Saturday, June 27, 2009

NBA Draft Reactions

1) LAC- Blake Griffin- PF (Oklahoma)
This was a no-brainer for the Clippers from day one. Griffin was a great pick and will be a fantastic NBA player. He may or may not turn into a franchise cornerstone, but in either case, he'll be a great addition to a team that could really use some hope.

2) MEM- Hasheem Thabeet- C (Connecticut)
Thabeet fits Memphis' needs better than any other player in the draft. There was a time when I thought Rubio was a better pick because of his value, but with him slipping to Minnesota at #5, this pick is looking better and better.

3) OKC- James Harden- SG (Arizona State)
Harden is a safe pick for Oklahoma City, but will be a great fit alongside Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Many expected Rubio to be the pick here, but moving Westbrook off the ball would have created a lot of dissension and may have lead to Westbrook asking to leave all together.

4) SAC- Tyreke Evans- PG/SG (Memphis)
Sacramento is set at shooting guard with Kevin Martin, so the only way this pick makes sense is if the Kings are convinced Evans can play the point in the NBA. He showed good handle and play-making ability at Memphis, but the translation to the NBA level remains to be seen.

5) MIN- Ricky Rubio- PG (Spain)
Rubio was the man Minnesota wanted from the very beginning, so landing him at four is a dream come true for the Timberwolves. His displeasure with Minnesota's small market may lead him back to Spain, but the more likely scenario is a trade. New York, Indiana, and Dallas are all reportedly interested.

6) MIN- Jonny Flynn- PG (Syracuse)
Flynn is a bit of a surprise at this pick, but with Evans and Harden off the board, Minnesota had little choice but to pick another point guard. The issue I have with the pick is that Flynn was picked ahead of Davidson's Stephen Curry, but apparently he was higher on Minnesota's board.

7) GSW- Stephen Curry- PG (Davidson)
Golden State lands a steal at #7 with Curry, who is hands down the best shooter in the draft. He also shows genuine leadership qualities and the work ethic that leads to greatness at the next level. Curry is reportedly being used as part of an impending trade for Amar'e Stoudemire, but Golden State is adamantly refuting those reports.

8) NYK- Jordan Hill- PF (Arizona)
Hill is the third and final of the 'elite' big men in this class. The Knicks would have loved for Stephen Curry to fall to them, but Hill is a solid consolation prize. They are reportedly in heavy discussions with Minnesota to obtain Ricky Rubio, but that will likely have to wait until they re-sign Nate Robinson and/or David Lee.

9) TOR- DeMar DeRozan- SG/SF (Southern Cal)
Toronto lands their athletic wing in DeRozan. He has huge upside and is a great fit in the Great White North. In the event that Chris Bosh leaves next summer, DeRozan can potentially step in as the face of the franchise. A great pick by the Raptors.

10) MIL- Brandon Jennings- PG (Italy)
Milwaukee makes a splash by picking Jennings, a talented young point guard with great athleticism and seemingly infinite potential. The lack of a vocal leader in Milwaukee may prove to be problematic for the charismatic and immature Jennings.

11) NJN- Terrence Williams- SG/SF (Louisville)
New Jersey traded away Vince Carter, and replaced him with Courtney Lee and now Terrence Williams. Williams is a poor shooter, but seems to do everything else well. He'll never be a star in the NBA, but he's a good glue guy and should have a solid NBA career.

12) CHA- Gerald Henderson- SG (Duke)
Charlotte was very interested in Williams, but Henderson is a suitable consolation prize. He has a much more refined offensive game and is very athletic. He should be ready to contribute from day one.

13) IND- Tyler Hansbrough- PF (North Carolina)
Hansbrough was a great college player, but has limited potential and will likely never be more than a backup in the NBA.

14) PHO- Earl Clark- SF (Louisville)
Clark is a great value at 14, as he is undoubtedly a top-10 talent. He also fills a need on the wings for Phoenix.

15) DET- Austin Daye- SF (Gonzaga)
Daye has cartoonishly long arms and is rail thin, but he has a lot of potential. He shot 43% from behind the 3-point line last year and averaged over 2 blocks a game. He'll play behind Tayshaun Prince for quite some time.

16) CHI- James Johnson- PF (Wake Forest)
Johnson is very versatile and has an NBA-ready body. He should help Chicago on the boards and may make Tyrus Thomas expendable.

17) PHI- Jrue Holiday- PG/SG (UCLA)
Holiday is a great value at this pick. He may never turn into Philadelphia's point guard of the future, but he was almost impossible to pass up with this pick.

18) MIN- Ty Lawson- PG (North Carolina)
Minnesota picks their third first round point guard, but trades him to Denver for a 2010 first round pick (originally belonging to Charlotte). Lawson will be a great fit behind Chauncey Billups in Denver and constitutes a great value with this pick.

19) ATL- Jeff Teague- PG (Wake Forest)
Teague is a great scorer and lightning-quick off the dribble. He has a lot of potential and could play a little at the off-guard in the right situation.

20) UTA- Eric Maynor- PG (Virginia Commonwealth)
Utah surprised some by picking Maynor to back up Deron Williams. They could use some help on the wings, but Maynor is ready to come in and contribute right away. Williams did have some injury problems last season, so a suitable backup is a nice addition for the Jazz.

21) NOH- Darren Collison- PG (UCLA)
Similar to the Jazz, the Hornets surprised some by grabbing a backup point guard. Chris Paul has been a very durable player, but does need a break every now and then. Collison is a solid athlete and a great leader.

22) POR- Victor Claver- PF (Spain)
Portland moving up two spots to grab Claver is interesting because he likely would have been available at #24.

23) SAC- Omri Casspi- SF (Israel)
Casspi is a talented player who is probably a year or two away from being ready for the League. He will become a good NBA player and a team like Sacramento is in no huge hurry for improvement.

24) DAL- BJ Mullens- C (Ohio State)
This pick had question marks all over it for a minute or two, but Dallas ultimately moved it to OKC for their pick and a future second round pick.

25) OKC- Rodrigue Beaubois- PG (France)
Beaubois goes to Dallas along with a future second rounder for BJ Mullens. Mullens is a great pick for OKC and Beaubois could be a great replacement for Jason Kidd in a couple of years.

26) CHI- Taj Gibson- PF (Southern Cal)
Chicago picks their second power forward in as many picks, which may mean the writing's on the wall for former top-5 pick Tyrus Thomas.

27) MEM- DeMarre Carroll- PF (Missouri)
Memphis makes a questionable pick here, passing on DeJuan Blair, who could have easily landed in the late lottery. Carroll is athletic and tenacious, but has limited upside and may have been available with Memphis next pick at 36.

28) MIN- Wayne Ellington- SG (North Carolina)
Minnesota was in dire need of a shooting guard and finds a fine fit in Ellington. He is one of the more underrated players in the draft, and could wind up being a major steal at this point. His range will allow him to be a factor for Minnesota from day one.

29) NYK- Toney Douglas- PG (Florida State)
New York purchased this pick from the Lakers to land Douglas, who reminds me a lot of Nate Robinson, just 6 inches taller.

30) CLE- Christian Eyenga- SG/SF (Congo)
This was an absolute shot in the dark pick for Cleveland. GM Danny Ferry said the team was looking the player with the highest ceiling, and apparently the landed on Eyenga. An abysmal pick for Cleveland to end the first round.

No comments:

Post a Comment