NBA Draft Recap

  • June 26, 2009, 1:06 AM

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  • Los Angeles Clippers
  • 1
  • Blake Griffin
  • Blake Griffin - Los Angeles Clippers - PF
  • Oklahoma - HT: 6'10" WT: 251 - SI GRADE: 10
The pick was the easy and obvious call for the Clippers. The challenge is sorting through Griffin and Zach Randolph at power forward and Marcus Camby and Chris Kaman at center to get a big-man rotation and make sure Griffin gets the minutes to blossom.
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • 2
  • Hasheem Thabeet
  • Hasheem Thabeet - Memphis Grizzlies - C
  • Connecticut - HT: 7'3" WT: 263 - SI GRADE: 9
Once lacking a center, the Grizzlies now have options. Marc Gasol is coming off an encouraging rookie season and Thabeet is a potential impact player on defense and easily the best prospect at the position in the draft. His progression on offense will bear watching.
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • 3
  • James Harden
  • James Harden - Oklahoma City Thunder - SG
  • Arizona State - HT: 6'5" WT: 218 - SI GRADE: 9
The Thunder add one of the most well-rounded, NBA-ready players on the board, a standing undiminished by disappointing NCAA tournament showings. Harden has a pro body for a shooting guard and the ability to score and handle the ball. He joins a promising nucleus of Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Jeff Green.
  • Sacramento Kings
  • 4
  • Tyreke Evans
  • Tyreke Evans - Sacramento Kings - PG/SG
  • Memphis - HT: 6'6" WT: 219 - SI GRADE: 9
The Kings love his physical presence as a big point guard with the ability to barrel into the lane. If he can turn his jump shot into a weapon, defenses will really have their hands full.
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • 5
  • Ricky Rubio
  • Ricky Rubio - Minnesota Timberwolves - PG
  • Spain - HT: 6'3" WT: 180 - SI GRADE: 9
A lot of teams rate Rubio the second-best prospect in the draft, but a difficult buyout with his Spanish team and worries about poor shooting and a lack of athleticism led to the drop. The Timberwolves hope they have finally solved their point guard woes.
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • 6
  • Jonny Flynn
  • Jonny Flynn - Minnesota Timberwolves - PG
  • Syracuse - HT: 6'0" WT: 185 - SI GRADE: 9
Speaking of solving their point guard woes: New Minnesota president David Kahn pulls a surprise by taking true ball handlers with back-to-back picks and passing on a scorer like Stephen Curry for the backcourt. If Rubio's arrival hits a snag, Minnesota has another option with Flynn.
  • Golden State Warriors
  • 7
  • Stephen Curry
  • Stephen Curry - Golden State Warriors - PG/SG
  • Davidson - HT: 6'3" WT: 185 - SI GRADE: 9
Is the selection of a duplicate player a statement on the future of Monta Ellis in Golden State? Even Don Nelson can't be thinking about using two undersized guards together with neither being a natural playmaker. No wonder Curry is rumored to be part of a potential trade for the Suns' Amar'e Stoudemire.
  • New York Knicks
  • 8
  • Jordan Hill
  • Jordan Hill - New York Knicks - PF
  • Arizona - HT: 6'10" WT: 235 - SI GRADE: 9
A big man who runs the court really well is a natural fit for Mike D'Antoni's offense. Hill went from an intriguing prospect a year ago to a lottery pick after a breakout season in 2008-09.
  • Toronto Raptors
  • 9
  • DeMar DeRozan
  • DeMar DeRozan - Toronto Raptors - SG
  • USC - HT: 6'7" WT: 220 - SI GRADE: 9
DeRozan is an athletic specimen with great potential who will succeed in the open court. If he develops a perimeter game (the swingman shot 16.7 percent from the college three-point line), he becomes a star and a steal at No. 9.
  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • 10
  • Brandon Jennings
  • Brandon Jennings - Milwaukee Bucks - PG
  • Italy - HT: 6'1" WT: 170 - SI GRADE: 8
Jennings could get the chance to play immediately, depending on whether Ramon Sessions leaves as a free agent. He has great quickness but will have to develop his jump shot and leadership qualities. Jennings will have help with the latter from coach Scott Skiles, a former NBA point guard.
  • New Jersey Nets
  • 11
  • Terrence Williams
  • Terrence Williams - New Jersey Nets - SG/SF
  • Louisville - HT: 6'6" WT: 220 - SI GRADE: 6
Projected as a small forward, Williams is probably the best perimeter defender in the draft, with the ability to check both guard positions as well as small forward. He is also a good rebounder and handles the ball well enough to get time as a point forward. The Nets' trade of Vince Carter created a big opening on the wing.
  • Charlotte Bobcats
  • 12
  • Gerald Henderson
  • Gerald Henderson - Charlotte Bobcats - SG/SF
  • Duke - HT: 6'4" WT: 215 - SI GRADE: 8
Charlotte stays in-state for the athletic swingman who made big improvements while at Duke. The Bobcats need a long-term prospect and more scoring punch at shooting guard. They liked Terrence Williams, too.
  • Indiana Pacers
  • 13
  • Tyler Hansbrough
  • Tyler Hansbrough - Indiana Pacers - PF
  • North Carolina - HT: 6'9" WT: 250 - SI GRADE: 7
The Pacers spent a lottery pick on a player projected by many teams to be a role player and maybe even a career-long reserve. The upside is that Hansbrough will be nonstop, hard-hat energy. He's a known quantity after four productive years with the Tar Heels.
  • Phoenix Suns
  • 14
  • Earl Clark
  • Earl Clark - Phoenix Suns - SF/PF
  • Louisville - HT: 6'9" WT: 225 - SI GRADE: 8
The combo forward can score inside and out and will defend. To really fulfill his potential, he will have to play with better focus and intensity. Will he be playing with Amar'e Stoudemire or attempting to help replace him?
  • Detroit Pistons
  • 15
  • Austin Daye
  • Austin Daye - Detroit Pistons - SF
  • Gonzaga - HT: 6'11" WT: 192 - SI GRADE: 7
A skilled offensive player with shooting range and ball-handling skills at 6-10, he will be a tough matchup. But Daye weighs just 192 pounds (he has a similar build to Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince) and struggled to be consistent in college.
  • Chicago Bulls
  • 16
  • James Johnson
  • James Johnson - Chicago Bulls - SF
  • Wake Forest - HT: 6'9" WT: 245 - SI GRADE: 7
Johnson will play power forward and small forward, and be able to handle both on defense as well as offense. He hurt his stock by putting on weight before hitting the workout circuit, but the skill set and toughness are undeniable.
  • Philadelphia 76ers
  • 17
  • Jrue Holiday
  • Jrue Holiday - Philadelphia 76ers - PG/SG
  • UCLA - HT: 6'3" WT: 180 - SI GRADE: 9
Finally. Holiday went 17th when most teams figured him for the lottery. Like a few guards picked before him, he'll need time to figure out the point position. The 76ers could have a big need there if they do not re-sign free agent Andre Miller.
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • 18
  • Ty Lawson
  • Ty Lawson - Minnesota Timberwolves - PG
  • traded to Nuggets
  • North Carolina - HT: 5'11" WT: 195 - SI GRADE: 7
With this pick from Minnesota, Denver secures an immediate backup for Chauncey Billups. Lawson is tremendous in transition and not bad in half-court sets, either. Anthony Carter, last season's backup point guard, is a free agent.
  • Atlanta Hawks
  • 19
  • Jeff Teague
  • Jeff Teague - Atlanta Hawks - PG
  • Wake Forest - HT: 6'2" WT: 180 - SI GRADE: 7
The Hawks are loading up on point guards, trading for combo guard Jamal Crawford and drafting Teague, who can get in the lane and score. Are they preparing to lose free agent Mike Bibby?
  • Utah Jazz
  • 20
  • Eric Maynor
  • Eric Maynor - Utah Jazz - PG
  • Virginia Commonwealth - HT: 6'3" WT: 175 - SI GRADE: 7
Utah's next new hope to give Deron Williams a dependable backup. Maynor loves the pressure moments and has great feel for the position.
  • New Orleans Hornets
  • 21
  • Darren Collison
  • Darren Collison - New Orleans Hornets - PG
  • UCLA - HT: 6'0" WT: 160 - SI GRADE: 6
The run on backup point guards continues with one of the best defensive guards in the draft. Collison's extensive experience playing deep into NCAA tournaments prepares him him for the big stage. He'll pick up a thing or two from Chris Paul.
  • Portland Trail Blazers
  • 22
  • Victor Claver
  • Victor Claver - Portland Trail Blazers - SF
  • Spain - HT: 6'10" WT: 236 - SI GRADE: 5
The Spanish small forward is expected to join Joel Freeland (2006) and Petteri Koponen (2007, in a trade with the 76ers) as Trail Blazers picks who remain overseas to develop.
  • Sacramento Kings
  • 23
  • Omri Casspi
  • Omri Casspi - Sacramento Kings - SF
  • Israel - HT: 6'8" WT: 225 - SI GRADE: 6
The Israeli small forward has already said he's willing to spend another season playing in his native country. The Kings, looking to save money, will probably take him up on it.
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • 24
  • B.J. Mullens
  • B.J. Mullens - Dallas Mavericks - C
  • traded to Thunder
  • Ohio State - HT: 7'0" WT: 275 - SI GRADE: 7
Oklahoma City has acquired this pick. There are real issues about Mullens' desire to play and get better, but his potential is unquestioned. One GM said Mullens has the talent to be a top-five pick. He's the second center of the first round, long after Hasheem Thabeet went second to Memphis.
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • 25
  • Rodrigue Beaubois
  • Rodrigue Beaubois - Oklahoma City Thunder - PG
  • traded to Mavericks
  • France - HT: 6'2" WT: 182 - SI GRADE: 5
Beaubois, acquired by Dallas, is an athletic point guard who has a similar build to Boston's Rajon Rondo. Ideally, Beaubois grows into a starting floor leader in a few years. In the meantime, the Mavs hope he'll have free agent Jason Kidd around as a mentor.
  • Chicago Bulls
  • 26
  • Taj Gibson
  • Taj Gibson - Chicago Bulls - PF
  • USC - HT: 6'9" WT: 225 - SI GRADE: 2
The Pac-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year is a thin shot-blocker with long arms. He's also 24 years old, a plus for his maturity but a drawback in terms of upside.
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • 27
  • DeMarre Carroll
  • DeMarre Carroll - Memphis Grizzlies - PF
  • Missouri - HT: 6'8" WT: 225 - SI GRADE: 4
Scrappy, energy player who rebounds well has the chance to contribute off the bench.
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • 28
  • Wayne Ellington
  • Wayne Ellington - Minnesota Timberwolves - SG
  • North Carolina - HT: 6'4" WT: 200 - SI GRADE: 6
The third first-round pick from North Carolina's national-championship team can score from the perimeter or off the dribble. In Ricky Rubio, Jonny Flynn and Ellington (Ty Lawson reportedly will be traded), the Timberwolves hope they collected the backcourt of the future in one night.
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • 29
  • Toney Douglas
  • Toney Douglas - Los Angeles Lakers - PG/SG
  • traded to Knicks
  • Florida State - HT: 6'2" WT: 205 - SI GRADE: 4
The pick is for the Knicks as part of a trade that will become official later. Douglas has a chance to become a defensive presence in the backcourt. The deep-shooting threat also averaged 21.5 points last season.
  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • 30
  • Christian Eyenga
  • Christian Eyenga - Cleveland Cavaliers - SF
  • Republic of Congo - HT: 6'6" WT: 210 - SI GRADE: 3
Like anyone in Cleveland was going to notice the pick even if they'd heard of him. The Shaquille O'Neal trade is the news that blots out everything else. Anyone outside a few front offices who said they saw this one coming is a liar of lottery-pick proportions.
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