College, Mock Draft, NBA Draft / May 19, 2009 / 9:32 pm

Clippers win! NBA Mock Draft, 5.19

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin

Are we going deaf, or did Kevin Love actually say, “My passion bucket is running high” when he appeared on camera at the NBA Draft Lottery? Whatever K-Love was depending on to get his squad the top pick, it didn’t work: The Clippers were tonight’s big winner, snagging the No. 1 spot, followed by Memphis and Oklahoma City. Now that we know the order, here’s our first official 2009 mock draft:

1. L.A. Clippers — Blake Griffin, PF, Oklahoma
Their frontcourt isn’t as loaded as you think. With a chance to get a future superstar in Griffin, the Clips would gladly trade Zach Randolph, Marcus Camby and/or Chris Kaman in a second. The big-city squad adds another quiet, solid-character Midwestern kid to hang out with Eric Gordon.

2. Memphis — Ricky Rubio, PG, Spain
And so ends the Mike Conley era.

3. Oklahoma City — Hasheem Thabeet, C, UConn
Another easy choice. OKC fills its most glaring hole with a guy who can either be the next Mutombo or the next Dalembert. Either way, they’re getting a better center than anyone they have currently, and ideally an interior anchor for Scott Brooks’ defense.

4. Sacramento — Brandon Jennings, PG, Italy
They were ready to start printing Blake Griffin jerseys tonight, but now that the pipe dream is gone, the Kings can fill another need by getting Beno Udrih’s eventual replacement. ARCO Arena is one of the League’s most dynamic places to watch a game when there’s something to be excited about. Sacramento will come back to life once (not)White Chocolate 2.0 comes to town.

5. Washington — Jordan Hill, PF/C, Arizona
A tough-minded rebounder and defensive presence that’s needed on a team that’s all about offense. Hill and JaVale McGee are a nice pair of young bigs to build on.

6. Minnesota — James Harden, SG, Arizona State
Here’s Minnesota’s chance to make up for trading O.J. Mayo on draft night last year. Though Harden might not flirt with 20 points per game his rookie season, he’s still the best scoring guard in the draft.

7. Golden State — Jonny Flynn, PG, Syracuse
Though it would make sense for the Warriors to add a franchise point guard, no one knows what Don Nelson, Robert Rowell, Larry Riley or some other masked man who runs the Warriors will decide.

8. New York — Stephen Curry, PG/SG, Davidson
No matter what the Knicks’ public relations mouthpieces say about the “guarantee” that they supposedly didn’t give to Stephen Curry, that story didn’t appear out of thin air. Steph fits with Mike D’Antoni’s pace, and goodness gracious the kid can shoot.

9. Toronto — Earl Clark, SF, Louisville
Toronto needs to find a new face of their franchise. Earl Clark is the one guy not named Blake Griffin with superstar potential in this class. And recently he’s proven to be a high character guy who is seeking out advice from scouts and GMs to help himself improve.

10. Milwaukee — Tyreke Evans, PG/SG, Memphis
At No. 10, there really isn’t a marquee power forward who would be a significant improvement over Charlie Villanueva. Thus they’re better off addressing their questionable point guard status. Why not go for a kid who some have compared to Brandon Roy?

11. New Jersey — DeMar DeRozan, SG/SF, USC
The Nets are looking to move Yi. DeRozan might not be ready to contribute offensively right away, but this Draft’s best athlete would help to make the Nets much better defensively. Plus, his acrobatics will help to sell tickets in Jersey (and eventually in Brooklyn).

12. Charlotte — Gerald Henderson, SG/SF, Duke
Would MJ allow his squad to take a Duke product with a similar UNC standout (Wayne Ellington) still on the board? Henderson can slot in at the two or three, and he’s going to be a much better defender than Ellington.

13. Indiana — Eric Maynor, PG, Virginia Commonwealth
They need a true low-post scorer more than anything, but there’s not really one available at this spot who justifies going 13th. Maynor will be a steady influence on both sides of the court, plus he can help lighten the scoring load on Granger.

14. Phoenix — Ty Lawson, PG, North Carolina
Unfortunately Goran Dragic looks more like a career backup than the alleged replacement for Steve Nash. Lawson has the same explosive step that Dragic was supposed to possess, but he can also put the ball in the basket.

15. Detroit — Wayne Ellington, SG, North Carolina
Joe Dumars knows what he’s doing; if he can get another Rip Hamilton, he should jump at the opportunity. Ellington is a sensational pure shooter. And he’d benefit so much from learning even more about moving without the ball from Hamilton.

16. Chicago — Terrence Williams, SF/SG, Louisville
The Bulls plans with Ben Gordon should dictate how they approach this draft. T-Will couldn’t replace his offensive output, but he’d be an eager perimeter defender who could make John Salmons life easier.

17. Philadelphia — Jeff Teague, PG, Wake Forest
Andre Miller is going to be on the open market this summer. Instead of paying him in that $8-10 million per year range, Philly would be better off finding someone in this draft. The question is whether Teague is the right guy. He’s a bit of a scoring PG who could end up just like Lou Williams. That’s not an ideal situation.

18. Minnesota — Chase Budinger, SF, Arizona
Mike Miller has a 2010 expiring contract worth more than $9 million, and he can shoot your face off. You don’t think some contender will convince Minny to unload him before the deadline? The Wolves can get some depth on the wing with Budinger, to go with the returning Corey Brewer.

19. Atlanta — B.J. Mullens, C, Ohio State
Hawks fans would love a point guard, but do they take Patty Mills here if everyone else is off the board? Mullens is a great option for the Hawks, as he would allow Al Horford to play the four, where he seems to be much more comfortable offensively.

20. Utah — James Johnson, PF, Wake Forest
With Carlos Boozer likely headed out of town, the Jazz need to find a way to replace his scoring. Paul Millsap can pick up a portion of Boozer’s 20-point haul, but he won’t fill his shoes entirely right off the bat. Johnson is a former kick-boxing champion who could very well develop into a Brandon Bass-type player.

21. New Orleans — Jrue Holiday, PG, UCLA
Holiday could end up being the steal of the draft, perhaps this year’s Rodney Stuckey. Some believe that he was seriously hindered by Ben Howland’s slow, grind-it-out offense. If Jrue goes to the Hornets, who desperately need a real backup for Chris Paul, he’ll go back to the position that earned him such a high ranking in the first place: point guard.

22. Dallas — Patty Mills, PG/SG, St. Mary’s
Jason Kidd’s days are limited in Dallas. Though the team might re-sign the aging PG, the Mavs would be well-advised to start working on a successor. Mills possesses some of the qualities that everyone likes in another PG who spent time in Dallas, Devin Harris.

23. Sacramento — Marcus Thornton, SG, LSU
This might be a bit of a reach, but in Sacramento’s effort to create some more offense, they’d be smart to add another guard who can score. At the end of the season, it became apparent that they really missed the offense that Johnny Salmons provided. Here’s a solution.

24. Portland — Gani Lawal, PF, Georgia Tech
The Blazers have a plethora of small forwards, all of whom can score. But none of them can bruise the opposition down on the block. Lawal is a man who will play defense and rebound. He would have been a great guy to stick on Luis Scola in their first-round matchup.

25. Oklahoma City — Sam Young, SF, Pittsburgh
Jeff Green will be a really good pro one day. Sam Young offers one way to accelerate that progression. Young will put the pressure on any NBA three to perform in practice. He plays D, and if you aren’t careful, he’ll bang one on your head. He’d offer nice depth here.

26. Chicago — DeJuan Blair, PF, Pittsburgh
Tyrus Thomas and Brad Miller were great during the playoffs holding down Chicago’s front lines. But they need some help on the block for the 82-game haul. Blair was one of the best offensive rebounders in college basketball history; he’ll help out on the glass in the League.

27. Memphis — Derrick Brown, PF, Xavier
It’s worth taking a chance on the 6-8 Brown here. Though he might just add to a gluttony of power forwards, he could end up as a special player. Between his junior and senior seasons, he added a formidable three-ball to his arsenal. That’d be a welcome addition to this squad.

28. Minnesota — Taj Gibson, PF, USC
Al Jefferson and K-Love are studs, but they aren’t exactly world-class athletes. The Wolves could use somebody with some spring in their legs up front.

29. L.A. Lakers — Omri Casspi, SF, Israel
He could very well pull out of the draft if he doesn’t receive a guarantee as he did last year. Casspi could give L.A. great depth at the three, especially since it looks like Adam Morrison is never gonna get a chance to play. He shot 45% from deep for Maccabi Tel Aviv this season, and has drawn comparisons to Hedo Turkoglu.

30. Cleveland — Tyler Hansbrough, PF, North Carolina
A smart player who will toe the line in LeBron’s army.

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  • Ian

    i want mullens on the spurs asap

  • K Dizzle

    rapTors ain’t lettin DeRozan slide to Jersey. Point blank

  • MREN

    DeJuan Blair is going way before 26th.

  • http://www.kingsfans.com Willis

    Hey Memphis? Give us Rubio and you can whoever you want not named Kevin Martin and Spencer Hawes.

    I don’t know whats worse. Being the worst team in the NBA without tanking, and then finding out that you will probably be the worst team in the NBA next season too,
    ~or~
    Being the worst team in the NBA, getting the 4th pick in the NBA draft in a year where there are really only two can’t miss prospects, and then realizing that the two best players on your current are Kevin Martin and Spencer Hawes.

    The lottery is trash. I’d rather get beat by 60 in 10 game sin a row then find out tat last season was all for naught. Same as this upcoming season. We have no pieces to work with, a pick that nobody wants, and a team that nobody wants to play for.

    Start the John Wall sweepstakes. Except we won’t win the lotto that year either.

  • Wake

    So what happened to the guy on the last post with the “funny feeling” that the Knicks were going to get the top pick?

  • siree

    dime i think your misreadin james johnsons skill set. hes real athletic (dude can do a standing back flip) and built like lebron jr. if he gets more consistency to his shot he could be more like melo than bass. (not on his level necessarily but that kind of player)

  • RonnaBonBon

    wow
    big name player in a big market
    why am i not surprised?
    oh yea
    david stern is the commish

  • http://shootingbasketballtips.blogspot.com/ Dodge Taylor

    From an Aussie perspective, Patty Mills learning under the tutelage of Jason Kidd would be fantastic! Not sure any of the Mavericks would be able to keep pace with him tho.

  • Big Island

    The Clippers should be kicked out of the league. Griffin will blow out a knee and Eric Gordon will need microfracture surgery. Book it. They are cursed. I am sick to my stomach.

    They should just put every team in the lottery with the same chances so that people won’t tank. I feel for Willis.

  • Jay Jay

    In regards to Stephen Curry, and NY’s “guarantee”, does that mean teams below cannot draft Curry? I know how crazy Golden State are and would it be possible if they take Curry before NY?

  • MoxWestCoastRep

    Is it just me or wouldnt you rather have Steph/Derozan/Evans/Henderson over Harden?
    Harden is not athletic and completely disappeared in the tourney.
    Also, If Im the Bucks I would go 2 guard too and rock with Sessions and Luke one more year.
    And if im Chicago I trade these picks for another Vet…They are ready to win now and you aint beating Orlando/Boston/Clev with 2 more rookies…

  • http://www.geocities.com/dagomardeg Dagomar

    Well that’s the last we’ll see of Griffin for a while . . . .

  • jzsmoove

    Rubio over Tyreke Evans? No. 10 at that? Is Dime passing crack around the office? Sacramento will be so happy at the #4 to grab him.

    Ty Lawson to GS seems good, he’s too low on the list. DeRozan too low on the list too. Hansbrough is a good 15-20th pick, smart player who knows what he can do and do it very well.

    And D Nelson will snag Stephen Curry before you can blink.

  • bookkwormmaster

    Congratulations to the Clippers. Let’s not forget it wasn’t too long ago that this team was playing in the playoffs taking the Denver Nuggets to a seven game series. The only significant subtractions from that squad were Elton Brand and Sam Cassell. This team has major veteran talent (Baron Davis, Zach Randolph, Marcus Camby, and Chris Kaman) and major young talent (Eric Gordon and Al Thornton) and adding Blake Griffin to that can only mean a brighter future for the Clips. If this team was completely healthy this past season they definitely would have competed for at least the 7th or 8th seed. But I think fro them to really have an impact next season (injuries aside) they need to find a better coach because Mike Dunleavy aint cuttin it.

    All in all though the Clips are in a very good position right now. Teams are gonna be calling them up looking to take either Kaman or Camby off their hands plus they get to draft another dymanic young talented player in Griffin to go along with their other young talented duo in Gordon and Thornton. Or they can keep the squad together and see what a whole year together hopefully healthy can yield them and they could definitely make the playoffs without question

  • VH

    If Ricky Rubio lives up to expectations, he and OJ are going to be fun to watch!

  • http://www.basketsim.com BNZA

    At least the Clippers and not Washington got the 1st pick. Arenas is seriously getting on my nerves.

    @ #4 Willis: I hoped for the Kings to make the 1st pick, too. But you can do worse than Brandon Jennings when you want a young PG. A year in Europe is good especially for guards, they need good fundamentals more than any other position.

    @ #7 RonnaBonBon: When you see how much support Stern gives Lebron through the refs, it seems not that unlikely the draft lotto is set up, too.

    Since it´s financial crisis, it makes a lot of sense letting big time self-marketer Lebron glide through the playoffs and just hand him the ‘chip (with a little help from the refs) and it makes sense to give the most popular college player to big market LA.

    Unfortunately, Stern is smart enough to never let someone track his corrupt ass down.

    In the NBA, it´s all about the money. Today more than ever.

  • dk

    God, this draft does kinda suck! I just hope Jennings falls to 7th in my dynasty league… Ill bet the farm he can back up Rondo!

  • dk

    @12 Funniest shit I heard tonight! Man, that hurts thinking about that. Imagine partying tonight trying to have fun knowing your going to the ” other LA ” . He better sign one year deal…. Id rather be broke then be under contract there….

  • http://www.basketsim.com BNZA

    @ #15 VH:

    Imagine all the Rubio to Gasol alley-oops and picknrolls we will see next season! They know each other really good from the spanish national team. There you have your spanish Stockalone! This will be great!

    Trade Conley for a good (veteran) PF and you have one hell of a team in Memphis. Luv it!

  • K.i.n.G.

    word to #2, demar aint getting past the raps……i hope

  • MoxWestCoastRep

    Rubio is gonna make Memphis good? I must have missed something…
    He’s gonna fit in well with Darko-Pretty Ricky has BUST written all over him.

  • rick773

    Why does chicago always get 2 1st round picks in weak drafts(except 04)…i.e. 2000 Crawford fizer 2001 Chandler Curry 2006 Thomas and Sefolosha…We need to trade these picks but I’m not sure whos gonna jump at the 16 and 26 pick unless Isiah and the Knicks can reconcile

  • Timmy989

    How does Memphis have a “Gluttony” of Power Forwards as stated in the 27th pick? We have no power forwards, we start freakin Darrell Arthur. We need as many power forwards as possible. The only other PF we even have is Hakim Warrick and he isnt anything special.

    Could Derrick Brown be the next David West?

  • D thruth

    30. Cleveland — Tyler Hansbrough, PF, North Carolina
    A smart player who will toe the line in LeBron’s army.

    Hahahaha… Wht Happened to this kid? Wasn’t he supposed to be drafted higher?

    I mean d kid was all over the internet during the college season and 30th is his highest projection? wtf???

  • The Oracle

    I like the idea of GSW taking a point guard, but I would bet they pass on flynn – Don Nelson likes his pgs 6’3″ and up

  • Kobeef

    This mock is way off. Based on what I’m reading about early workouts, here’s my mock draft

    1. Griffin to Clippers
    This is easy. Package camby with Z-bo and/or Baron with Kaman and start rebuilding around a core of Griffin, Thornton and Gordon

    2. DeRozan to Memphis
    Just wait. DeRozan is going to blow people’s minds in workouts. Sure Rubio has “intangibles” but DeRozan is the second coming of Vince Carter. How can Memphis resist creating a Mayo-Derozan backcourt…deadly.

    3. Harden to OKC
    There is no way OKC is wasting another pick on a 7 foot somthing prospect (cough, Muhammed Sene, Carrot Top, Johan Petro). Harden has lost a ton of weight and would form a LETHAL offensive combo with Durant. Also, Harden has a 6-11 wingspan…that’s a game changer.

    4. Rubio to Sactown
    I didn’t do this because I am a fan. I honestly think it will work out like this, which would be mind-blowingly great for Sactown. K-Mart2 + Rubio in the backcourt would be amazing.

    5. Earl Clarke to Washington
    See the DeRozan argument. A freak.

    6. Hasheem to ‘Sota
    For Big-Al’s sake, please draft a Center. You blew it by passing on Brook Lopez for fatty mcgee (love) – here’s your chancce to make things right.

    after 6 things get hazy…but this is closer to the real top 6

  • QQ

    As a point guard, I really hope Rubio will be a top 2 pick. That kid has smarts beyond his years.

  • jzsmoove

    Shaun Livingston was supposed to be a vey talented/smart player. His physical tools didnt catch up with the talent. Enter stage right, Rubio.

  • Kudabeen

    Philly better not pick up Teague! I don’t see where he helps at all.

    They need to package this pick with Willie Green and send it to Milwaukee for Ramon Sessions and Keith Bogans (Or charlie Bell if they can pull it)…

    That is a legit move. Sessions is my favorite dark horse guard in the L right now.

    I was a little annoyed that Clippers got the #1 pick they way they dogged it last season, but With Griffin, Baron, Gordon, Thorton, Kaman, Taylor and Camby they can be a problem. But the problematic thing for them is Mike Dunleavy is still involved…

    Also I don’t see Washington grabbing Jordan Hill. They have some bigs. They need a PG that can push Arenas to the 2 or play off the ball too. I can see them grabbing a Tyreke Evans or Flynn or even upgrading over Deshawn and grabbing Terrence Williams…This draft is going to be very interesting. It is stronger than I thought…

  • flavur

    Earl Clark
    Blake griffin
    James harden
    Dejuan Blair
    Ty lawson
    Demar derozen
    The only people in this draft that I see becoming major superstars
    (this is just my opinion)

  • Kudabeen

    The other thing I’ve been seeing is people are really undervaluing Sam Young. He is a lottery pick in my eyes. He is going to help on both ends of the floor right away.

    Knicks, Raptors, Nets, and Bobcats need tough minded and physical producers. They can go after “potential” if they want, but they will be watching the playoffs again next year.

  • Curtis G

    You have Ty lawson, Tyreke Evans, and Tyler Hansbrough (all the Ty’s I guess) too low. For one, Ty lawson isn’t the most capable shooter but he showed that he is a true point gaurd and that he can definitely run a team. Of all the PG’s in this draft, he has to be considered the most well-rounded and NBA-ready if not the most talented. I see him going no later than 10. Now Tyreke is the exact opposite of Lawson in that he is tremendously talented but isn’t quite as capable of Lawson of running a team and, you know, he is more of a two. Regardless though, he is a top 7 talent with him likely being picked and traded for another team. And then there is Tyler; a hustle guy that gives all out effort and can finish strong around the rim. If this year’s playoffs have shown us anything is that hustle guys can take you far with players like Scola, Ariza, Birdman, JJ Barea, Noah, Varejao, and even Pietrus showing how those types of players can have a tremendous impact on a team. I would look for Tyler to go in the lottery on that fact alone because, if nothing else, he is a better version of Noah but not quite to Ariza level athleticism or potential. I would equate his eventual game to that of Scola’s in that he will likely be a consistent 14/8 type of guy who can go off every once in a while for 20 or 25 point or a double double. Maybe 14/8 is a little to mundane to be taken in the lottery but given the other PF’s in this draft, who would you be willing to bet the house on that they will be able to put up 14/8 in the first year besides Hansbrough (excluding Griffin of course). And I am not talking about potential or players who, if the polish up their game, can get you that or more. I am talking about right now. Oh yeah, I wouldn’t bet on Memphis taking another PG at 2. I don’t think the Conley experiment is over because I don’t think it necessarily began. And even if they do draft Rubio, he won’t stick past draft night as I would expect them to ship him off for some quality veteran leadership.

  • Jules

    Bulls are taking blair if hes there at 16.

  • Curtis G

    In a shallow draft like this, you go for the known knowns first which are players who have demonstrated, on some level their abilities with a proven track record. This includes exceptional standout undergrads, established foreign players, and college upperclassmen. In this group, I only see Griffin, Rubio, Curry, and Lawson. These are the players that have a proven track record on various stages along with a polished game that is NBA ready and have star potential. After that, you take the known unknowns which are players that may or may not have a lot of potential but have a polished game that is easy translatable to the NBA. This list includes Thabeet, Jennings, Harden, Evans, Teague, Holiday, Mills, Blair, and Hansbrough. These players games aren’t going to change much at the next level and how successful they become (or don’t become) is really dependent on the situation they fall into after the draft. They can be difference makers on bad teams, but they are more likely to be second bananas on good teams… difference makers, but still, second bananas. The problem with this group is that they don’t have a lot of room to change which may turn off some teams that are looking for the next “One”. Unfortunately, in this draft, the only lock for such status is going to the Clippers. Lastly, you pick up the unknown unknowns. These are the players that may or may not have potential but also lack any solid track record on which to measure that potential. In my opinion, between the known knowns and the known unknowns, there are only 13. What this means is that a couple of teams are going to reach on their picks and inevitably throw off the rest of the draft. In my opinion, the 13 players I listed should go before the 17th pick simply because this draft is guard heavy at a time when not a lot of teams are looking for guards. Ultimately, this means that a lot of teams won’t be drafting for need but for potential and this is where you’ll see a few people get picked inordinately high while solid players get left on the board.

  • Taj

    I dont think Earl Clark should be around at #9 for the Raptors, if he is then thats a blessing in disguise! He’s a definate impact player…

  • Kudabeen

    Well said Curtis.

    People continue to Hate on Tyler Hansbrough, but he’ll fall to a veteran team like San Antonio and be the first in this draft to contribute to a championship team.

    I’m not sold on Blair. I think he is more of a Mike Sweetney with heart, but he will still be limited. He isn’t as athletic as Brandon Bass or Jason Maxiell. I guess people are hoping he is more of a Millsap.

  • David Brandon

    sad….i’m just sad….damn kings. so we’re pretty much gonna suck for another 11 years.

  • karizmatic

    If the Clippers draft the Clippers this could work out really well for Chicago, they’ve been looking for a post presence for some time now. I know Randolph’s contract is huge, but maybe they could work something for him or maybe Kaman.

  • Jay Bo

    Jermaine Taylor definately has first round talent, but everyone seems to over look him. He has proven himself four years in a row and you guys still seem to choose freshmen with protential rather than a senior who’s nba ready

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Crazy that there are only two Centers on this entire list.

  • johnny

    I hope the Pistons will get Jrue Holiday, but he will probably be gone by #15.

  • Seven Duece

    The first NBA team to have Tyreke Evans as a PG & not a SG needs to have their collective faces slapped. And I just have a feeling in my bones that Memphis will take Thabeet. He’s not going to be Shaq, but you know what you’re going to get from him. Rubio as this point is a mystery. Regardless of all the people loving him, how many have actually seen him play?

  • Nick

    bucks are gonna trade up and take jennings. think of that lineup: Jennings, Redd, Villanueva, Bogut, and Gadzuric. money.