January is coming to an end and unfortunately for Memphis Grizzlies fans, we have our eyes more on the upcoming draft than the playoffs. This will be year three of absolute futility with the Grizz now making a strong run for the worse record in the NBA. I guess there is no better time to get the first 2009 NBA Mock Draft up and start becoming familiar with the players that could be available in the draft. For this mock draft, I used the ESPN Lottery generator to determine the draft order of the lottery picks. Also, I am sort of random with who will and who will not be in this draft until I get a better feel for who will declare. So without further delay, here is the first 2009 NBA Mock Draft.
1. Los Angeles Clippers – Blake Griffin - Unfortunately the Clippers traded for Zach Randolph because a better prospect is now on their roster. I seriously doubt they will be able to move Randolph before the draft but this should give the CLippers one of the deepest front lines in the league. Griffin and DeAndre Jordan will make one heck of an athletic tandem down the road.
2. Sacramento Kings – Ricky Rubio – The Kings are in desperate need of a point guard after they mistankenly gave Beno to much contract. Rubio and Kevin Martin should be a pretty decent backcourt.
3. Washington Wizards – James Harden – Hopefully Agent Zero is back healthy next year. Harden’s NBA ready game should be enough to vault the Wizards back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
4. Oklahoma City Thunder - Greg Monroe – The Thunder get the final piece to their puzzle as Monroe will fit nicely with the scoring they already have on that roster. The Thunder now challenge the Blazers for best young core in the NBA.
5. Memphis Grizzlies – Al-Farouq Aminu – This pick will probably stun most Grizz fans. A 6’9 215 pound combo forward. Although he might not have the strength to play power forward as a rookie. His game, athleticism and 7’4 wing span will remind fans of the type of ability that Josh Smith and AK47 bring to the power forward position.
6. Golden State Warriors - Jrue Holiday – Honestly, who knows where they go with this pick. The front office is in chaos. Holiday will allow Ellis to return to his scoring role in the future. Also brings good defense to the table.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves - Hasheem Thabeet – Would have loved Holiday at this pick. Thabeet gives them a very good rotation of young bigs that compliment each other with Jefferson and Love.
8. Indianapolis Pacers – Jordan Hill – Pacers want some more athleticism to the frontline. Hill will fit in nicely with the Pacers. He can come in and help right away.
9. Toronto Raptors – Earl Clark – This team is in depserate need of some athleticism on the wings. Clark has the size and rebounding ability to offset Bargnani playing center.
10. Charlotte Bobcats - Demar Derozan - Derozan’s size and athleticism will look nice next to Augustine. His lack of playmaking ability will not be as noticed with Diaw up front.
11. Chicago Bulls - BJ Mullens - The Bulls will probably look very different after this trade deadline but Mullens would finally give them a big with some offensive game.
12. New Jersey Nets – Patrick Patterson - His athleticism will look real good next to Brook Lopez.
13. New York Knicks – Stephen Curry – The Knicks take LeBron’s little buddy but also someone who will be electric in D’Antoni’s system. If he can become a point guard…look out!
14. Utah Jazz – Eric Maynor – The Jazz are facing some tough decisions with their payroll. They grab a cheap backup for Deron Williams right here. They know they don’t need a homerun here with New York’s 2010 pick coming to them unprotected.
15. Milwaukee Bucks – DeJuan Blair - It seems that Redd’s injury is likely to take an entire year to heal. Unfortunately their is not a shooting guard here worthy of picking. Blair’s workman like style should go over well with Coach Skiles.
16. Philadelphia 76ers – Jeff Teague – The Andre Miller situation is touch and go. Teague will give them some much needed perimeter fire power whatever they decide to do with Miller.
17. Minnesota Timberwolves – Chase Budinger – If they trade Miller they will need someone to space the floor from the SF position since Corey Brewer can’t shoot.
18. Detroit Pistons – Gerald Henderson - Could be a great backcourt mate with Stuckey since he does not need the ball to make an impact.
19. Dallas Mavericks – Tyreke Evans – He will be the best talent on the board. His game is evolving and improving. Very skilled and has the talent to go much higher.
20. Phoenix Suns – DeJuan Summers – The Suns need to start rebuilding. 2009-10 will be their last run with Nash. Summers should be able to come in and contribute off the bench as a rookie.
21. Atlanta Hawks – Jonny Flynn – The Acie Law experiment has been a dud so far. Flynn is a born leader and should be able to work well with the firepower in Atlanta.
22. Portland Trailblazers – Gani Lawai – For a team filled with young prospects, Lawai gives them a grunt that they are missing right now.
23. Sacramento Kings – Sam Young – After taking Rubio early, Young gives them another nice player to put with their young core.
24. New Orleans Hornets – Micheal Washington – They could really use some depth on the frontline.
25. Oklahoma City Thunder – Darren Collison – In the NBA, he backs up his former understudy.
26. Oklahoma City Thunder – Austin Daye – Lottery talent that has had a down year to this point.
27. Orlando Magic – Ty Lawson - The Magic have been searching for point guard help for over a year now.
28. Minnesota Timberwolves - Nick Calathes – Wolves bring in more shooting to space the floor and a potential big point guard to play next to Foye.
29. Cleveland Cavaliers – Tyler Smith - A versatile athlete. This team really has no hole for rookies.
30. Los Angeles Lakers – Tyler Hansbrough – In LaLa land, his motor and intensity will make him a crowd favorite off the bench.