The 2009 NBA Draft came to completion today as the Clippers took Blake Griffin with the number one overall pick as expected. After that though, everything was up in the air in a draft filled with very little talent. Let’s look at the clear winners to begin:
Memphis selected Hasheem Thabeet with the number two overall pick and got DeMarre Carroll with the 27thpick. Then, they got one of the steals of the night with Sam Young at the 36th pick. Thabeet will boost the Grizz’s defense big time and Carroll and Young are both solid players. Neither will be a superstar, but each will give work-man like performances day-in and day-out while adding energy and more defense.
The Nuggets traded their one pick in the draft, but also acquired Ty Lawson from Minnesota for a future first round pick. Lawson is quick, plays strong defense, and runs the point well. He fell all the way to 18th for Minnesota and now sits as a solid back-up point guard for Denver.
They had just one pick as well, but made the most of it by selecting Jrue Holliday, a player with big upside, but is mostly potential right now. In a limited draft, choosing players with high ceilings is the best strategy and the 76ers have a point guard in Holliday who was one of the top point guards coming out of high school, but dropped because of a rough freshman year and injury concerns. However, if he finds his game in the pros, he will contribute for Philly for many years.
Now on to the losers:
I, amongst many, cannot understand what the Wolves were thinking and/or planning with their picks. They selected two point guards at the number five and six picks with Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn respectively, but Rubio is unlikely to play for Minnesota anytime soon. I like Flynn, but the rest just doesn’t make sense. Hopefully Minnesota has a plan in mind or else they are going to be looking back at this draft wishing they could change things.
The Jazz selected Eric Maynor with the 20th overall pick and Goran Sutan with the 50th pick. Maynor is a solid point guard, but doesn’t have the shooting touch to be a reliable back-up. Sutan is a confusing pick as he is a slow big man who could succeed in the college game, but I would be very surprised if he ever made an NBA team.
Indiana chose Tyler Hansbrough with their one and only pick in this draft. Hansbroughwas hugely successful in college, but his slow feet will hurt him in the pros. He got by in college purely off energy, but he’s going to need more than that to succeed in the NBA. The Pacers passed up on lots of other talent at the 13th pick and will regret their selection in the future.
There’s a quick response to the 2009 NBA Draft. There was very little talent this year so teams that just went out and chose the best available player will end up with the best results. Trying to choose a player to fill a specific need is tough, because there are very few players in the draft that are capable of making an NBA roster. Trying to find one of those players at a certain position and remaining at a certain draft pick is nearly impossible.