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2009 D-League Draft Results and First Impressions

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I spent way too long trying to find an <a href="">Impressions</a> album cover image that fit within SBN's image boxes, but it didn't happen.
I spent way too long trying to find an Impressions album cover image that fit within SBN's image boxes, but it didn't happen.

So that happened.  If you tuned in to the Open Source Live Blog you saw me try desperately to keep up with the D-League draft, with picks that would occasionally come eight at a time, all while also trying to figure out who the heck some of the players taken in the later rounds are.  It was fun, and thanks go out to all the commenters who stopped by and contributed.  That's the point of making it "open source," after all.  I thought I'd put up some first impressions, what I liked, what I wasn't a big fan of, etc., while the draft was still fresh in my mind.  Some of this (okay, pretty much all of it) is on-the-fly analysis, so be aware that some of my opinions could change between now and whenever I do a fuller read on how it went.

What I liked

  • I really, really like Utah's draft.  They got probably the best big man in the pool with Garrett Siler, then addressed their need for a point guard by taking Orien Greene, who's out to prove his pro career isn't a total disaster, and Jason Richards, who picked up a ton of assists in college.  Kevin Goffney could be interesting as well, as he's a good rebounder for a swingman, and I like their late pick of Alain LaRoche, another swingman-type who made over 68 percent of his field goals playing in Finland last year.
  • Idaho is another team I thought drafted well.  Sundiata Gaines could be a strong point guard for them this year even though the team's already bringing Lanny Smith back.  Dar Tucker is the wild card here, as he's very athletic and talented, but has exhibited terrible shot selection thus far in his career.  I'll be interested to see how he takes to Bob MacKinnon's offense.  Delonte Holland should fit in as a good three-point shooter, just as long as he doesn't get mad at his coach again.  Mike Gansey and Bryant McKenzie were both solid late pick-ups.  McKenzie should (hopefully) fill their need for a big man; even though he hasn't played much the last few years, the numbers are there.  Gansey could counteract Tucker's shooting with his own smart play.  I think he's a great fit for MacKinnon's offense with his efficiency and ability to score off of picks and screens.
  • Rio Grande Valley is the third team that I get an overall good impression about.  They drafted a strong defender in Antonio Anderson and followed that up with a very good three-point shooter in Jonathan Wallace.  Jamarcus Ellis showed a nice all-around game at Indiana, averaging a little over eight rebounds, about four assists and about two steals per 36 minutes.  Kenny Dawkins should be a solid backup for Cliff Clinkscales.
  • Kudos to Erie for drafting a real center (John Bryant) instead of going with their inane idea of sticking a small or power forward in that position again.  Bryant's pretty good, too, if you can look past the big and slow factor.
  • Shout out to my Turkish psych rock CDs for accompanying me and keeping me from getting too flustered during the draft and live blog.  Bunalım, 3 Hür-el, Barış Manço...good stuff.

What the

  • I have to say, the BayHawks got the surprises going early by picking Donell Taylor second overall.  First we heard they were looking at Sundiata Gaines.  Then they were talking big man.  But instead they went with the NBA vet shooting guard who defends a little and doesn't score a ton.  So I don't know.  It's not that I don't like Taylor, or that he's not a good player, he just wasn't what I was expecting out of Erie's first pick.  Cleveland's front office was a part of their draft "war room," so maybe we'll see Taylor called up at some point this year.
  • With Rashad Anderson, Pat Carroll, Sean Barnette, Marcus Walker, Joah Tucker...almost all of their picks really, the Iowa Energy were pretty clearly looking for scorers and shooters.  I wouldn't bank on having Anthony Tolliver all year if I were them, either, but I guess we'll see if Casey Love and Russell Hicks can get it done down low.  At any rate, expect Curtis Stinson to get assists, son.
  • I mentioned this in the OSLB, but...I'm not really sure Tulsa has the best track record to pick Latavious Williams.  Without a doubt, it probably better that Williams go to a team with a direct NBA affiliate that has shown a commitment to development and to using its D-League team properly (unlike, say, the Lakers).  That said, I'm not sure Keith Clark grew all that much as a player last season, and it's possible that Williams will find himself in the same situation of being draft-eligible but not draft-desired.  That's not entirely fair, as Tulsa had a rough year last year overall, and some injuries probably forced Clark into situations he was either unready or ill-suited for.  Tulsa's new head man Nate Tibbetts is a good up-and-coming coach, and immediately presenting him with a project like Williams speaks to Oklahoma City's (and Tulsa's) confidence in him.  But, Williams is a power forward (and a rail-thin one at that - he's listed at 6'8", 190 lbs.) on a team that already has Clark and Larry Owens, plus anyone Oklahoma City might want to send down such as D.J. White, so I wonder how much "on-court" development Williams will get.

The full draft results broken down by team are below the jump.

Albuquerque Thunderbirds Austin Toros Bakersfield Jam Dakota Wizards
Carlos Powell Alonzo Gee Amara Sy Curtis Withers
Chad Toppert Russell Carter Reece Gaines Doug Thomas
Erek Hansen Lewis Clinch Anthony Goods Marcus Dove
Yaroslav Korolev Ira Brown Jared Newson D'lancy Carter
Shagari Alleyne David McClure Lance Hurdle Jason Straight
J'Nathan Bullock Quemont Greer Chris Ayer Darren Cooper
Garrison Carr Augustine Okuson Ramon Dyer Rashaad Powell
Brian Kortovich D'Mond Grismore Stephen McDowell Jimmy Binnie
Erie BayHawks Fort Wayne Mad Ants Idaho Stampede Iowa Energy
Donell Taylor Alade Aminu Sundiata Gaines Rashad Anderson
John Bryant Frank Tolbert Dar Tucker Pat Carroll
Martin Zeno Jamelle Cornley Delonte Holland Sean Barnette
Derrick Mercer Booker Woodfox TJ Cummings Carl Mitchell
Rod Wilmont Lenny Stokes JC Mathis Joah Tucker
Jeff Skemp CJ Anderson Mike Gansey Casey Love
Ryan Troutman Andres Sandoval Bryson McKenzie Russell Hicks
Zachary Sowers AJ Ratliff Vince Oliver Marcus Walker
Los Angeles D-Fenders Maine Red Claws Reno Bighorns RGV Vipers
Deron Washington Paul Harris Desmon Farmer Antonio Anderson
Alan Wiggins Darnell Lazare Haminn Quaintance Jonathan Wallace
Jeremy Wise Frank Young Chris Lowe Jamarcus Ellis
Christopher Hayes Gary Ervin Louis Graham Mickell Gladness
Christopher Moore Scooter McFadgon Terry Martin Kenny Dawkins
Charlie Parker Anthony Terrell Jermaine Johnson Antoine Hood
Moustafa N'Doye Tony Bobbitt Chris Davis Rashad Woods
Travis Pinick Matt Clement Ronald Allen DeAngelo Alexander
Sioux Falls Skyforce Springfield Armor Tulsa 66ers Utah Flash
Raymond Sykes JamesOn Curry Latavious Williams Garrett Siler
Pete Campbell Major Wingate Mustafa Shakur Orien Greene
Reggie Williams James Cripe Cecil Brown Kevin Goffney
Leemire Goldwire Craig Austrie Jeral Davis Jason Richards
Draelon Burns DeSean White Mitchell Jordan Joe Darger
Nate Miles Perrin Johnson Keena Young Travis Holmes
Rodney Alexander Brandon Jones Adam McCoy Alain LaRoche
Lawrence McKenzie Braydon Billbe Tim Parham Jordan Brady