The rumors are now running rampant for the 2009 NBA draft. The Memphis Grizzlies are taking Ricky Rubio, Hasheem Thabeet, trading up, trading down and trading out of theeir #2 pick for a veteran or the always availble financial considerations. People are claiming they have inside sources in Memphis when every Grizzlies fan knows that Micheal Heisley put every thing on lock as far as leaks go and most “leaks” are now dripped through the Commercial Appeal’s Ron Tillery. GM Chris Wallace is so available to the media that it does not seem to make to much sense to make up stuff because he will talk to just about anyone…including us. Unfortunately, Wallace has the skill of a seasoned politician and pushes his agenda in several places and it is always the same ith vary little variations. However, even the most skilled politician leaves clues to his thought process when he opens his mouth simply by the way they frame their conversations and Chris Wallace is no different. So as a novice analysis, I will try to use the next 3 weeks or so to determine what I think Wallace is thinking and determine in what direction he will take our team. Remember, the time from the NBA Draft Lottery to the actual 2009 NBA draft is like the X-Files. The truth is out there but it is never the actual words coming from the GMs mouth, unless it is….
1. Los Angeles Clippers – Blake Griffin – The Clippers keep saying they will not trade this pick to the dismay of the Grizzlies.Blake Griffin came up T-Trex in his measurements even though his vertical was really good.
2. Memphis Grizzlies – Ricky Rubio -I am not sure if the Grizzlies even see Rubio as a sure thing at this point. Lot of conflicting reports on his actual NBA ceiling. He still in the consensus #2 pick right now.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder – Hasheem Thabeet – Size matters and I can actually see Thabeet going as high as #2 in this draft. Consistent improvement throught out his young basketball career. You have to remember that Mutombo did not ARRIVE at Georgetown until he was Thabeet’s current age. So Thabeet is actually ahead of Mutombo right now.
4. Sacremento Kings – Jordan Hill – They would prefer a PG but could use some depth among the frontline and Hill has the size to play power forward and center.
5. Washington Wizards – James Harden – Will be a good complement to what they have in place already.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves – Demar Derozan – They simply take best available player here. Derozan gives them a player that can rotate between shooting guard and small forward. Should also bring some excitement.
7. Golden State Warriors – Stephen Curry – If Don Nelson is pulling the trigger then I think he goes for the ultimate weapon here.
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 – Tyreke Evans – The Raptors are in need of someone who can get to the hole with the ball and someone who is ultra agressive offensively. Evans fits the bill. Also, Evans should be ready to compete in the NAB from day 1 even though there will be considerable growing pains.
10. Milwaukee Bucks – Jrue Holiday – His draft stock will come down to earth just a little but he should be a decent replacement for Sessions. Will backup Ridnour for one year and hopefully be ready his 2nd year.
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 drop him just a little but he should make a difference on this team seeking some redemption.
15. Detroit Pistons – Terrence Williams – Not sure what the Pistons will do with this pick since they want to make a splash in free agency but T Will would be a very good backup.
16. Chicago Bulls – Chase Budinger – The Bulls need some more outside shooting and Budinger can replace some of what could be leaving in Ben Gordon. Allows Salmons to enter the starting lineup with Deng.
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 – Eric Maynor – T Wolves get a steal here IMO. I think he will make a good starting point guard even as a rookie. Size might limit him as he weighed in at only 163 lbs.
19. Atlanta Hawks – Jeff Teague – He falls a little bit but he is very capable.
20. Utah Jazz – James Johnson – Teammates go back to back. At 257 lbs, Johnson should be able to man both forward positions and give the Jazz some options off the bench.
21. New Orleans Hornets -Gani Lawal – Might be a little reach right here but his early season play showed he has potential to be a very good player.
22. Dallas Mavericks – Wayne Ellington – Dallas needs some more fire power off the bench. Gerald Green didn’t cut the mustard.
23. Sacremento Kings – BJ Mullens – Kings take on the long term project with upside.
24. Portland Trailblazers – Tyler Hansbrough – Blazer elect to get a good backup power forward who can come in and contribute from day 1.
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 – Danny Green – Grizzlies go get a player with the potential to be a lock down defender in the league. Not a great athlete but projects as a great defender.
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 – Derrick Brown – Laker’s take a rugged wing defender for their bench.
30. Cleveland Cavaliers – Austin Daye – Daye has lottery talent but 2nd round production.