2009 NBA Draft Lottery Picks

This year's NBA Draft is full of young and desirable talent that will be wanted across the board. There are many young players coming out of college early, several spectacular seniors and some international players who could surprise as well. So let's get to the lottery (1-14) picks.All drafting positions are official as of the end of the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday, May 19.

  1. Los Angeles Clippers – Blake Griffin, So., Oklahoma.
    I see this big man as a future Hall-of-Famer. Yes, it may be too early for such high thinking, but averaging 23 points and 13 rebounds a game in the Big 12 will do that for you. He was highly appraised by GM Mike Dunleavy after the Clips won the lotto, and is expected to be picked despite the wealth of veteran big men on the team. Hopefully he doesn't follow the ways of his soon-to-be teacher Zach Randolph.
  2. Memphis Grizzlies – Ricky Rubio, Spain
    This electrifying point guard, described by most as the Spanish Pete Maravich, should be an immediate upgrade for the Grizzlies. Although they drafted Mike Conley just two years ago, they can use a more all-around point like Ricky and still use Conley as a spot shooter off the bench.
  3. Oklahoma City Thunder – Hasheem Thabeet, Jr., Connecticut.
    The most sure pick in the draft, Thabeet provides an immediate help on D and will gradually improve his low-post offense. After leading the Big East in career blocks per game, I would expect him to be similar to those he passed on the list – Mutumbo and Pat Ewing. This will make the Thunder into one of the dark horses next year, with a great young and talented nucleus already in place, only lacking this one defensive presence that Thabeet brings.
  4. Sacramento Kings – James Harden, So., Arizona State.
    Harden has matured greatly with the extra year of college, which I believe makes him more valuable than ever before. Fortunately for the Kings, who lost the lottery despite having the best chance at getting the #1 position, they still have an impact player in Harden, who will take over Bobby Jackson's role of 6th man – if he doesn't start over Francisco Garcia right away.
  5. Washington Wizards – Jordan Hill, Sr., Arizona.
    Hill was the most underrated lottery player coming into this season, but left the Wildcats with scouts drooling over his inside footwork and positioning. He isn't nearly as dynamic as Blake Griffin, but steady production will make him a viable option to provide insurance on the oft-injured Wizards team.
  6. Minnesota Timberwolves – Brandon Jennings, USA.
    The point guard who abandoned his hopes of college after scoring too low on qualifying tests in order to play pro ball in Europe is the prized prospect to replace Sebastian Telfair in Minnesota. Jennings unreal speed and great court vision will be the difference between him and fellow PG Jonny Flynn of Syracuse.
  7. Golden State Warriors – DeMar DeRozan, Fr., USC.
    DeRozan, the high flying frosh from California, will be an exciting player for the next decade. He reminds me of a young Vince Carter- that is, in dunking, as he has to work on making his jumper more consistent. He will give the already offensively potent Warriors another scoring option off the bench and allow them to possibly dump one of their veteran guards with a big contract (Jamal Crawford).
  8. New York Knicks – Stephen Curry, Jr., Davidson.
    The combo guard who stole the nation's heart during the 2008 NCAA tournament cinderella run can stroke it from any spot short of half court – and even can hit from there if needed. With the sweetest stroke in recent history, he has turned heads with his comparison to father Dell Curry, another prolific sharpshooter. Thing is, most believe Steph is better than his pops.
  9. Toronto Raptors – Chase Budinger, Jr., Arizona.
    Chase, who could also have gone pro in volleyball straight from high school, is more athletic than looks. The 6'7" swingman not only has a deadly pull-up jumper, he also finishes with authority. A nice NBA comparison would be Shawn Marion – a possible future teammate in Toronto.
  10. Milwaukee Bucks – Earl Clark, Jr., Louisville.
    A very capable rebounder, what really sets Clark apart from other forwards in this position is deep shooting skill. Unlike most 6'10" big men, Clark will not hesitate to step up and take big shots from far away if needed, which is something Milwaukee missed last year when Michael Redd went down to injury. So although Redd will be back, Clark will still be a nice option off the bench.
  11. New Jersey Nets – Tyreke Evans, Fr., Memphis.
    The uber-athlete Evans has shown the world that he can run a ball club from the point, the wing, and even has great post skills for being only 6-6. He had a great showing in the Tigers' tournament loss to Missouri, scoring 31 points. Look for him to shine right away in the league – even while competing with Air Canada for PT.
  12. Indiana Pacers – Gerald Henderson, Jr., Duke.
    Henderson signed with an agent, proving the versatile guard will go pro. Gerald led Duke in scoring last year and is a great athlete. Last year's rookie guard Brandon Rush will still start, while Henderson will come off the bench at first. If he produces enough highlight reel material early, he could claim the starting spot.
  13. Charlotte Bobcats – Wayne Ellington, Jr., North Carolina.
    With an impressive National Championship run behind him, Ellington is turning to the pros with a new chip on his shoulder. Some scouts say he needs to add muscle, but right now Charlotte just needs him to keep playing like he did for the Heels- a high-caliber guard that shoots well when he needs to and makes the smart play on almost every possession.
  14. Phoenix Suns – Eric Maynor, Sr., VCU.
    Maynor is a steal at this position, and well-suited for this team. Steve Nash, while still a great player, isn't getting any younger and is entering the final year of his contract. Maynor, acclaimed by many experts as the purest point guard in the draft, will learn from the best for a year while coming off the bench. Once he takes over starting duties, Eric will soon be a poster child for how to be a true facilitator in the NBA.

References:
"2009 Mock Draft". NBADraft.net.
Official Website of the NBA, nba.com.

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