1 Washington Wizards
Blake Griffin, Power Forward, Oklahoma
2 Sacramento Kings
Ricky Rubio, Point Guard, DKV Joventut
3 Los Angeles Clippers
Brandon Jennings, Point Guard, Roma
4 Oklahoma City Thunder
Hasheem Thabeet, Center, Connecticut
Thabeet is a giant in the paint and exactly what the young and improving Thunder need. Oklahoma almost acquired the young defensive center they wanted at the trade deadline but a turf toe sent Chandler back to the Hornets at the last second. With Chandler's injury history that may have been a blessing in disguise if the Thunder are able to draft Thabeet. The Thunder are athletic and can score in a multitude of ways but have trouble defending the paint. Enter Thabeet, who will have no problem translating his defensive game to the pros but will struggle to develop an offensive game. Which is not a problem as Westbrook, Green and especially Durant will light up opposing defence's on a nightly basis. So when David Stern steps up to the podium in June to announce that Tha Beet down is on his way to Oklahoma, understand that you are not drafting another Swift, Petro or Sene. The Thunder (formerly the Sonics) are finally getting the quality starting big man they have tried to draft for years.
5 Minnesota T-Wolves
James Harden, Shooting Guard, Arizona State
While Harden's stock took a hit due to his lackluster performance in the tourney, the numbers he posted during the season cannot be ignored. Harden can score in many ways but accomplishing it with athleticism is definately not his style. He can create his own shot with ease but lacks finishing around the rim. The T-Wolves have scary bigs in Jefferson and Love and if Randy Foye continues to develop into more than just a scoring guard, Minnesota will recover from the loss of Garnett fairly quickly. Harden can quicken the recovery even more so if he can be the answer at the either of the wing positions. While they have a nice player in Gomes, the other wings have not panned out. Miller's numbers dropped dramatically after a big 07-08 season and Corey Brewer is too fragile to be effective in the pros. Harden should get an opportunity to start as the T-Wolves make Harden the 5th pick continuing a trend of taken proven talent over potential.
6 Memphis Grizzlies
Jordan Hill, Power Forward, Arizona
If Hill can fall to the Griz at #6, than Memphis can breathe a sigh of relief because the quality of big men after Hill falls off dramatically. The Griz obviously need a dominant power forward to fill out a good young starting 5 that is currently composed of Conley, Mayo, Gay (not that there is anything wrong with that) and Marc Gasol. Memphis was clearly aware of this as they considered trading for Amare at the trade deadline. Hill can be dominant when he is crashin the boards with the reckless abandon Arizona fans will sorely miss. He will also get more opprtunities to show off his jump shot, as pick and pops are the current play of choice for most PF's in the league right now (all of a sudden every power player has to have a jump shot...thanks Bosh for makin the league a softer, weaker place to play.) Hill will be a nice fit in Memphis but he will not develop into an all-star but luckily you have two future all-stars in Gay and Mayo (is it just me or does that sound like some kind of batty sandwich.)
7 Golden State Warriors
Ty Lawson, Point Guard, North Carolina
With the departure of B-Diddy to L.A. last offseason, the Warriors were in desperate need of a legit point guard. Even when Ellis returned from his ankle injury, it was still clear that a true point guard was necessary to run the uptempo offense they excel at. While many would expect Tyreke Evans to be the Warriors pick due to Ellis's early success playing off a big point guard, Lawson would be the smarter pick. He excelled in an uptempo system in North Carolina and was the fastest player in the country from end to end. Returning to UNC for his junior year has proved beneficial as he developed an outside shot and evolved into a scoring threat. While Nelson has proved to be a rookie confidence killer in the past, Lawson's extra year at a top flight program will endear him to his coach quickly. Especially since the next option at point for the boys from the bay is CJ.Watson.
8 New York Knicks
Stephen Curry, Combo Guard, Davidson
While I was skeptical about putting Curry in the top 10, D'Antoni's desire for a point guard who can shoot helps ease those concerns. Duhon was not the answer in the big apple for D'Antoni ,while he could distribute the ball adequately enough, it was his weak shooting touch that glued him to the bench for the second half of the season. Duhon is a great backup but he's not a starter especially in D'Antoni's system. With the emergence of Wilson Chandler and David Lee, Curry will be a nice addition as he proved he could handle the point full-time at Davidson this year. His shooting touch is sniper like, reminiscent of his pops Dell Curry, who was still lights out from beyond the arc in his twilight years. If Curry can continue to develop his passing skills and court vision he will be a nightmare for opposing guards to defend. While he shoots like his father, the way he fights through screens and around picks reminds me of Reggie Miller......which actually scares the shit out of me because I just recently got Reggie's alien lookin face out of my nightmares.
9 Toronto Raptors
Demar DeRozan, Guard/Forward, USC
With the 9th pick in the 2009 NBA draft, my Raps will select a player that can help at the 2 positions we were weakest last year....the wing positions. No more will we have to settle for uncalled for 3 pointers from Jamario Moon, wild jumpshots from "Joe Greasy" aka Joey Graham and fades from Anthony "the jack of all trades but master of none" Parker, that are weaker than a gino who gets his cut at a salon. Derozan is a legit shooter who looked like a top 3 pick as he closed out the season with a string of impressive performances in the PAC-10 and national tournaments. Derozan is the consistent scoring threat the Raps lacked off the bench all season, especially after the Raps let Delfino take his streaky scoring on a euro trip to Russia. While he may not jump into the starting lineup, the Raptors should welcome a player who has the potential to start in this league in his 2nd or 3rd year with open arms. While Derozan may not be thrilled to be drafted by a team North of the border who only won 33 games last year......I'm sure our lowered drinking age limit, bounty of sexy multicultural women and world renowed chronic will help him forget the words to the Star Spangled Banner quick times.
10 Milwaukee Bucks
Tyreke Evans, Combo Guard, Memphis
Tyreke Evans is exactly what the Bucks have been missing, a combo guard big enough to guard opposing 2's but still able to play the point and handle the rock. Michael Redd's injury last season helped emphasize the Bucks need to add depth in the backcourt. While a banger down low to backup or replace Villanueva if he bolts is also essential, stretching for Dejuan Blair or Patrick Patterson at this stage would be too high a risk. Milwaukee has some tough personnel decisions to make this summer, including resigning Charlie V and Ramon Sessions which would require the Bucks to shed some salaries (namely Michael Redd.) Drafting Evans would allow the Bucks to trade Redd or fill the gap left by Sessions if he decides to leave Milwaukee for greener pastures. Evans came into his own after moving over to the point guard position this year. His early struggles were offset by some great games down the stretch that included a few fantastic ones in the tourney. Evans may take a while to find his niche in the NBA, he will either play as a big point guard or as an option 2 shooting guard who can initiate the offense. In Milwaukee, Evans would have the advantage of being on a young inmproving squad with nothing but time and low expectations to develop his game.
11 New Jersey Nets
Earl Clark, Combo Forward, Louisville
GM Rod Thorn has come out in recent weeks saying the team needs a banger who will crash the boards and mix it up in the paint, he refered to the player as a "moose". Now unless he plans on drafting Bullwinkle with the 11th pick, there just isn't a "moose" type player available with the 11th pick. Many have assumed that his comments were in reference to Dejuan Blair, who is almost as wide as he is tall. While Blair is the closest thing to a moose in the draft, Thorn would be wise to draft Earl Clark out of Louisville and try to pickup his moose elsewhere. The Nets were weak at the SF position last year after trading Jefferson in the offseason. They were going with a tandem of Simmons and Hayes, so adding Clark would be a huge upgrade. Also the Nets already have some young PF's to work with in Yi and Ryan Anderson. While neither will ever be confused for a "moose" (I'd say they more resemble donkey's.....well actually more like donkey's with a nice outside touch that only get into the paint when its time to renovate their cribs) they are none the less decent players to split time at the PF position until a 2010. Clark is a multitalented player, who can distribute the ball with the savvy of a point guard but also has the size to score in and around the key. Clark has a penchant for turnovers and taking bad jumpers but has all the tools to be successful in the NBA.
12 Charlotte Bobcats
Gerald Henderson, Shooting Guard, Duke
The Bobcats are on the verge of erasing their bad draft history as Adam "the stache" Morrison was recently traded and Sean "triple chin" May's contract will not be renewed. While Morrison brought his trademark white trash moustache to the NBA, he forgot to bring his game. Morrison has struggled to get playing time and will continue to do so, as he lacks the athletic ability to compete on a daily basis. While the other former lottery pick, has had trouble just staying helathy enough to even be on the active roster. The only baskets May has contributed on lately in Charlotte is the demolition of his "get well soon" pastry and cheese gift baskets. The Bobcats can finally redeem themselves by selecting Henderson to be their backup and eventual starting 2 guard. I can't see Henderson being a star in the league but he can definately carve out a niche for himself as a Raja Bell type player. Fortunately for Henderson if he is drafted by the Cats, he will be Bell's backup and who better to mould him into a Raja Bell type player than......well Raja Bell. Henderson can beat expectations if his defensive intensity translates to the NBA game and his shooting range continues to expand.
13 Indiana Pacers
Dejuan Blair, Power Forward, Pittsburgh
At this stage of the pre-draft hype, it looks foolish to put Blair in the lottery. But on closer inspection it makes sense because it's the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers have had size issues since their talented quartet of Rik "Don't call me Jimmy" Smits, Dale "Where's my money bitch?" Davis, Antonio "What the fuck is a metric system" Davis and Jermaine "Ampu-knees" O'Neal packed their bags and left Indiana. So with that being said, the Pacers will make the first real stretch of the draft and scoop up Dejuan Blair. Blair is the pre-workout 3rd ranked power forward on most draft boards but his size is still a huge question mark. I see him as being a Jason Maxiell type player, an effective rebounder and bench player but not a starter. Mind you, Maxiell also has better hops and is a better defensive player than Blair, so that might even be too favourable a comparison. But Blair's numbers and body of work in the NCAA cannot be ignored. He led all power forwards in field goal percentage and rebounds, making him an almost impossible player to defend in the post. But his height is still an issue as he won't be able to outpower players in the NBA like he did in college. But he still an upgrade over Jeff Foster and Josh McRoberts, so the Pacers have no choice.
14 Phoenix Suns
Jonny Flynn, Point Guard, Syracuse
15 Detroit Pistons
Patrick Patterson, Power Forward, Kentucky
16 Chicago Bulls
Terrence Williams, Shooting Guard, Louisville
17 Philadelphia 76ers
Eric Maynor, Point Guard, VCU
18 Minnesota T-Wolves
B.J. Mullens, Center, Ohio State
19 Atlanta Hawks
James Johnson, Combo Forward, Wake Forest
20 Utah Jazz
Chase Budinger, Small Forward, Arizona
21 New Orleans Hornets
Gani Lawal, Power Forward, Georgia Tech
22 Dallas Mavericks
Jeff Teague, Point Guard, Wake Forest
23 Sacramento Kings
Sam Young, Small Forward, Pittsburgh
24 Portland Trailblazers
Patrick Mills, Point Guard, St. Mary's
25 Oklahoma City Thunder
Wayne Ellington, Shooting Guard, North Carolina
26 Chicago Bulls
Tyler Hansborough, Power Forward, North Carolina
27 Memphis Grizzlies
28 Minnesota T-Wolves
Darren Collison, Point Guard, UCLA
29 Los Angeles Lakers
Jrue Holiday, Combo Guard, UCLA
30 Cleveland Cavaliers
Nick Calthes, Point Guard, Florida