Here is Ridiculous Upside's 2009 NBA Mock draft, version 2.0, as the lottery on May 19 will certainly bring more changes. As always, check out our Guide To Mock Drafts to answer any questions before any flambéing occurs. After the jump we provide brief analysis on all 30 picks, along with links to blogs about each team and player. Feel the excitement!!
Before you start freaking out, and because I know not everyone will click over to read our Guide to Mock Drafts, here's an excerpt:
So unless otherwise noted, all Ridiculous Upside Mock Drafts are based on what we feel are the best fits for the given team's personnel. To this end, selections are rarely made based on the "best talent available" theorem. We don't assert that these mock drafts should be considered accurate predictors, professional insight, or anything other than a work of opinion. Awesome, awesome opinion.
Any other issues? Leave feedback in the comments! Unless it's where I slotted a big man.. Then just know I hate them just as much as you do, but I did have reasoning for selecting them there. If your mock draft is better, post it in the fan shots and, if we like it, it could make the front page!
|1||Los Angeles Clippers||Ricky Rubio|
|2||Memphis Grizzlies||Blake Griffin|
|3||Oklahoma City Thunder||Hasheem Thabeet|
|4||Sacramento Kings||Brandon Jennings|
|5||Washington Wizards||Jordan Hill|
|6||Minnesota Timberwolves||James Harden|
|7||Golden State Warriors||Tyreke Evans|
|8||New York Knicks||Ty Lawson|
|9||Toronto Raptors||Demar DeRozan|
|10||Milwaukee Bucks||Jonny Flynn|
|11||New Jersey Nets||James Johnson|
|12||Charlotte Bobcats||Gerald Henderson|
|13||Indiana Pacers||Jrue Holiday|
|14||Phoenix Suns||Earl Clark|
|15||Detroit Pistons||Terrence Williams|
|16||Chicago Bulls||DeJuan Blair|
|17||Philadelphia 76ers||Stephen Curry|
|18||Minnesota Timberwolves||Jeff Teague|
|19||Atlanta Hawks||BJ Mullens|
|20||Utah Jazz||Tyler Hansbrough|
|21||New Orleans Hornets||Chase Budinger|
|22||Dallas Mavericks||Eric Maynor|
|23||Sacramento Kings||Austin Daye|
|24||Portland Trailblazers||Nick Calathes|
|25||Oklahoma City Thunder||Darren Collison|
|26||Chicago Bulls||Wayne Ellington|
|27||Memphis Grizzlies||Toney Douglas|
|28||Minnesota Timberwolves||Omri Casspi|
|29||Los Angeles Lakers||Sam Young|
Griffin has been the consensus number one overall. I know this. There is no need to remind me. However, bare with me. Would you really like to see Blake Griffin develop around Chris Kaman and Zach Randolph? Neither would I. He'd be just as good as he has been in college (which could be his ceiling anyway) if his coaches are those two and Mike Dunleavy. Why not take Rubio and get rid of Baron Davis (easier than Randolph, I imagine) at the end of the season after Rubio's had a year of American basketball. Or at least until Davis gets hurt next season.
2. Memphis Grizzlies - Blake Griffin PF (Oklahoma Sophomore)
Griffin is a complete monster, shown via his domination of all things college basketball, including the ladies. Typically considered the top player in the draft, I have him with the Grizzlies because Darrell Arthur and Hakim Warrick aren't the answer (anywhere) and I would hate to watch him in Los Angeles when Rubio fills a need there as well. Plus, Mayo-Gay-Griffin will win a 3-on-3 tourney against the rest of the NBA.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder - Hasheem Thabeet C (UCONN Junior)
Thabeet is a rare player, a 7'3 center who blocks everything. Just his presence makes players flinch and blow easy lay-ups. He also can hit a 15-foot jump shot and is not a horrible FT shooter for a player of his size. The ThunderSonics have not had the greatest luck drafting 7-foot+ dudes (Mo Sene, Robert Swift, Johan Petro), but I think Thabeet would fit very well with this team. They have offense, why not draft some defense?
4. Sacramento Kings - Brandon Jennings PG (Lottomatica Roma, Italy)
Jennings was rated by some people as the #1 player in his high school class. He has tons of talent, but ended up in Italy after his grades didn't live up to Arizona's standards. Jennings didn't do anything special in Europe, but I think he'll be a better NBA player. In addition to this, he's the best point guard available, he's got plenty of potential, and he's not Beno Udrih. Case closed.
5. Washington Wizards - Jordan Hill PF (Arizona Junior)
Hill is big, strong, athletic and willing to pound the glass and defend the post - you will have a man crush on him soon. He averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds per game this past season at Arizona - double-double's in college aren't easy to come by. Would Antawn Jamison moving to the 3 be terrible? I wouldn't mind seeing what transpired either way. My favorite part? Hill says himself that he has "Ridiculous" Upside.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves - James Harden SG (Arizona State Sophomore)
I've said it before - he is not the best athlete in the draft. Harden plays more like a crafty vet with high basketball IQ and strong fundamentals. I really like Harden, and picking him at six wouldn't be bad for a weak Minnesota backcourt. If nothing else, I hear he's intelligent. Maybe he can jump into the GM spot as well?
7. Golden State Warriors - Tyreke Evans G (Memphis Freshman)
Evans began his freshman season as a 2-guard at Memphis, but exploded when John Calipari moved him to the point. The Golden State Warriors would be very happy to have him here, as he's big enough to play either position and can handle the ball. Hopefully his size would be able to offset what Monta Ellis brings to this team as his backcourt mate. Suck Squad no more? No. But getting closer!
8. New York Knicks - Ty Lawson PG (UNC Junior)
Mike D'antoni wants to play at high speeds and no one knows how to play fast and smart better than Lawson. He's the type of point D'antoni likes - perfect for the Knicks. If Griffin wasn't the biggest no-brainer of the draft at the two-spot, this is. It just feels right, ya know? (That's what she said.)
9. Toronto Raptors - Demar DeRozan SG (USC Freshman)
DeRozan is a pure scorer, as he can hit from deep or remind you of Vince Carter with his finishes at the rim. He was the best freshman coming in last season and improved at USC as the season wore on. Could he one day evolve into the 2nd coming of Vince Carter for the Raptors? Who knows, but they'll like him more than they currently like VC. If he can find some handles and bring some defense, the Raptors will be getting a steal.
10. Milwaukee Bucks - Jonny Flynn PG (Syracuse Sophomore)
The Bucks will more than likely either be without Charlie Villanueva or Ramon Sessions next season. In a weak draft for forwards, it seems like a good idea to hold onto Villanueva and let Sessions find greener pastures. The only thing that worriesmes is his shooting, but not enough to hurt his stock after his impressive Big East tourney.
11. New Jersey Nets - James Johnson SF (Wake Forest Sophomore)
The Nets need a small forward. Johnson can play the small forward. He's got a big body, he's versatile, he can score, and he's only going to get better. He should be able to contribute right away. I like this guy.
12. Charlotte Bobcats - Gerald Henderson SG (Duke Junior)
Henderson is a stud. On defense anyway. Offensively, he's a bit questionable, but I think he can develop this aspect of his game. Raja Bell is an expiring contract for next season, meaning Henderson will be able to develop under him, if needed, before pairing with Gerald Wallace as one of the better defensive tandems in the league.
This is going to be a good pick for the Pacers, as they're looking for a player to shore up the point guard spot and I think Holiday would make a good pick. He plays great defense, he rebounds the ball well for his size, and he's quick enough to get to the rim and finish. He's also got the potential to move about 8 picks either way.
14. Phoenix Suns - Earl Clark SF/PF (Louisville Junior)
This pick is basically best available, and I don't have any player better left on the board. Grant Hill and Matt Barnes are both expiring contracts, leading me to believe that they could possibly look for a small forward. Clark is a combo-forward at 6'9", but he plays more like point-forward with his high basketball IQ. Not much of a shooter, but he's pretty well-rounded otherwise.
Williams can do pretty much everything, but never really did it consistently at Louisville. He plays exceptional defense, he's strong, and he's one of the better athletes in this draft. His weaknesses come mainly from his basketball IQ, as he just doesn't seem to understand how to score on the offensive end. Regardless, his attitude seems to fit with Detroit.
17. Philadelphia 76ers - Stephen Curry PG/SG (Davidson Junior)
I'm not a fan of Curry. He was great in college, but I don't think he'll be great in the NBA. I do think he'd be a stud in Philadelphia however. Match him with Andre Iguodala and his pseudo-point forward role, and boom tho. Amazing will happen.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Heat) - Jeff Teague PG (Wake Forest Sophomore)
Teague would have been a lottery pick earlier in the year - the Wolves are getting a steal at 18 as a replacement for Bassy Telfair. Teague is very athletic and fun to watch - scorer first, but learning to be a distributor. Already, he's the best point guard on the Wolves.
19. Atlanta Hawks - B.J. Mullens C (Ohio State Freshman)
Mullens is a long way way from contributing in the NBA. He is big and young though, and can develop if he puts in work. Good hands, soft touch, and reasonably athletic raw big men have went much higher than this in previous drafts. Does that mean this will work out? Almost certainly not. Zaza's expiring this season though, and they don't have another center on the roster, so this might not be a bad pick (it will, but have hope).
20. Utah Jazz - Tyler Hansbrough PF (UNC Senior)
Hansbrough, if nothing else, is tough. The Jazz will more than likely have a need at the four after Millsap or Boozer walks. Why not bring in Hansbrough, who nobody likes, but is tough and has heart. Just seems like a Jerry Sloan guy.
21. New Orleans Hornets - Chase Budinger SF (Arizona Junior)
Even though Budinger's stock has fallen ever since winning the McDonald's dunk contest, he wouldn't be a terrible pick here. He's athletic and should someday be able to put it all together. The Hornets don't really have any depth at the wings and Budinger is a wing. Makes sense to me!
22. Dallas Mavericks - Eric Maynor PG (VCU Senior)
Basically, Dallas is not going to find a starter in this draft. They just won't. With Kidd expiring though, they should be looking for a point guard, so why not take the best available. He's very quick, sees the floor well and is developing his jump shot (though it's not as bad as that sounds). He's a guy that lives for clutch situations - and does well when he gets into them. My only hope would be that they don't trade him right before he breaks out like they did Devin Harris.
Daye could easily be a lottery pick because of his size and skill set as a 6'10" wing, but he could also be the next Jared Jeffries. I don't think he is ready yet for the NBA and needs to add some weight and another year of seasoning at Gonzaga. If he stays in though, somebody will take a flyer on him, and probably higher than this. The Kings may as well shoot for the stars. What's the worse that could happen? Have the worst record in the NBA and end up with the fourth best draft pick? Oops. Too soon, perhaps.
24. Portland Trailblazers - Nick Calathes G (Florida Sophomore)
With the Trailblazers in need of a point guard (It seems Bayless isn't the pure point of the future), I decided to go with Calathes. At this point in the draft, it'd make sense to take a gamble on a 6'5" guard with good court vision and a sweet stroke. He can't play defense with the best of them, but Portland has enough players behind him that should be able to help him out.
The Bulls seem to be losing Ben Gordon this season - an unconcious shooter. He will be semi-replaceable though. Ellington can shoot the basketball for a living. He's got ice in his veins. I'm not all that high on Ellington, but he seems like he'd fit well in Chicago.
28. Minnesota Timberwolves (From Celtics) - Omri Casspi SF/PF (Maccabi Tel-Aviv)
Simply put, Minnesota probably won't bring all three picks in this season. Casspi could shore up the forward spot next season once they decide that Brewer and Gomes just aren't great options. I know this isn't a sexy pick, but I don't think it's a bad pick.
29. Los Angeles Lakers - Sam Young SF (Pittsburgh Senior)
Call me crazy, but I like Sam Young. He's old (24), but he's great on defense. He also plays the small forward. This comes into play because LA's other small forwards, Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza, are finishing out their contract when the playoffs end. It's doubtful the Lakers will be able to afford both, so a little insurance wouldn't hurt.
30. Cleveland Cavaliers - Patrick Mills PG (St. Mary's Sophomore)
Mills is quick and knows how to play basketball. Just seems like the LeBron's would get lucky with a pick like this. Mills will probably be one of the better players in this draft that's slept on, yet his stock has been falling since the NIT's. Basically, why not?