA National Player of the Year, appears to be the only logical choice.

Griffin recorded 30 double-doubles last season and led Oklahoma deep into the NCAA Tournament in his sophomore season.

2. Memphis Grizzlies—Hasheem Thabeet

Desperately in need of size, Memphis appears ready to draft the biggest player in the entire field. Hasheem Thabeet, the mammoth 7'3" center out of UCONN, is just the intimidating player Memphis needs to solidify their young front court.

Thabeet could team with Mike Conley, OJ Mayo, and Rudy Gay to form a pretty solid quartet of young studs for years to come in Memphis.

Another possible selection in this position is Spanish guard Ricky Rubio. Rubio is the eighteen year old sensation that I wrote about on May 15.

He is probably the second best prospect in this draft class, but the fact that Memphis has already invested their future in second-year pro Mike Conley gives me the feeling that Rubio will stay on the board.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder—Ricky Rubio

Rubio would fill the biggest hole in the Thunder lineup if picked at No. 3. The Thunder lack a legitimate play making point guard and that is Rubio's specialty. Rookie Russell Westbrook played out of position at the point last season but was sufficient.

Rubio is wise beyond his years and will only get better as he reaches his 20's and 30's.

The Thunder could also select a big man to solidify their post for a decade. Nick Collison led the team in rebounding at only 6.9 per game and a player like Arizona's Jordan Hill could help out on the glass.

Hill is long and athletic and has a ton of potential on both ends. Hill finishes tough at the rim and would bring a much needed attitude to the weak-minded Thunder squad.

4. Sacramento Kings—DeMar DeRozan

DeRozan was phenomenal in his lone season for USC last year. He is uber-athletic and has a sophisticated array of offensive moves for someone of his age. Derozan would bring much needed versatility to a Kings roster lacking in a player with an overall skill set.

Kevin Martin can score but not rebound, pass, or play defense. Spencer Hawes can rebound but not shoot, dribble, or play above the rim. Beno Udrih can pass but not create his own shot, defend, or shoot the deep ball.

DeRozan is a skilled shooter and can get to the rim at will and has the athleticism necessary to pick up defensive skills quickly.

Another potential pick by the Kings would be Tyreke Evans to bring a combo guard capable of taking scoring pressure off of Martin.

5. Washington Wizards—Jordan Hill

Jordan Hill is the third best big man in the 2009 draft class and, seeing as the Wizards desperately need a big man to complement the defensive pressure of Brendan Haywood, he would be the safest option. 

Although James Harden and Tyreke Evans may have more NBA-ready games than Hill, they would not fill a need in the Wizards' lineup that Jordan Hill would.

The only other possible selection here would be James Johnson of Wake Forest, but teams do not usually reach for unproven American players like Johnson.

6. Minnesota Timberwolves—Brandon Jennings

To say it simply, Sebastian Telfair is not a good enough point guard to lead the Timberwolves out of the cellar of the Western Conference.

Adding an exciting playmaker like Brandon Jennings would bring a much needed perimeter threat to this post-oriented offense that features All-Star Al Jefferson and rookie Kevin Love.

Another possible selection would be Arizona State swing man James Harden, but he possibly could get lost in the shuffle with Mike Miller and Ryan Gomes

7. Golden State Warriors—Tyreke Evans

The Golden State Warriors need a point guard more than any team in the lottery, aside from Oklahoma City, and Tyreke Evans proved the doubters wrong last season at Memphis by taking kindly to the point guard role at Memphis.

Many people think Evans cannot be a traditional point guard, and in Golden State's high-tech offense that is just fine. Teaming Evans with players like Monte Ellis, Stephen Jackson, and Jamal Crawford would give the Warriors yet another high-level guard.

The Warriors also need a post presence desperately to go along with offensive allergic Andris Biedrens and Ronny Turiaf.

Because of this need, they may reach for an offensive big man like DeJaun Blair, who has proven he can handle the grind of a long season without injury and has gone up against perhaps the best defensive player in college history and done surprisingly well (Hasheem Thabeet).

8. New York Knicks—James Harden

Harden will fall farther past his skill level than anyone in the lottery. Harden may be the fourth most talented player in the entire class, but his skill set does not translate to many teams.

Harden would bring the Knicks a point forward-type player who can make plays from around the three point line and inside the paint.

Harden would be able to feed post players as well as three point threats like Al Harrington and Quentin Richardson.

The Knicks could also potentially draft Stephen Curry because they lack a deadly shooter and a big guard.

9. Toronto Raptors—Jrue Holliday

The Raptors actually have less weaknesses than most of the teams in the lottery, but the weaknesses they do have are large. The biggest need for the Raptors is a lock down perimeter defender...something Holliday is known for.

Holliday can help out fragile Jose Calderon at the point as well as guarding one of the many great shooting guards in the Eastern Conference night-in and night-out.

The Raptors could also pursue Gerald Henderson of Duke because he is an unbelievably athletic wing, something the Raptors have not had since their Vince Carter days, AKA "The Dark Days."

10. Milwaukee Bucks—DeJaun Blair

DeJaun Blair would give the Bucks one of the premiere front courts in the NBA over night. They already have the multi-dimensional Charlie Villanueva and steady go-to man Andrew Bogut in the paint, and adding Blair would give them length and size across their front court.

Blair could team with Bogut to get double-doubles every night for years to come and Ramon Sessions and Luke Ridnour are both spectacular passers who can give them the ball in positions to score.

The Bucks could also select Gerald Henderson to solidify the shooting guard/small forward position if—and when—Michael Redd gets injured again.

11. New Jersey Nets—Gerald Henderson

This could be one of the reaches of the lottery because this class is thin in shooting guard, but the Nets desperately need one.

Vince Carter is more of a small forward and is aging at an incredible rate while Devin Harris and Brooke Lopez solidify the front and back courts.

Henderson could team with Vince Carter to form a pretty dynamic duo of athleticism and length in New Jersey for a couple of seasons.

The Nets could also draft James Johnson if they feel Yi Jianlian cannot be effective at power forward, which I think he can eventually.

12. Charlotte Bobcats—James Johnson

James Johnson will be considered by many teams leading up to Charlotte, but I think the Bobcats will be the team to pull the trigger on the former Demon Deacon.

The Bobcats need an athletic, bouncy player to compliment the bruising style of Emeka Okafor at the center position. Johnson could run up and down the court with Raymond Felton and Gerald Wallace to make the Bobcats a much better offensive team right away.

13. Indiana Pacers—Eric Maynor

The Pacers found a good point guard option last season in TJ Ford, but Ford may not be the option of the future for Indy. Even if he is, Maynor has the size and diversity to play as a shooting guard with a point guard's role.

Ford and Maynor could give Indiana an instant two-man fast break and one of the quickest backcourts in the NBA.

Another player that could be considered at the No. 13 pick is Stephen Curry because Danny Granger is beginning to reach elite status, and the Pacers are going to need a player who can run up and down the court and hit transition buckets to make teams pay for paying too much attention to Granger.

14. Phoenix Suns—Stephen Curry

This is a great value pick for Phoenix at this point. Curry can play both the point guard and shooting guard positions and is one of the best three point shooters in NCAA history.

Steve Nash is not getting any younger so Curry could potentially start his career off the ball, learn the offense, and help Leondro Barbosa run the point once Nash leaves or retires.

Curry would make Amare Stoudemire more effective because teams would not be able to double down on him in fear of leaving a player with Curry's jump shot open.

The Suns would also consider point guards like Ty Lawson and Jonny Flynn to come in and take over the reigns from Steve Nash when he hangs up his shoes.


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