2009 NBA Lottery Preview
NBA hopefuls packed Chicago last weekend for the first ever NBA Draft Combine and much has changed since I last previewed the NBA Lottery. Find out who has ascended and who has descended.
1. LAC—No movement here. The Clippers will likely take Blake Griffin unless they can find a taker for Baron Davis and/or Zach Randolph.
If they do find a taker for Boom Dizzle or Zach Randolph and their contracts you can count on the Clips to deal them and their draft pick for more young talent and/or picks.
The Clips are rumored to be talking to OKC and GSW about potential trades. OKC probably wants Griffin the most out of any team in this year’s draft, as they want to keep Griffin in state, add him to their arsenal of athletes, and they need a big man more than any other position.
OKC has a few future first round picks which other teams covet including the always-rebuilding LAC.
The Warriors are a potential suitor for Baron Davis, as he led them to their only playoff appearance in the last 15 years.
The Warriors’ desire to reacquire Baron Davis also may help them land the number one pick. GSW has enough of talent on their roster to package their No. 7 pick, disgruntled star Monta Ellis, a future first round pick, and maybe another player for Davis and the No.1 pick. Something to think about.
2. In my first installment I had the Grizzlies taking C Hasheem Thabeet and was called crazy by some readers. Now it looks like I am a genius as Ricky Rubio has turned into a drama queen. I still think the Grizzlies will take Thabeet.
3. The OKC Thunder do not need anything but a big man and Ricky Rubio’s talents are hard to pass up. I do not think Russell Westbrook is a PG and Rubio would shine in OKC. There is no truth to the rumor that Rubio does not want to play in OKC, which would be absurd considering the talent on that team.
But James Harden has been spreading a rumor that he has a guarantee from OKC. I find it interesting that OKC would take another SG when they already have two. If they take Harden, which I think they will, that would move an undersized Jeff Green to PF, not good.
4. The Sacramento Kings are still in need of a lot of positions except a big man and a SG. They drafted C Spencer Hawes two years ago and drafted PF Jason Thompson and have star SG Kevin Martin locked up long term. They will take PG Ricky Rubio and he may demand a trade.
5. The Washington Wizards will be very happy to see athletic PF Jordan Hill still on the board. In the original version I had the Wiz taking him and I still do. Seems like a lock.
6. The Minnesota Timberwolves have a huge frontcourt and very little play making guards or forwards. The best athlete in the draft is DeMar DeRozan and he has the potential to be able to create his own shot in the NBA. Perfect pick for a team with three first round picks.
8. Everyone’s (least) favorite team, the NYK, want and will select Stephen Curry. He will provide the Knicks with a PG with shooting ability, perfect for a D’Antoni team.
9. The Toronto Raptors are another team looking to trade. Whether it is for more picks or talent, they need both. They can go a bunch of ways with this pick but need more athleticism at the SF position, as they are expected to lose Shawn Marion. G/F Gerald Henderson is a good pick for them. He is smart, can defend and jump out of the gym.
10. Out of all the teams in the NBA it always seems the Milwaukee Bucks are always running in place (signing Bobby Simmons to a $10 mil/year contract can do that to a franchise). They took Andrew Bogut over a host of PGs and have been trying to find one since they let Mo Williams go and passed on Deron Williams and Chris Paul.
It is almost fact they will take a PG and it is between Jonny Flynn and Eric Maynor. Flynn, being more athletic and gifted, is the pick.
11. The New Jersey Nets would have liked to see Gerald Henderson still on the board but he was taken a few picks before. Although they have a nice frontcourt with Lopez, Boone and Yi they still may need some depth up front (I mean this team gave Sean Williams numerous chances).
They will continue to shop Vince Carter and his contract this off-season and there is still an ultra athletic combo guard still on the board (Ty Evans). I think they take the DeJuan Blair and kill two birds with one stone, adding depth to the frontcourt and ridding themselves of the enigmatic Sean Williams.
12. The Charlotte Bobcats and coach Larry Brown love players that can play multiple positions and create mismatches. Chase Budinger is built like a SF and can shoot like a SG, perfect for the Bobcat system. Tyreke Evans is still a possibility due to his combo guard abilities.
13. The Indiana Pacers will be very happy to see Tyreke Evans still on the board. They will select him.
14. The Phoenix Suns wanted Flynn, but he is not there and they may opt for another one of the bevy of young combo guards is this season’s draft. Jrue Holiday struggled in his lone season at UCLA but is still regarded as a high potential pick.
This team is in desperate need of an athlete at the SF position and James Johnson would be nice but I think they will make a mistake and select Jrue Holiday.
15. DET – Earl Clark SF
16. CHI – BJ Mullens C
17. PHI – Ty Lawson PG
18. MIN – James Johnson SF
19. ATL – Eric Maynor PG
20. Utah – Gani Lawal PF
21. NO – Patty Mills PG
22. DAL – Jeff Teague PG
23. SAC – Josh Heytvelt PF
24. POR – Wayne Ellington SG
25. OKC – Tyler Hansbrough PF
26. CHI – Austin Daye SF
27. MEM – Terrence Williams SG
28. MIN – Derrick Brown SF
29. LAL – DaJuan Summers
30. CLE – Tyler Smith
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