Wednesday, May 27, 2009

2009 NBA Mock Draft v1.0 (Round 1)

1. Los Angeles Clippers: Blake Griffin- PF (Oklahoma)
The Clippers have made it clear that they intend to take Griffin with the first overall pick, but a trade remains a possibility as well, according to's Chad Ford. The Clippers would love to move either Zach Randolph or Chris Kaman to make room for Griffin, but both moves seem highly unlikely, as Randolph is owed 33 million the next two years, and Kaman is owed 34 million over the next three seasons. (Moving Baron Davis and drafting Ricky Rubio is another possibility, albeit an unlikely one.)

2. Memphis Grizzlies: Ricky Rubio- PG (Spain)*
Rubio doesn't fill a need for a young Memphis team who drafted a top 5 point guard two years ago, but I think he'll be the pick at #2 regardless. Mike Conley Jr has been a nice player for the Grizzlies, and he still has a lot of room to grow. (He's only 21.) The Grizzlies are reportedly crazy about Hasheem Thabeet, but he would be a bit of a reach at #2. He also occupies a spot already filed by Marc Gasol, who had a productive rookie season in '08-'09. The best fit for Memphis would seem to be Jordan Hill, an athletic big man who can get out and run the floor and play defense. The scenario I see unfolding is a trade between Memphis and Sacramento, which owns the #4 pick. The deal could involve players or simply draft picks, as both teams have first-rounders in the twenties as well as their respective top 5 picks.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder: Hasheem Thabeet- C (Connecticut)
If Rubio lands at #2 as expected, the Thunder will have a tough choice between two players who would fill needs and provide a great fit for the team. Thabeet would provide the muscle behind a group of talent young perimeter players including Russell Westbrook, Jeff Green and that Kevin Durant fella. The other option for the Thunder is Arizona State shooting guard James Harden. Harden is the best pure scorer in the draft and would be a great compliment to Durant, but what the Thunder really needs is size and defense- areas where Thabeet thrives.

4. Sacramento Kings: Jordan Hill- PF (Arizona)*
Assuming the trade I mentioned earlier, I think it'll be Memphis taking Hill with this pick. Hill is still a possibility for Sacramento if they pick here, but the more likely scenario is that Sacramento reaches for a point guard. Brandon Jennings or Jrue Holiday may not have great value here, but the fill a need for a rebuilding Kings franchise.

5. Washington Wizards: James Harden- SG (Arizona State)
Washington would love to transform this pick into a proven NBA commodity, preferably a big man. Depending on how the first four picks work out, Detroit could be a possible trading partner. (It's no secret that Joe Dumars is looking to revamp his roster, and a top 5 pick would be a great start.) If all else fails, though, Harden would be a good fit for the Wizards. A starting five of Arenas, Harden, Butler, Jamison, and Haywood could score with anyone in the league.

6. Minnesota Timberwolves: Brandon Jennings- PG (Italy)
The Timberwolves really need to find an upgrade at point guard and small forward, and with three first round picks, they should be able to do just that. They would love to move up and grab Rubio, and would probably jump at the opportunity of taking Harden if he fell to them. Otherwise, Jennings, Tyreke Evans, DeMar DeRozan, Earl Clark, and Stephen Curry would all make sense here.

7. Golden State Warriors: DeMar DeRozan- SG (Southern California)
DeRozan is a great athlete and a pure scorer. He has as much upside as anyone in this draft and could be a superstar down the line. Don Nelson loves athletic scorers who can run, and he has several options here- DeRozan, Earl Clark, Tyreke Evans, and Johnny Flynn all fit the bill. DeRozan's potential is what puts him over the top and makes him the pick at #7.

8. New York Knicks: Stephen Curry- PG/SG (Davidson)
Curry is a tough player to project at the next level because of his lack of size and strength, but he showed the ability to play the point guard as a Junior at Davidson. He has a ton of heart and a great pedigree, and I expect him to become a very successful NBA player. If LeBron James does end up in New York next summer, Curry would be a suitable replacement for Mo Williams.

9. Toronto Raptors: Tyreke Evans- PG/SG (Memphis)
Evans is a slasher and a good scorer at the basket, which makes him a great compliment to Jose Calderon. On a roster flush with shooters and above average big men, Evans' drive and kick ability will be even more important.

10. Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday- PG/SG (UCLA)

11. New Jersey Nets: Earl Clark- PF (Louisville)

12. Charlotte Bobcats: James Johnson- SF (Wake Forest)

13. Indiana Pacers: Johnny Flynn- PG (Syracuse)

14. Phoenix Suns: Eric Maynor- PG (Virginia Commonwealth)

15. Detroit Pistons: Gerald Henderson- SG (Duke)

16. Chicago Bulls: Wayne Ellington- SG (North Carolina)

17. Philadelphia 76ers: Ty Lawson- PG (North Carolina)

18. Minnesota Timberwolves: Terrence Williams- SF (Louisville)

19. Atlanta Hawks: Patty Mills- PG (St. Mary's)

20. Utah Jazz: DeJuan Blair- PF (Pittsburgh)

21. New Orleans Hornets: Chase Buddinger- SF (Arizona)

22. Dallas Mavericks: Jeff Teague- PG (Wake Forest)

23. Memphis Grizzlies (From SAC Kings): BJ Mullens- C (OSU)*

24. Portland Trailblazers: Omri Casspi- SF (Israel)

25. Oklahoma City Thunder: Marcus Thornton- SG (Louisiana State)

26. Chicago Bulls: Sam Young- SF (Pittsburgh)

27. Sacramento Kings (From Mem Grizzlies): Derrick Brown- SF (Xavier)

28. Minnesota Timberwolves: Darren Collison- PG (UCLA)

29. Los Angeles Lakers: Toney Douglas- PG (Florida State)

30. Cleveland Cavaliers: Gani Lawal- PF (Georgia Tech)

* Memphis trades the rights to picks #2 and #27 to Sacramento for the rights to picks #4 and #23, and two future second-round picks.

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