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2009 NBA Draft: Round 1 Pick Analysis

Here we go, pick by pick, through the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft:

Round 1

1. Los Angeles Clippers: Blake Griffin – F – Oklahoma

No surprise here. Griffin was easily the best player in the college ranks this past season. There’s also no surprise that the Clippers need all the help they can get. 22 points a game and 14 rebounds on average is simply outstanding. He will come in on day one and start for LA.

2. Memphis Grizzles: Hasheem Thabeet – C – Connecticut

The 7-2 local player lacks the offensive output to be a consistent force in the NBA, at least as a rookie, but defensively he will be a force. He’ll sneak up on you and block any shot you’re willing to shoot. He’ll add much needed size to Memphis.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder: James Harden – G – Arizona State

The Sun Devil prospect has a world of talent. I had Harden going sixth to Minnesota, but the 6-5 scorer is a terrible player. His physicality is always put on display and defensively he has the potential to develop into a solid stopper.

4. Sacramento Kings: Tyreke Evans – G – Memphis

The Celtics were reportedly high on Evans and for obvious reasons. The tweener, PG-SG type player is a hell of a basketball player. Big body, great overall player who has the potential to be one of the better players in the NBA. Played at a high level at Memphis. Good pick for the Kings.

5. Minnesota Timberwolves: Ricky Rubio – G – Spain

Thus far I’m five for five. I’m not a fan of Rubio. His game needs a lot of work but he is only 18 years old. Minnesota just traded Randy Foye, so PG is indeed a need. I don’t see Rubio contributing much at all within the next two-three years. The kid has potential though.

6. Minnesota Timberwolves: Jonny Flynn – G – Syracuse

I didn’t expect this pick, but Flynn was a terrific player for Syracuse especially in that thriller against UConnecticut. Flynn played 1,418 minutes during his time at Syracuse. So his experience will allow him to make an impact right away. He is small, but he is quick and does have a high basketball IQ.

7. Golden State Warriors: Stephen Curry – G – Davidson

The fact that the Knicks fans are sad makes me happy. I don’t like Curry. He’s a GREAT offensive player but he is under-sized and defensively he cannot do much. I see him having an NBA career like J.J Redick of the Magic. He’s not a PG, and he will get out matched at SG in the NBA. But boy, can he shoot!

8. New York Knicks: Jordan Hill – F – Arizona

Don’t be surprised. I hate Hill going 6th to the Timberwolves. No one knows who this is. He shot 54% from the field. A true team leader, who is very, very versatile. Big body, nice presence down low. Can run the open court. Should fit in well with the Knicks, although the great New Yorkers may not see it right now.

9. Toronto Raptors: DeMar DeRozan – G – USC

Great size, especially for a shooting guard. Good all around athlete. Average around 14 points per game who can jump. Very solid defensively. Toronto is in a rut with Anthony Parker and Shawn Marion as free agents, so bringing in a scorer at the two-guard position was a wise decision.

10. Milwaukee Bucks: Brandon Jennings – G – Italy

There may not be a more talented PG in this entire draft. We all know what he did overseas. The kid is a great ball handler, very quick, and can run the open court very effectively. His basketball IQ is rather low, but the talent is there for Jennings. I had him going mid-late first round, so this is a little high in my opinion for a player that isn’t “there” yet.

11. New Jersey Nets: Terrence Williams – F – Louisville

Very complete player and along with being athletic. Very, very quick. Terrific defender, probably his biggest attribute. The Nets are stacking up on young talent, so adding Williams is a plus for the organization. I had him going 13th to the Pacers.

12. Charlotte Bobcats: Gerald Henderson – G – Duke

Not a fan of Henderson. His game is inconsistent in my eyes. He doesn’t do anything particularly great, but he is solid. Not a great outside shooter, can’t handle the ball, but overall is a great defender. I don’t like him on a Bobcats team that really needed a big man.

13. Indiana Pacers: Tyler Hansbrough – F – North Carolina

Hansbrough doesn’t do anything great; he’s under-sized and quite frankly overrated. Sure he put up big numbers and what not but the guy’s game doesn’t transfer into the NBA. He’ll struggle guarding bigger post players in the NBA and offensively he will need to develop a more consistent mid-range jump shot.

14. Phoenix Suns: Earl Clark – F – Louisville

Will play small forward. Great size, terrific offensive player and is very, very long. He would be made for the run and gun type offense that the Suns employ. To be honest, I had Clark going 26 to the Bulls.

15. Detroit Pistons: Austin Daye – F – Gonzaga

Needs to put on some muscle, but at 6-11 playing small forward he’ll bring a lot of size to the Pistons. Kind of similar to Tashuan Prince. Good shot blocker, but again, needs to beef up.

16. Chicago Bulls: James Johnson – F – Wake Forest

Very under-sized for a forward. He’s too big to play the three position. Similar to Leon Powe from the Celtics. With Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah already on the roster, I would have looked toward the shooting guard position as Ben Gordon is a free agent.

17. Philadelphia 76ers: Jrue Holiday – G – UCLA

Great size with a ton of potential. However, he is very raw. The 76ers don’t have a PG behind Andre Miller, unless you take in account Louis Williams. Holiday is a couple of years away before he can contribute but I like the pick.

18. Minnesota Timberwolves: Ty Lawson – G – UNC

Another guard. I guess Rubio is going to get traded in exchange for Hill and Nate Robinson but they can’t make the deal until after July 8th. I like Lawson. Solid player, but is smaller. True leader and just a gamer. But something is brewing with Minnesota and all these guards. (Now it appears that he is getting traded to Denver. So disregard that Rubio talk, I guess)

19. Atlanta Hawks: Jeff Teague – G – Wake Forest

Great off the dribble, nice passer, one of the better scorers at the collegiate level. Should fit in nicely with the Hawks as they now have Jamaal Crawford along with Joe Johnson and Josh Smith.

20. Utah Jazz: Eric Maynor – G – VCU

High basketball IQ uses all his tools to a key. Can shoot, dribble, and pass.

21. New Orleans Hornets: Darren Collison – G – UCLA

Needs to bulk up. He is very quick but he has quick hands, needs to become more consistent. I don’t see why they need Collison with a man like Chris Paul, but Collison is a good player.

22. Portland Trailblazers: Victor Claver – F – Spain

I have no idea who this guy is. I’m never a fan of players that stay overseas for years before coming over to the NBA.

23. Sacramento Kings: Omri Casspi – F – Israel

Needs to add bulk. Very athletic but needs a more consistent outside shot. Very young, Casspi has a ton of potential.

24. Dallas Mavericks: B.J Mullens – C – Ohio State

Complete player, played in a big conference. Is more of a project player. Outstanding size.

25. Oklahoma City Thunder: Rodrique Beaubois – G – Guadeloupe

At least it was funny watching David Stern stumble. What can I tell you about him? He’s a point guard. (Traded to Dallas)

26. Chicago Bulls: Taj Gibson – F – USC

Gibson is a solid player. Very good low post player who has a great basketball IQ. Nice rebounder.

27. Memphis Grizzlies: DeMarre Carroll – F – Missouri

Very productive. Can shoot the mid-range jump shot. Nice size and has a nice motor.

28. Minnesota Timberwolves: Wayne Ellington – G – UNC

“Hi there.” Ellington has a ton of upside. Solid all around player with a knack for the basket. I had him going within the top 20, actually. I’m surprised Minnesota didn’t go with another PG here.

29. New York Knicks: Tony Douglas – G – Florida State

Big time scorer averaged 22 points per game. Very underrated. His upside is limited though, in my opinion.

30. Cleveland Cavaliers: Christian Eyenga – G – Congo

No idea. I remember Serge Ibaka from Congo last season. He was very athletic.

About Matthew Marcantonio - @M_Marcantonio

Matthew Marcantonio is the Patriots and college football editor at Sports of Boston. Marcantonio has contributed for two newspapers; the Sentinel & Enterprise (Leominster, Mass) and The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La) and held internships with The Bleacher Report and Sports Illustrated.

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8 comments for “2009 NBA Draft: Round 1 Pick Analysis”

  1. 2009 NBA Draft: Round 1 Pick Analysis: Here we go, pick by pick, through the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft:

    Posted by Sports of Boston | June 26, 2009, 12:34 pm
  2. I agree on Thabeet. What are the T-Wolves doing with all those PGs, they must expect Rubio signability issues (or want to trade him outright). I don’t like the Hansborough pick at all. He seems like a college player who won’t translate well to the pro game (size issues as you alluded to). His hard work can make up for a lot of things, but you can’t outwork or coach size. He will have a good career as a sixth man/role player and may very well be solid, but that’s a reach in that slot. Get someone with more upside. I love Gibson at 26 for the Bulls.

    Posted by Mike | June 26, 2009, 2:33 pm
  3. 2009 NBA Draft: Round 1 Pick Analysis | Sports of Boston: High basketball..

    Posted by Rick Eriksen | June 26, 2009, 7:57 pm
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    Posted by Rick Eriksen | June 26, 2009, 9:33 pm
  5. 2009 NBA Draft: Round 1 Pick Analysis | Sports of Boston: The tweener, ..

    Posted by Rick Eriksen | June 26, 2009, 9:33 pm
  6. 2009 NBA Draft: Round 1 Pick Analysis | Sports of Boston: 15. Detroit Pistons: Austin Daye – F – Gonzaga. Needs ..

    Posted by MotorCityFan | June 26, 2009, 11:10 pm
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