TheBaker’s 2009 NBA Mock Draft

June 22, 2009 – 10:00 pm by TheBaker

Colorado Oklahoma Basketball1. Los Angeles ClippersBlake Griffin, PF (Oklahoma)
Duh. Not even the Clippers can botch this one…I think. Griffin is this year’s prize. After him, the draft starts to taste a lot like Coors Light – watered down.
Local take: Mark Heisler of the Los Angeles Times.

2. Memphis GrizzliesHasheem Thabeet, C (UConn)
A lot has been made of Thabeet canceling his workout with Memphis on Sunday. But the best center prospect in the draft met with Grizzlies’ officials in Los Angeles on Saturday, where Thabeet told them the reason for canceling was because of a shoulder injury. Pau’s younger brother, Marc Gasol, had a decent first season with Memphis, but you can’t teach 7-foot-2 or incredible defensive instincts. Thabeet is a difference maker in a league where centers are an endangered species.
Local take: Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. 

3. Oklahoma City ThunderJames Harden, SG (Arizona State)
Ricky Rubio is enticing, but the Thunder already have Russell Westbrook at the point, and while Thabo Sefolosha was a nice pickup last season, Oklahoma City still needs help at shooting guard. Harden is the best two-guard in the draft, and is the sensible pick. Though Sam Petri rarely does the sensible. He may be tempted to grab Rubio and then trade his rights. He’s also said to be in love with Stephen Curry.
Local take: Mike Baldwin of The Oklahoman.

4. Sacramento KingsRicky Rubio, PG (Spain)
Kings fans are doing flips as Rubio falls to them at No. 4. As it stands now, the Kings starting point guard is Bobby Jackson, and no it’s not 2002. Sacramento needs help across the board, but the Kings need a point guard more than I need an orally inclined girlfriend. On Sunday, the Kings worked out Tyreke Evans, Jonny Flynn, Patty Mills and Stephen Curry. Rubio landed in Sac-Town on Monday for a workout. And according to the Sacramento Bee, none of the point guard prospects on Sunday made a case for the Kings to bypass Rubio, who many have rated as the No. 2 prospect in this year’s draft.
Local take: Sam Amick of The Sacramento Bee. 

5. Washington WizardsDeMar DeRozan, SG (USC)
He’s a two-guard that can’t shoot (16.7 percent 3-point shooting last season). But boy can this kid jump out of the gym. DeRozan’s athleticism is remarkable and the Wizards can use help in the backcourt. No offense to Dominic McGuire, but when he’s playing 30-plus minutes, as he did late in the season for Washington, then you need help at that position. Nick Young, another USC product, is still a bit of a mystery, but should be helped with the return of Gilbert Arenas. DeRozan is a supreme athlete and might be better suited for the NBA than college. And he can develop his outside shot.
Local take: Mike Jones of The Washington Times. 

6. Minnesota TimberwolvesTyreke Evans, SG (Memphis)
When your options at point guard are Kevin Ollie, Sebastian Telfair and some guy named Bobby Brown, the position screams “need.” Evans’s size (6-foot-5) allows him to play either guard position, but he’s much better with the ball in his hands. Jordan Hill is a possibility, but with the return of Al Jefferson from injury and the maturation of Kevin Love, the frontcourt isn’t nearly the area of need the backcourt is for the T-Wolves.
Local take: Don Seeholzer of The Pioneer Press. 

stephen_curry_ap7. Golden State WarriorsStephen Curry, SG (Davidson)
It seems the Warriors aren’t 100 percent sure what they are going to do with Monta Ellis just yet. Curry is a shooter extraordinaire and while the Warriors might be tempted to take Arizona big man Jordan Hill, they still have to see what they have in former lottery picks Anthony Randolph and Brandan Wright. You know what you’re getting with Curry, and he could flourish in Don Nelson’s run-and-gun.
Local take: Marcus Thompson II of The Oakland Tribune. 

8. New York KnicksBrandon Jennings, PG (Italy)
Heartbroken that Curry is off the board, the Knicks take one of the biggest gambles in this year’s draft. Jennings failed to qualify academically for college, so instead went to Europe for a year of seasoning. Sentiments on his game are mixed, but there’s no doubting he has elite talent. Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni is still pretty well connected in Italian circles, so I’m sure he’ll get an accurate scouting report on Jennings. There has been talk that the Knicks want to move up in the draft by dangling Wilson Chandler and this pick, so they can have a chance at drafting Curry or even Rubio. Washington seems willing to listen, so we shall see.
Local take: Marc Berman of The New York Post. 

9. Toronto RaptorsJordan Hill, PF (Arizona)
The Raptors can’t believe Hill is still on the board. The third-best big man in the draft, Hill is the much needed insurance policy for when Chris Bosh bolts Canada after this season.
Local take: Doug Smith of The Toronto Star. 

10. Milwaukee BucksDeJuan Blair, PF (Pittsburgh)
A surprise pick, Blair gives the Bucks what they need – toughness. Charlie Villanueva is all but gone via free agency, so Milwaukee is going to need another big body to take some of the pressure off Andrew Bogut. Blair’s size has been the biggest knock on him, but it didn’t seem to hamper him going up against Thabeet in Big East play. With a chip on his shoulder, Blair will prove to be a solid pick.
Local take: Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. 

11. New Jersey NetsGerald Henderson, SG/SF (Duke)
The Nets brought Henderson in for a second workout on Tuesday and have a glaring need at two-guard, with Keyon Dooling currently listed atop the depth chart. Pairing Henderson with Devin Harris would be a shrewd move. One of the more mature prospects in the draft, Henderson has gotten better each and every year at Duke and has the chance to be a real keeper.
Local take: Dave D’Alessandro of The Star Ledger. 

12. Charlotte Bobcats Terrence Williams, SG (Louisville)
This pick looks like it will come down to Williams or Henderson, so with Henderson gone, Williams is the pick. Larry Brown supposedly was blown away by Williams’s performance during his workout and brought him in for a second look this week. Williams, an ultra-versatile and productive player in college, will immediately push Raja Bell for playing time at the two-guard.
Local take: Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. 

13. Indiana PacersTyler Hansbrough, PF (North Carolina)
Chances are if you’re white, Larry Bird is going to take a flier on you. Hansbrough helped himself mightily by measuring in at 6-foot-10, and he’s the type of player the Pacers have needed. Troy Murphy rebounds and shoots, but is more of a perimeter big man than a paint presence. Roy Hibbert still has a lot of work to do and Rasho Nesterovic is on his way out of town. Hansbrough was the model of production at UNC and is a winner. You know what Hansbrough is, and what he’s not. At No. 13, he’s good value.
Local take: Mike Wells of The Indianapolis Star. 

14. Phoenix SunsEarl Clark, SF (Louisville)
The Suns had Clark in for a visit Saturday and he’s the type of athletic big man Phoenix likes to deploy. Clark drips with tools, but doesn’t always play up to his ability. A lot of times last season, he was overshadowed by his Louisville teammate Williams. Wake Forest’s James Johnson is an option here too, but Suns GM Steve Kerr likens Clark’s versatility to Boris Diaw’s.bjmullens
Local take: Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic.

15. Detroit PistonsB.J. Mullens, C (Ohio State)
Does he deserve to be picked this high? No. But he’s 7-feet tall and that’s pretty much all it takes to convince a team you’re worth the risk. Ohio State coach Thad Matta brought Mullens along slowly this year, probably with hopes of minimizing his appeal to NBA scouts for at least another season. But Mullens has what most prospects in this draft don’t have – height.
Local take: Detroit Free-Press photo essay. 

16. Chicago BullsJames Johnson, PF (Wake Forest)
It seems no matter which team Johnson works out for, he always gets rave reviews. Tyrus Thomas made some late strides for the Bulls last season, but he’s more of a high-flying tweener than a true power forward. Johnson isn’t a pure four either, but he’s more of a bruiser than Thomas and gives the Bulls exactly what they need. Chicago still has to figure out what’s going to happen with Ben Gordon, but John Salmons’ late season play might lead them to believe he can handle the two-guard spot next season with the hopeful return of a healthy Luol Deng.
Local take: K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. 

17. Philadelphia 76ersJonny Flynn, PG (Syracuse)
The 76ers benefit from Flynn’s slight drop and snap up the super-quick point guard. Andre Miller is a free agent and Lou Williams is more of a two-guard than a pure point. Flynn is just what the doctor ordered for Philly fans.
Local take: Kate Fagan of The Philadelphia Inquirer. 

18. Minnesota TimberwolvesAustin Daye, SF (Gonzaga)
The T-Wolves got burned with the selection of the rail-thin Corey Brewer a few years ago, but Daye has all the skills to flourish in the NBA. The question is, does he have the body? Right now, no. He’s 6-foot-10 and 190 lbs. But given time, he may be one of the better picks in this year’s draft.
Local take: Don Seeholzer of The Pioneer Press.  

19. Atlanta HawksEric Maynor, PG (VCU)
Mike Bibby’s age is starting to show and Acie Law isn’t the answer. Maynor is a four-year college player ready to step in and give any NBA team a solid contributor at the point.
Local take: Mark Bradley of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

20. Utah JazzDerrick Brown, SF (Xavier)
A backup to Deron Williams at point guard is a possibility and there are a few to choose from (Jrue Holliday, Jeff Teague and Ty Lawson), but the Jazz go with what some might consider a reach with the selection of Brown. The former Musketeer can flat out play and he’s shown teams an improved shooting stroke in workouts. He’s a hard-nosed player, the type Jerry Sloan loves and would be an ideal fit in Utah. Another name to keep an eye on is Israeli Omri Casspi.
Local take: Tim Buckley of The Deseret News. 

21. New Orleans HornetsJrue Holliday, PG (UCLA)
A luxury pick, the Hornets take Holliday, who no more than two weeks ago was considered a lock lottery selection, and potential top-5 pick by some. Now, Holliday hasn’t played any games between then and now, but for some reason, I have him slipping to the Hornets, who gladly take the former Bruin to provide a solid backup to Chris Paul. Behind Paul, Holliday will have the chance to adapt to the NBA game as a reserve and provide great energy off the bench for Byron Scott.ty-lawson-celebrates
Local take: John Reid of The Times-Picayune.

22. Dallas Mavericks Ty Lawson, PG (UNC)
Jason Kidd isn’t getting any younger and J.J. Berea is more of an off the bench option than a regular starter. Lawson falls because of his height and lack of a jump shot. At No. 22, he’s just too good of a value to pass up for the Mavs.
Local take: Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. 

23. Sacramento Kings Chase Budinger, SF (Arizona)
The Kings addressed their need at point guard with the selection of Rubio at No. 4. However, if they trade Rubio’s rights, then a point guard (like Jeff Teague) would be a logical choice. However, if the Kings keep Rubio, they can address depth on the wings. Budinger is a superb athlete and while he couldn’t guard a chair, he can shoot, score, rebound and pass. He can work on his defense on the job.
Local take: Sam Amick of The Sacramento Bee. 

24. Portland Trailblazers Jeff Teague, PG (Wake Forest)
The Blazers can go anywhere with this pick, but look likely to address their backup point guard position. Last year’s first round pick (via a trade with Indiana) Jerryd Bayless isn’t a pure point guard and is fighting Brandon Roy and Rudy Fernandez for minutes. Teague has a lot to learn still and should have stayed in Winston-Salem for one more season. But he has promise and warrants a look this late in the first round.
Local take: Jason Quick of The Oregonian. 

25. Oklahoma City Thunder Sam Young, SF/PF (Pittsburgh)
He might not ever be a starter in the NBA, but Young has a place in the league as a potential stud sixth-man. He can play a variety of positions and has shown an improved shooting stroke. The youthful Thunder can certainly use some of Young’s swagger and toughness.
Local take: Mike Baldwin of The Oklahoman

26. Chicago BullsMarcus Thornton, SG (LSU).
Again, who knows what’s going to happen with Ben Gordon? So the Bulls look to fill a potential void in the backcourt with Thornton. A tough guard, who can make difficult shots, Thornton is also a good defender and really shined in the NCAA Tournament.
Local take: Brian Hanley of The Chicago Sun-Times. 

27. Memphis GrizzliesOmri Casspi, SF/PF (Israel)
Memphis went with the big guy in Thabeet at No. 2 and now go for some versatility late in Round 1. Casspi entered the draft last year, but withdrew his name when he wasn’t given a first round guarantee from a team. He’s going in the first round in nearly every mock draft this year. He’s known for attacking the basket and has proved more than adequate at finishing around the rim.
Local take: Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.  

28. Minnesota TimberwolvesJonas Jerekbo, SF/PF (Sweden)
With two first round picks already invested in Tyreke Evans and Austin Daye, the T-Wolves probably aren’t too keen on adding a third rookie for next season. Jerekbo is 6-foot-9 and has drawn comparison’s to Utah’s Matt Harpring. He averaged 9.2 points and 5.5 rebounds last season in the Italian league and probably will never see the court in the NBA. Either way the T-Wolves don’t risk much by taking him and stashing him in Europe for another year or two.
Local take: Don Seeholzer of The Pioneer Press. 

29. Los Angeles LakersNick Calathes, PG (Florida)
He’s signed to play for a Greek team next season and the Lakers will already have a stacked payroll. He has some definite skill and in two years when Derek Fisher is in a retirement home, Shannon Brown is somewhere else and Sasha Vujacic is modeling underwear in Milan, Calathes could be a valuable commodity.
Local take: In GM Mitch Kupchak’s words via the Los Angeles Times. 

30. Cleveland CavaliersWayne Ellington, SG (UNC)
The Cavs need shooters around LeBron James. And Ellington is one of the best shooters in this class. He’s a winner, a leader and could be a nice cog for Cleveland next season.
Local take: Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer. 

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  1. 9 Responses to “TheBaker’s 2009 NBA Mock Draft”

  2. FWIW, Mullens was brought along slowly because he sucked ass, the appeal thing with the scouts was just a byproduct. You hate to say that someone won’t be effective, but jesus, he wasn’t even a factor (outside of being tall) in conference play until the last 2 weeks of the season.

    By Chad on Jun 23, 2009

  3. Rubio to the Grizzlies, I’m calling it!

    By KJ on Jun 23, 2009

  4. It’d be interesting to see if the Grizz do take Rubio, since it’s a total gamble. They’ve been burned by taking a guy who didn’t want to play for them before (Steve Francis). The draft totally hinges on the No. 2 pick, and it’s probably about 50-50 right now on whether or not they keep it or deal it.

    By Phillips on Jun 23, 2009

  5. This year’s draft is going to be filled with flop picks. Of the top 20 or so, I think the following players might be flops… DeRozan, Jennings, Jordan Hill, Mullens, and Daye. This is a great draft to be needing a point guard though IMO if you are out of the lottery. I think Flynn, Maynor, Lawson, and Holliday are all going to be solid pros.

    By KJ on Jun 23, 2009

  6. derozan is not goin to washington. . . the wolves traded to take washingtons 5th overall pick. . . And jordan hill wont drop that far mark my words!

    By spirow on Jun 23, 2009

  7. We did this post before the Washington/Minnesota trade.

    By Phillips on Jun 24, 2009

  8. My first reaction to Hansborough to the Pacers was disgust, but the more I thought about it over the past two days, the more it makes sense not just because of the whitey factor but also because Bird likes to target upperclassmen and because he’d be the new Austin Croshere.

    By Joe Camel on Jun 24, 2009

  9. I understand the Croshere comparison but it’s a bit off base. Hansborough can board better than Croshere but he can’t shoot as well (Cro was a decent 3 point shooter back in the day). Hansborough can bang more too. Although I guess we’ll see if he can in the NBA…

    By Pablo on Jun 25, 2009

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