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The NBA lottery selection for the 2009 NBA Draft took place Tuesday night from Secaucus, New Jersey. The selection show officially molded what order the teams would select their picks for the festivities that will take place on June 25th. The Los Angeles Clippers came out smelling like a rose after landing the overall first pick in this year’s draft. The Clippers were held at 17% chance to win the overall pick and the luck just happened to fall their way. Now since we know the orders the teams will select their picks we can now break down how the NBA Draft could shape out with our own 2009 mock draft. We break down the top 10 picks and how we expect them to turn out on June 25th in New York.
1. L.A Clippers – Blake Griffin (Oklahoma)
Blake Griffin is the extreme overwhelming favorite to be taken first overall this year by the Clippers. Griffin dominated the college ranks last season like no other sophomore in recent memory. Griffin averaged 22.7 points per game for the season which led the Big 12. Griffin perhaps was even more impressive in the way he dominated the glass. The 6’10 sophomore led the nation averaging 14.4 rebounds per game. The LA Clippers will jump on the opportunity to grab Griffin who has all the expectations to be among the best in the NBA in a very short time.
2. Memphis Grizzlies – Ricky Rubio (International)
The Grizzlies major need is a guard mainly someone to handle the basketball. Ricky Rubio will likely be the selection to fill that desperation. Rubio is a gifted young 17 year old who has a ton of upside. The point guard out of El Masnou, Spain has great ball handling, strong defense, and can shoot the ball fairly well. The Grizzlies will likely bypass the opportunity to grab Hasheem Thabeet and grab Rubio to control the ball. However, not exactly sure how big of a scoring threat Rubio will develop into. He has all the makings of a solid guard, but perhaps not a great one.
3. Oklahoma City – Hasheem Thabeet (Connecticut)
Oklahoma City would love to add a huge scorer to the lineup. However, they simply can not afford to lead Hasheem Thabeet slip by. The 7’3 center out of Connecticut is a beast on the defensive side of the ball. The junior averaged 4.5 blocks this season. Thabeet also averaged stout double-double type numbers with 13.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. The tall center may not be an immediate huge threat on the offensive side of the ball, but could become a Kevin Garnett type of defensive player and surely the scoring will develop as time passes.
4. Sacramento Kings – Jordan Hill (Arizona)
Many people think the Kings may go after a guard in this position, but there may be more need from some strength in the paint. Jordan Hill was a player who really came on strong for the Arizona Wildcats through the end of the season. The junior forward averaged 18 points on the season along with a strong 11 boards. Hill could give the Kings some depth on the inside and become an eventual playmaker on the inside. Sacramento already has a solid scorer in Kevin Martin on the outside and believes they will give up the opportunity to go after a guard.
5. Washington Wizards – James Harden (Arizona State)
The Washington Wizards owned the worse record in the Eastern Conference this season and will get the chance to add some strength to the lineup with the 5th overall pick. The Wizards likely seek a guard preferably someone that can knock down shots in this position. Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison were very effective at the forward positions this year, but they really lacked the outside scoring threat. James Harden could fill that void at the shooting guard position. Harden averaged 20 points per game this season while shooting just under 50% on the season. Harden can also shot the ball from behind the arc rather well which should make him a perfect fit for the Wizards at the number 5 selection.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves – Brandon Jennings (International)
Minnesota has plenty of needs on the court and could go in many different directions with their selection. However, we expect Brandon Jennings to be the most suitable expectation. Al Jefferson holds down the middle fairly strong for the Timberwolves and they may look to add an outside threat to take some pressure off Randy Foye. Brandon Jennings has great speed and a knack for getting to the basket. Jennings should become a solid player who can beat most defenders off the dribble right away.
7. Golden State Warriors – DeMar DeRozan (USC)
DeMar DeRozan does not have overpowering qualities that some of our previous selections maintain, however he is perhaps one of the most solid all around players on the board. DeRozan averaged 14 points in his freshman campaign at USC as he matured throughout the season. DeRozan knocked down 52% of his shots on the season. The big thing surround DeRozan is perhaps need a good bit of time to develop. We don’t expect the 19 year old to come in the league dominating, but expect him to be a solid starter in a year or two.
8. New York Knicks – Stephen Curry (Davidson)
The New York Knicks made a lot of early season moves to try and grab some up and coming talent to the roster. The Knicks will get their chance at another up and coming star if Stephen Curry is still on the board at the number 8 selection. Curry led the nation this season with averaging a lucrative 28.6 points per game. Curry made a name for himself when he led a less than talented Davidson team to the sweet sixteen in 2008. Curry has the best shooting stroke of anyone in the 2009 class. If someone does not take a chance at him, surely New York will at the number 8 pick.
9. Toronto Raptors – Gerald Henderson (Duke)
Gerald Henderson is among the latest entries to add themselves to the 2009 NBA Draft. Henderson exploded in the second half of the season at Duke. Henderson actually tied with Kyle Singler at exactly 16.5 points per game this season to lead the Blue Devils. Henderson has molded into a Grant Hill type of star that also came out of Duke and entered the NBA. The junior has a solid shooting strong and some descent size that will probably take a small forward position. Henderson could find his way into the starting lineup in Toronto considering they have a need for scorers. However, after a big improvement in his junior season we wonder how much growing potential is left?
10. Milwaukee Bucks – DeJuan Blair (Pittsburgh)
The Bucks could surprise a lot of people with this selection, but we have them taking the young sophomore talent out of Pittsburgh in DeJuan Blair. The Bucks are a team that was really beaten up against the glass last season. Andrew Bogut averaged 10.3 rebounds for Milwaukee but there many are some issues with how he will hold up in the future. DeJuan Blair is a big strong forward who can not only chance a game on the boards, but also a rather solid scorer as well. Blair has the strength to overpower defenders and make an early impact in this league. While many will have Blair going around the mid first round range, we think there could be a surprise at the number 10 pick.
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