NBA Mock Draft – 2009 Top 10
Usually, NFL odds are supposed to be the toughest to follow on draft day.
This year’s NBA draft, however, is one of the most difficult to predict in recent memory outside the No. 1 pick.
Let’s dust off the crystal ball and try to somehow project the first 10 picks of the 2009 NBA Draft.
1. Los Angeles Clippers – Blake Griffin, PF/C, Oklahoma
No-brainer here, so don’t overthink this one if you bet on NBA draft odds. He has the great natural skills you hope for in a No. 1 overall power forward pick – great post scoring ability, big vertical, strength and rebounding skills. His upside isn’t Dwight-Howardesque – he doesn’t block enough shots – but he seems destined to be an above-average NBA regular at the very least. A great building block.
2. Memphis Grizzlies – Ricky Rubio, PG, DKV Joventut
Let the Steve Nash comparisons begin. In truth, I don’t expect the Grizzlies to make this pick, but it’s theirs for now. Don’t’ be surprised if someone trades into this slot, and the Knicks would have to be the favorite. Rubio’s great instincts, passing ability and anticipation suit him beautifully to Mike D’Antoni’s offense.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder – James Harden, SG, Arizona State
Interestingly enough, as wild as this first round should be, most mock draft boards have the Grizzlies taking Harden at No. 3, no matter who is above or below him. The wing player is considered perhaps the most mature, NBA-ready player in the draft; he has natural scoring touch but is also an unselfish player with great playmaking skills.
4. Sacramento Kings – Jonny Flynn, PG, Syracuse
The name of the game is leadership and I’m betting management in Sacramento will be all over Flynn if (when?) Rubio doesn’t fall to the Kings at No. 4. He has great speed, heat and gets to the line like no one else, though he’ll have to improve his outside shooting to become an elite NBA guard.
5. Washington Wizards – Jordan Hill, PF- Arizona
Talented and athletic, Hill could become something special if he learns to handle the ball a bit better in traffic. Though his wiry frame gives him some unfavorable comparisons to Chris Bosh, his good midrange jumper and offensive rebounding give him favorable comparisons to CB4, so he’s a decent pick, though the Wizards still move the No. 5 choice.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves – Hasheem Thabeet, C, UConn
Is he the next Dikembe Mutombo? Most scouts seem to think so. Basketball is new to the hulking Thabeet, but his raw defensive skills are outstanding. He’s slipped on mock-draft boards recently as he really needs to work on his scoring to become a complete NBA player. Some NBA predictions experts feel the T-Wolves will move this pick.
7. Golden State Warriors – Tyreke Evans, SG, Memphis
There’s no doubt he has talent, strength for his size, an ability to create offense from nothing with his quickness, and swagger, but his shooting inconsistencies make him a potential bust. He could easily slip a few picks.
8. New York Knicks – Stephen Curry, PG, Davidson
If you make daily sports predictions and the Knicks don’t trade up to grab Rubio, drafting Curry seems a foregone conclusion. What he lacks in size and athleticism, he makes up in poise and natural shooting ability; he also forces turnovers with his ability to play pressure defense.
9. Toronto Raptors – DeMar, DeRozan, SG, USC
Can the Raptors finally get that elusive wing player? His amazing athleticism reminds everyone of a certain you-know-who former Raptor who plays for the New Jersey Nets, but he really has to fine-tune his long-range shooting, leadership and work at the line. A boom/bust pick.
10. Milwaukee Bucks – Jrue Holiday, PG, UCLA
The Bucks need a guard and this pick could easily be Brandon Jennings, but Holiday is considered the better defensive prospect and his ballhandling skills are pretty darned good.