NBA 2009 Mock Draft Preview

1. L.A. Clippers – Blake Griffin
It’s a sad day to be in the Griffin household. Griffin is an absolute monster that will outwork just about anyone on the court, but the Clippers have a history of drafting early and their picks not panning out. See Chris Kaman, Melvin Ely, Chris Wilcox, Tyson Chandler, Michael Olowakandi, Shaun Livingston and Yaroslav Korolev. Eric Gordon turned out to be a great pick last year so maybe things will work out again this year. If only Donald Sterling cared about the team.
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2. Memphis Grizzlies – Hasheem Thabeet
If you were to go and play basketball against a group of 4th graders, you’d block every shot, right? Well that’s Hasheem Thabeet playing against guy 8 inches shorter than him, of course he has a lot of blocked shots. I’m not sold on Thabeet but it looks like the Grizzlies are. The one caveat is, Thabeet canceled his workout he had scheduled with Memphis on Sunday and that could sway the Grizzlies into taking Rubio, for Ricky’s sake, I hope they take Thabeet.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder – Ricky Rubio
Ever since the Olympics when Rubio hurt his hand and continued to play, using just one hand I’ve been sold on this kid, he’s tough as nails. However, the Thunder aren’t as high on him as I am and it is rumored they may take James Harden or Stephen Curry at this spot. If the Thunder add Stephen Curry, they will have 2 guys who can spot up from anywhere on the court and will be a playoff contender next year. Harden would fit in well playing alongside Russell Westbrook but I think the Thunder take the best guy available and select Rubio.

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4. Sacramento Kings – Johnny Flynn
A little bit of a surprise pick here, but the Kings have been impressed with the leadership skills Flynn has shown in his workouts with the team. Tyreke Evans and James Harden should also be considered here, the only major flaw with Flynn is his size but I think the Kings select him anyway.

5. Washington Wizards – James Harden
The Wizards have been shopping this pick and the latest news is that the Timberwolves will end up with this pick on draft day. This is a tough choice for the Wizards with Curry still on the board but Harden is a bigger need for the team.

6. Minnesota Timberwolves – Stephen Curry
Minnesota needs a point guard and a big man and with Thabeet off the table that leaves Stephen curry and Tyreke Evans as viable options at this point. The Wolves need a name recognition guy to give the team a face going into the 2009 season, curry can and will be that guy.

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7. Golden State Warriors – Jordan Hill
The Warriors are an absolute mess and desperately need a true point guard, unfortunately Don Nelson thinks that point guard is Monta Ellis and it looks like they will take Jordan Hill at this spot. Rumors have been floating that Brendan Wright will get moved this summer and that will create an immediate opening for Hill at PF.

8. New York Knicks – Tyreke Evans
The Knicks were really hoping either Rubio or Curry would fall to this spot but they will need to trade up to get either player and I don’t see Mike D’Antoni doing thiat.

9. Toronto Raptors – DeMar DeRozan
Brandon Jennings is a tempting pick here but DeRozan lit up the combine and may end up coming off the board earlier than 9. If DeRozan is gone the pick comes down to Jennings or Jrue Holiday.

10. Milwaukee Bucks – Brandon Jennings
The Bucks are working out Flynn, Ty Lawson, Jennings, and Jeff Teaque on Tuesday and since Flynn is off the board in this mock draft I think Jennings is the pick.

11. New Jersey Nets – Terrance Williams
The Nets were really hoping Jonny Flynn would drop to this spot but I have him going to Kings at pick 4. Rumor also has it that Tyler Hansbrough is a possibility here. I think DeJuan Blair should also get some consideration at this pick.

12. Charlotte Bobcats – Jrue Holiday
Williams came in and had an amazing workout last week the ‘cats and with Williams going to the Nets it puts them in a bad position, I think they’ll trade the pick if it turns out like this, but if they keep it Holiday is the pick.

13. Indiana Pacers – DeJuan Blair
The Pacers would really like to take Flynn or Holiday but I don’t see how either of them will fall this far. The only question with Blair is his knee strength. All medical opinions and MRIs have shown up fine and that should make Blair a safe pick at 13.

14. Phoenix Suns – Earl Clark
Clark has often been compared to Lamar Odom, if he’s willing to work hard he can be a great player, if not he may be the Candy Man

15. Detroit Pistons – Gerald Henderson
The Pistons really need a post player which makes James Johnson tempting, but he’s just not big enough to fill that void.

16. Chicago Bulls – Tyler Hansbrough
The Bulls are really enamored with DeJuan Blair but I don’t see how he falls this far. Hansbrough should bring some life to Joakim Noah and push everyone hard in practice everyday.

17. Philadelphia 76ers – Ty Lawson
It’s a forgone conclusion that Andre Miller will leave via free agency this summer and Lawson will fill Miller’s void.

18. Minnesota Timberwolves – James Johnson
The Timberwolves filled a need at guard at pick 6 and now need a PF. James Johnson will fill that void.

19. Atlanta Hawks – Jeff Teague
The passed on Chris Paul a few years ago, they won’t pass on their need at PG in this draft.

20. Utah Jazz – Sam young
In my opinion the most unheralded player in the draft and maybe the most NBA ready.

21. New Orleans Hornets – Darren Collison
He’s a small guy but he’s got speed, he’d be a great compliment to Chris Paul

22. Dallas Mavericks – Eric Maynor
Maynor is one of the few seniors who will be taken in the first round and could play immediately

23. Sacaramento Kings – BJ Mullens
I think the Kings try to trade out of this pick and take Nick Calathes but if they keep it they go with the big from Ohio state.

24. Portal Trail Blazers – DaJuan summers
Summers is a big SF who can also play the 4, he’s got a good jumper and would complement a lot of the younger players on the roster.

25. Oklahoma City Thunder – Chase Budinger
the Thunder would love to see Mullens drop to this pick and if he doesn’t they’ll be in a tough spot. They need a center but there isn’t anyone worth drafting this high. Taking Budinger would create a log jam with Rubio and Westbrook but Budinger can stroke it and would help free up Kevin Durant for more looks.

26. Chicago Bulls – Austin Daye
Daye has a lot of upside but I think he may be a reach at this point. Toney Douglas might also be in consideration

27. Memphis Grizzlies – Jonas Jerebko
The Grizzlies will likely trade this pick away to someone looking at Omri Casspi but if they keep it Jerebko should be the pick.

28. Minnesota Timberwolves – Omri Casspi
Casspi is an extremely tough and gritty player and should help out the young Wolves next year.

29. Los Angeles Lakers- Toney Douglas
Phil Jackson isn’t a big fan of small guards but Douglas falling this far is a surprise and I don’t think the Lakers can pass him up.

30. Cleveland Cavaliers – Jeff Pendergraph
The Cavs need a lot of help at the 4 after getting destroyed by Orlando in the Eastern conference fionals. Pendergraph would provide that

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