We are now one week away from do or die time for all the 2009 NBA draft prospects who are “testing the waters” and it seems like the most important player as far as the Memphis Grizzlies are concerned has jumped in with both feet. Ricky Rubio, the projected #2 pick, has filed suit against his current team DKV Joventut to get his buyout reduced. This all but eliminates his ability to return to his home town team. So either we believe all the rumors that he is totally against playing in Memphis and there has been a trade agreed to and not made public (unlikely) or Rubio just wants to play in the NBA and whatever team selects him is ok with him (most likely). Either way, it is good news for our Grizzlies and Chris Wallace. The fall out from the Chicago camp keeps coming as some players medical tests will likely drop them in the draft while others with surprisingly good measurements will likely start climbing up the ladder.
1. Los Angeles Clippers – Blake Griffin – The Clippers held a media blitz to introduce Griffin to the media and season ticket holders this weekend, I think this pick is a lock unless you want to give them a Godfather offer.
2. Memphis Grizzlies – Ricky Rubio -When I hear Tony Barone Jr. say he has been tracking Rubio since he was 12 years old, I get the feeling that this is a dream come true for the scouting staff and they will not let this opportunity slip through their fingers.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder – James Harden – He just seems to have the temperament and versatility to fit right in with this group. Able to compliment the players they already have in place. Good fit.
4. Sacremento Kings – Stephen Curry – This is a hard situation to get a hold of because Petrie does his own thing in the draft. Also, they don’t have a coach as of yet so who knows what type of system they will run. Curry gives them another weapon in the backcourt next to Martin who will find more room to slash with Curry roaming outside.
5. Washington Wizards – Hasheem Thabeet – When all is said and done, Thabeet fits their program. He gives them a lot of added length to go with Haywood, McGhee, and Blatche.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves – Tyreke Evans – Supposedly has a promise here. Has been shutting down workouts lately. We will see if this has legs.
7. Golden State Warriors -Terrence Williams – The Warriors are in such a state of flux that it is impossible to get a feel on who they like. Williams looks to be a good candidate to replicate what SJax gives them.
8. New York Knicks – Brandon Jennings – Can come in as a backup to Duhon but he will eventually pilot one of the best offenses on one of the biggest stages.
9. Toronto Raptors – DeMar Derozan – Another supposed promise in the draft. Derozan gives them a chance to relive their Vinsanity history with hopefully a better conclusion.
10. Milwaukee Bucks – Jordan Hill – The fall ends for Hill and he can breath a sigh of relief in the Green Room. Should be able to shine right away next to Bogut.
11. New Jersey Nets – Earl Clark – A great fit for the New Jersey native. Has the skill and game to fit in nicely with the Nets and will not have any pressure to score. Should be able to show off his versatile game by playing some power forward next to Brook Lopez.
12. Charlotte Bobcats – Gerald Henderson – It seems like every year the Bobcats are plugged into the appropriate ACC product. This year it is Duke’s Henderson. Measured out well in Chicago.
13. Indiana Pacers – DeJuan Blair – Blair is the type of player that would be loved in Indiana. He would be an excellent backup power forward and provide them with needed toughness and intangibles.
14. Phoenix Suns – Jonny Flynn – His size drops him just a little but he should make a difference on this team seeking some redemption.
15. Detroit Pistons – Jrue Holiday – Dumars goes for talent over fit here as this will allow them to play Stuckey off the ball some in the future.
16. Chicago Bulls – James Johnson – Johnson should be able to give the Bulls immediate help off the bench and some scoring from their frontline.
17. Philadelphia 76ers – Tywon Lawson – Resigning Andre Miller for more than 1 or 2 seasons is probably not an option with Elton Brand’s contract on the books. Lawson will provide agood transition.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves -BJ Mullens – New GM David Kahn shoots for the moon on this pick and takes the player with perhaps the highest upside in the draft.
19. Atlanta Hawks – Jeff Teague – He falls a little bit but he is very capable of coming in and contributing as a rookie.
20. Utah Jazz – Chase Budinger – Budinger gives the Jazz a hedge just in case Aston opts out of his deal. Good outside shooting in a fairly athletic body and with Deron Williams on the team, he will not be asked to create much for himself.
21. New Orleans Hornets -Wayne Ellington – Hornets draft some perimeter help.
22. Dallas Mavericks – Derrick Brown – The Mavericks get some toughness and athleticism. Should be able to defend from the jump.
23. Sacremento Kings – Tyler Hansbrough – Kings make it 1-2 with players with good college cred. Hansbrough will make a decent 3rd big.
24. Portland Trailblazers -Gani Lawai – Blazers add some raw toughness to the frontline. They can afford to wait a couple of years until he is ready.
25. Oklahoma City Thunder – Patrick Mills – Presti gets a spark plug at backup point as it seems that former Grizz, Earl Watson, does not want that assignment again.
26. Chicago Bulls – Toney Douglass – Hinrich is rumored to be moved and the Bulls need a backup that can do something.
27. Memphis Grizzlies – Jeff Pendergraph – Grizzlies grab a productive college senior. Should add some physicality to the frontline.
28. Minnesota Timberwolves – Sam Young – T’Wolves use their third first rounder for more depth. Young’s age should allow him to contribute early.
29. Los Angeles Lakers – Taj Gibson – Can come in and be the 4th big in their deep rotation.
30. Cleveland Cavaliers – Austin Daye – Daye has lottery talent but 2nd round production.