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Latest News, NBA, NBA Draft / Jun 26, 2009 / 3:11 pm

9 winners from the ’09 NBA Draft

Tyreke and K-Mart...

Tyreke and K-Mart...

Five teams who had good reason to stage those goofy, awkward draft-room celebrations, and four players who should go buy themselves something pretty …

1. Toronto Raptors
They had one glaring need — an athletic SG/SF who can score — and filled it with DeMar DeRozan, who could be the second-best player in this Draft when it’s all said and done. The 6-7 highlight machine will sell tickets, too, which every NBA team could use right now.

2. Stephen Curry
We’ll have to wait and see what happens with the rumored Amar’e Stoudemire trade, but basically it means Curry either stays in Golden State, where he’s got the perma-green light to shoot, or he gets traded to Phoenix, where he’s got a perma-green light to shoot and learn how to play PG from Steve Nash.

3. Los Angeles Clippers
They didn’t f*** it up, which is about all you can ask for from the Clippers. They had one pick, and they used it on the right guy in Blake Griffin. Now just keep Blake in a bubble until training camp and you’re good.

4. Ty Lawson
He gets first-round guaranteed money, and he walks onto a championship-contending team with athletes and scorers all around him to boost those assist numbers and fit his fast-paced game. Lawson can learn behind Chauncey Billups, and conceivably take over in a few years once Mr. Big Shot retires.

5. Oklahoma City Thunder
Looks like they killed the draft again. James Harden will be a star, B.J. Mullens could have gone in the Lottery but fell to 25th, and even Robert Vaden has potential to be a rotation guy. If we were talking about the Sonics, I’d have put them #1 on the list.

6. Chris Paul
The Hornets got two candiates to battle for the job of backing up CP. Darren Collison is more of a true point guard, while Marcus Thornton is closer to the Jannero Pargo-type volume scorer/floor leader. Whoever wins the job, CP wins in the long run.

7. Sacramento Kings
In a couple of years, the Kings will have arguably the NBA’s most explosive scoring backcourt with Tyreke Evans and Kevin Martin. Over the last four years I’ve always said 2nd-round find Jon Brockman isn’t that much worse than Pacers’ Lottery pick Tyler Hansbrough, and from what I’ve seen and heard, Omri Casspi could be a poor man’s Hedo.

8. DeJuan Blair
No, he didn’t get that first-round money or security, but if Blair makes the Spurs roster — which he should — he’ll be one of those 2nd-rounders who makes everyone feel dumb for passing him up and will eventually own a championship ring.

9. Cleveland’s layup line
Forget all the hype about LeBron and Shaq’s pre-game comedy act. If you need a reason to get out to a Cavs game early, it’s the nightly dunk contest they’ll put on during warmups. LeBron breaks out his best stuff from time to time, but then 2nd-rounder Danny Green can also get up. And 30th pick Christian Eyenga? Well, check this out:

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  • Danny

    Omri Casspi can’t shoot a lick and is better known as a Nocioni-type player. But good knowledge of the int’l prospects….

  • Bron42 aka Had Springs Before Slamball

    Christian Eyenga is like a poor mans jones from denver…got hops but keep him out the lane and hes useless.

  • Michorizo

    Tyreke Evans will be the best player in this draft and top Tier in the NBA for years to come … Sacramento really lucked out getting him.

  • Rushshane

    Still would have like the Cavs to have gone with a Sam Young or a Blair at 30 but meh, the kid from Congo can dunk……..in 2-3 years!!!

  • IrishBaller

    dejuan blair is perfect for san antonio…

  • http://www.random-ish.com Sccob

    I feel like rolling up to Oakland and kicking Don Nelson’s….man……wth

  • Brad

    Dejuan Blair will either snap (like everyone apparently thinks he will now) OR BLOW OUT HIS TWO TERRIBLE KNEES. I think there’s a reason no one drafted him early guys.

    oh, and he’s a 6 foot 7 inch power forward. on a good day.

  • the cynic

    Tyreke Evans will never be an NBA point guard (he will be a good player though). Kings should have taken Rubio. Wolves should have taken Curry. The Cavs now have 2 players who can dunk. Suns should have taken Patty Mills. And the Clippers still stink

  • Baby Huey

    Christian Eyenga looks fantastic playing against a bunch of slow undersized white high school kids

  • Kobeef

    James Harden is a great fit in OKC. I was really glad they resisted the urge to take Rubio and move Westbrook to the 2-guard. How the hell could they use both? Two PG’s can’t play together…oh, wait

    Anyway, Harden seems like the type of player that will fit in very well with Durant and Westbrook. If OKC is able to pull off a trade for tyson chandler (which seems impossible now) they are set.

  • Kobeef

    @Austin

    Since you seem bitter (OKC 5th?) I thought this would be a good time to point out that if you google “OKC thunder” the first result is http://www.nba.com/sonics

    To a hardcore Sonics fan, that’s gotta sting.

  • http://deleted Luigi

    Congos league gym looks like a normal high school freshmen game against the worst team in the district

  • Nige

    DeMar is Vince without the baggage. A breath of fresh air for a franchise and a city that desperately needs him.

  • QQ

    I thought this was gonna be a useful article on knowing which squad has drafted well, then I saw ‘Cleveland’s Layup Line’, talking about the assholes who are gonna dunk in the pre-game.

  • JL

    No.10 Portland Trailblazers for Getting P Mills @ no.55…

    Eyenga, *amazing* pffft – against 2nd/3rd rate euro trash…

    Ty Lawson will make the Nuggets even better…BUT can they perfect the inbound pass???

  • MrRocco

    Tyreke Evans is a great pick for the Kings whether he developes into a NBA PG or not. He can handle the ball well and attack and kick at the very least. JT & Hawes will be better because of this. Although Rubio has some great skills, I question his maturity and physical ability to compete in a 82 game NBA enviorement. His financial picture and statements regarding them reveal a major mess behind the scenes. Petrie/Westphal, both former NBA guards, got it right.

  • Ekstor

    @Brad,

    True that Blair is 6’7″… but the man has a 7’2″ wingspan and is strong as an ox!!

  • Ekstor

    Not sure Chris Paul is a real “winner” in all of this… his team needs front court and/or wing help and all they got were players to battle over his backup spot?

    As Hollinger said at ESPN… even if Darren turns out to be better than anyone expected, at most he plays about 8 minutes a game.

  • Pedro

    How can the Cavs be winners? Dunk contest? S***, i thought this was a respectable magazine!
    Also, Curry is not a winner. Nelson will put him in his dog-house, and Jackson, ellis, magette will be ball-hogs. No shots to go around.

    Winners: Sixers, Holiday was expected in the top 10 and he dropped. He’s 18 years old only.

    Knicks: Hill is a good pick, a good trade with the Grizz (they lack front-court help last season) and Douglas is a steal at 29th

  • lakersaj52

    MAN LAKERS SHOULD HAVE PICKED BLAIR THEN WITH ODOM AND ARIZA IT WOULD BE ON THEN TRADE FARMAR TO NJ FOR ALSTON

  • Alvin

    i really hope toronto is finally going the right direction.

  • robmo35

    With the 5th pick in the draft the Washington Wizards select Randy Foye, Mike Miller, and dump three useless bloated salaries. I think Rubio might be the real deal, but currently for a team that needs to make a run now, this makes more sense.

  • moneybags

    Demar has the potential but he doesn’t seem to have the tenacity and aggresiveness that he’ll need to dominate. At this point he seems more like a Gerald Green than a Vince Carter.

  • http://none chad

    Please people……….. This has been the most lame draft ever. Especially with the Kings taking the brunt end right up their a**. They were projected to be 1st then by the hand of David Stern and his trusty NBA sidekicks managed to throw the hole draft a loophole. Do you really think that was by mere luck the clippers got the pick. PLEASE. Ratings, ratings ratings. We shold be so nieve to think otherwise. Curry is a great pick up by Oakland but will never see the ball. Biggest steal has to be the sixers with Jrue Holiday. Ignore the hype, Rubio is a flashy passer, BUT THATS IT! who cares if he can bounce the ball of the a** of his GM, if you cant score the ball how good would this sound, 2 pts, 3 reb, and 8 assists, for a starting PG? Sounds alot like Jason Kidd.

  • http://none chad

    oh dont forget the turnovers, what….. at least 6 a game.