The most exciting part of the NBA season is this week, the NBA Draft. Don’t get me wrong, I love the playoffs and think it’s great, but the NBA Draft is a time where every fan can feel great about their upcoming season, unless your a Knicks fan. This year’s draft is perceived to be a very weak draft, but it is very deep at point guard. As many as 8 PGs could be taken in the first round. I would expect a lot of trade this year, since many of the teams at the top of the draft are hurting for money and would rather invest that money in a proven talent, rather than wait three seasons for the prospect to mature.
Here is my mock draft for the 2009 NBA Draft.
1. Los Angeles Clippers – Blake Griffin (Oklahoma) – This is a no-brainer. Giffin is the best prospect in the draft and most think that he’s a lock. If the Clippers pick Griffin, they will find some way to turn him into Michael Olowakandi.
2. Memphis Grizzlies – Ricky Rubio (Spain) – The Grizzlies would much rather pick Hasheem Thabeet here, but he cancelled his workout. If Memphis picks Rubio, expect a trade of Mike Conley Jr. or even Rubio. They will be loaded at PG and that is not what their need is.
3. OKC Thunder – Hasheen Thabeet (UCONN) – Thabeet makes Dwight Howard post moves look great. In OKC’s offense, he wouldn’t need to put in many points. He isn’t a strong rebounder, but the Thunder needs some defense in the paint. The Thunder would be a great fit for Thabeet.
4. Sacramento Kings – James Harden (Arizona State – The Kings need a scorer and Harden can put a basket in about anywhere on the court. They are re-building and need a star, something that Harden could turn into rather quickly.
5. Washington Wizards – Brandon Jennings (Italy) – The Wizards need a lot to re-gain their form, but Jennings will help them deliver the ball. He didn’t do well in Europe, but his ceiling is higher than most. I’m hoping that he is still sporting his Kid N Play flat-top; I would buy his jersey.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves – Jonny Flynn (Syracuse) – Flynn came out of nowhere during the last month of the season. He had a great Big East tourney and went on to have a great NCAA tourney as well. He has pure point-guard skills and would be an improvement over Sebastian Telfair.
7. Golden State Warriors – Stephen Curry (Davidson) – Don Nelson’s days are numbered in Oakland, but Curry fits the mold of his type of player. He can score from all over the place and his point guard skills have tripled in just one season. Curry will be a great fit at Golden State, but look for a possible trade here.
8. New York Knicks – Tyreke Evans (Memphis) – If Curry is not on the board, Evans makes sense for the Knicks. He could either be an All-Star or become a very steady bench player in the NBA. He is young and can’t really put my finger on if he is going to be great. Evans had flashes of greatness at Memphis, but most of the season he played against sub-par talent.
9. Toronto Raptors – Jordan Hill (Arizona) – Hill has been climbing up draft boards over the last few weeks. Toronto needs to come to grips that Chris Bosh is heading out of town after this year. They need to rebuild their front-court and Hill would be a great start.
10. Milwaukee Bucks – Demar DeRozan (USC) – The Bucks are a few pieces away from being a playoff team. DeRozan is tall (6’7) and is a physical guard. He struggled at times at USC, but Tim Floyd was his coach, that could have been the reason.
11. New Jersey Nets – Terrance Williams (Louisville) – Williams was great for the Cardinals last year. He led them through the Big East and is a great indicator of how he will do in the NBA. The Nets would love to get Williams at #11, they are hoping that no other team will take him earlier.
12. Charlotte Bobcats – Gerald Henderson (Duke) – Henderson had a great workout and he fits the need for the Bobcats. Charlotte needs fans in the seats, by taking a local Dukie, it may help with attendance.
13. Indiana Pacers – Eric Maynor (VCU) – With Jrue Holiday and Ty Lawson still on the board, it would be ballsy for the Pacers to pick Maynor. Maynor is more of a pure point-guard than Lawson and Holiday at this point. VCU isn’t the best place to play, but Maynor made the most of his opportunities when facing top talent. His performance against Duke, a few seasons ago, helped cement his status of a future Lottery pick.