Ahoy there Draftorians (sounds like something out of Star Trek really), and welcome back to the first Installment of the 2009 Idiots Guide to the 2009 NBA draft. Last year, I was completely rooted by the Sonics/ Thunder/ Train-Wrecks selection of Russell Westbrook at pick 4, but I did pick the first three picks, in order, and had them that way from blog 1. Self-grandizing aside, you may wish to know what will be different from the 2008 Draft series. Well, apart from the obvious, I will continue to bag the New York Knicks and the Carlton Football Club, be favourable to the Charlotte Bobcats, continue to talk about my un-gay man crushes and continue to be, well you know, right. The only major difference is that I have decided that the new ‘Official Unofficial Idiots Guide Blog Babe Representative’ has been changed from Jessica Alba to Megan Fox. Mainly because currently, I’m watching Two and a Half Men and Miss Fox washing a window with a sponge. So much so, I become grammatically incorrect.
Pick 10 Al Farouq Aminu 6’9 PF Georgia Tech Fresh.
Al-Farouq Aminu. Get used to this name, and myself making up extremely awesome nicknames as the year progresses. I think I’ll start off with something docile, Air Al. Sounds good. AFA is tall at 6’9 and has over a 7 foot wing span. Add to that ridiculous hops out of the gym and you got a prospect that as us mock drafters say ‘has GM’s salivating’. Needs to work on skills and hit the gym room (personally I think he should join the Richmond football club in boycotting this season, and just spending it in the weight room) but all in all, this kid has the physical tools to be a real player in the NBA.
Pick 9. Tyreke Evans 6’6 SG/PG Memphis Fresh.
The ‘Reke (not a flattering nickname, but oh well) is a combo guard playing this year for the up tempo, penetration crazy Memphis Tigers. This automatically raises his stock a couple of spots to me, and in an extremely weak draft, that’s good enough for a top 10 placing. But Tyreke is a great talent for the highest level, his tall and long at 6’5/ 6’6, extremely athletic and extremely quick. Physically he’s a great specimen, and his ability to handle the rock and dish it out make him a legit possibility to play the point spot as well as the traditional off-guard position. His defensive ability at this stage is largely helped by his physical attributes. However, the real issue may be on the mental side; he’s been groomed for this for a long time.
Pick 8. Demar DeRozan 6’6 SG USC Fresh.
With the amount of Freshman that went early in this years draft, I believe it will force a lot of General Managers to pick older guys to fit needs as they already have enough developing talent. If that is the case, DeRozan falls about three or four spots. DeRozan’s a great prospect with a good array of skills and physically a marvel. Athletic as they come, with a body which is supposedly getting stronger he reminds me of Vince Carter – you know, minus the sissy injuries.
Pick 7 Hasheem Thabeet 7’0 C UConn. Jnr.
Tha-beet made one of the now very rare smart moves by staying another year in college. At 7’0/ 7’1, and being a player out of UConn with good athleticism and timing probably would have made him a top 20 pick. But instead, he went back to school to learn from Coach Calhoun and gives him a legitimate shot at being the first junior in almost forever to be taken number 1 overall. In fact, because he’s a Husky, I’ll rate him as my dark horse for number 1 overall.
Pick 6 Brandon Jennings 6’0 PG
The big shock for dire hard NBA fans was the fact that Josh Childress gave up an NBA contract in favor of a massive contract that wasn’t from Tel Aviv or CSKA Moscow. In fact, it was from a team that I am assuming derives its name from the mountain on which the ancient Greek Gods lived (Olympus/ Olympiakos – us history majors like to flex our knowledge muscle from time to time). But, an even bigger one for us who follow the next generations was how Brandon Jennings gave up going to Arizona to play along a top 4 candidate team for a one year lucrative Euroleague professional deal. Sure it puts the ‘money before… everything’ label (or Boozer Label) on him early, but when you look at the strength of the Euroleague at this point in time, it may turn out to be a very wise move.
Pick 5 Austin Daye 6’10 SF/PF Gonzaga Soph.
A guy who some people thought would be a top 5 pick this year fits the mould of tall wing player that players such as Rashard Lewis and most notably Kevin Durant have come to make GM’s froth at the mouth (in a good way). However, he is not at this stage as athletically gifted or as dominant in terms of mentality, Daye has a gigantic 6’10 frame with skills. Problem? Well, the aforementioned scorers mentality and the fact he vertically resembles a pole vault have something to do with it.
Pick 4 Manu Ginobili… I mean James Harden 6’5 SG Arizona St. Soph.
I love this guy, for he plays so similar to G-Nobs except that he doesn’t flop nor does he overuse the shot fake. I will agree with almost every mock draft site out there, this guy has the explosiveness, scoring ability and passing ability of a Ginobili, he is even left handed. He’s the kind of guy that even if he doesn’t become a dominant player, he’ll be an excellent role player at the next level.
Pick 3 BJ Mullins 7’0 C Ohio St. Fresh.
You know when your a kid, and you have a really bad last name or first name that just screams ‘Make funny of me with constant reference to my stupid/ interesting name’ deal? Or was that just me? Well when your 7′0 tall, can practically jump over us average 5′9ers and jam home a dunk that would give even Rob a semi hard-on, then those sorts of nicknames don’t apply. The last guy who had this good footwork in the low post for 7+ footer… Dwight Howard. [Robd editor's note: don't put me in the same category as you "average" 5'9ers]
Pick 2 Blake Griffin 6’9 PF Oklahoma Soph.
The one thing that all the sub-par teams in the competition have in common is the lack of interior scorers. The Bobcats, Pacers, Kings, Thunder etc. all practically suck in this area. This makes for a player who is a beast with bad knees on the low block to go extremely high at #2. When I say beast I literally mean beast. Not like, he’s a statistical or fantasy beast, I mean he looks and plays like an actual animal. For a good reference, check this dunk.
Pick 1. Ricky Rubio 6’3 PG
This guy, despite being an almost virtual lock for whenever he comes out as a number one overall, is still my number 1 man crush. He would have out crushed Mr. R. Westbrook for sure. This guy will be number #1 for two reasons. The first is the well known Oden rule. He is a player with a potential that can best be described as ‘The Atmosphere’, and is a position which most still agree is an important one to winning an NBA Championship. The second reason is the Bogut rule. Any NBA potential draftee who plays against the U.S.A. in Olympic competition and does well, jumps up draft boards. I’ll let YouTube do the talking from here.