Hindsight is 20/20: The 2009 NBA Redraft

After this draft, only two more remain. These redrafts begin to get difficult as a lot of these players are still proving their worth. Lucky for me, the 2009 draft is fully stocked with great point guards.

1. Los Angeles Clippers – 2009 Pick: PF Blake Griffin 2012 Pick: Griffin – this wasn’t as easy of a pick as you might think, Blake missed his entire rookie season due to knee problems (which will continue to be a problem in the future, which could hurt his longevity). However, he is one of, if not the most exciting players in the league and together with Chris Paul has led the Clips to the 2nd round. He needs to improve on his overall game, especially in developing a stronger post game.

Curry, sporting the TEAM USA jersey, moves up to 2nd overall by the Grizzlies

2. Memphis Grizzlies – 2009 Pick: C Hasheem Thabeet 2012 Pick: PG Stephen Curry– Easy to get rid of Thabeet, he’s been a huge bust and is already on his third team in as many seasons, but his replacement? Difficult choice. I ultimately went with the fragile Stephen Curry over 2010 Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans and new 6th Man of the Year James Harden. Curry, when healthy, has been a dead-eye shooter who also passes the rock. I decided against Evans & Harden due to the Griz drafting similar OJ Mayo the year prior. Curry would have to beat out Mike Conley to start, but he wouldn’t have a problem if he could play.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder – 2009 Pick: SG James Harden 2012 Pick: Harden – He just won the 6th Man of the Year, he jells perfectly with PG Russell Westbrook and SF Kevin Durant. It would be tempting to go with more talented Tyreke Evans here, but why mess with chemistry?

4. Sacramento Kings – 2009 Pick: G Tyreke Evans 2012 Pick: Evans – The Kings luck out and potentially keep the best player in this draft while sticking at 4th overall. Tyreke had an historic rookie season coming from Memphis, as he averaged 20 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists, joining elite company including Oscar Robertson, MJ & Lebron as the only rookies to accomplish these feats. While the Kings have continued to disappoint, Evans is their best player and I don’t think they would change this selection.

5. Minnesota Timberwolves – 2009 Pick: PG Ricky Rubio 2012 Pick: Rubio – While it took a few years for Rubio to make it stateside, GM David Kahn has to keep the same selection and role with the young Spaniard again. Rubio surprised many, including myself, with his promising play this past season before his ACL tear (I blame Kobe). Rubio averaged 10.6 points & 8.2 assists, electrifying the crowds in Minneapolis.

DeRozan goes 5th overall due to being such a strong point guard heavy draft, I doubt Kahn would still go back-to-back PGs

6. Minnesota Timberwolves – 2009 Pick: PG Jonny Flynn 2012 Pick: SG DeMar DeRozan– Kahn foolishly drafted back to back point guards, invising a hybrid triangle system with Rubio and Kevin Love…. except he forgot that point guards aren’t important for that system as far as production, and having two point guards is completely unnecessary. While DeRozan hasn’t been an extreme game changer, he’s been productive on some bad Raptors teams. He would be an interesting fit with Love & Rubio.

7. Golden State Warriors – 2009 Pick: Curry 2012 Pick: PG Brandon Jennings – Golden State unfortunately misses out on Curry, but still lands a young point guard for their future. I question how Jenning’s shoot first, pass later mentality would work next to Monta Ellis… oh that’s right, they play together in Milwaukee now! But seriously, Jennings has improved every season, dramatically improving his FG% from a terrible 37% to a somewhat respectable 42% this past season while averaging 19 points and 5.5 assists. The Ball Area would go crazy for Jennings too.

8. New York Knicks – 2009 Pick: PF Jordan Hill 2012 Pick: PG Ty Lawson – The Knicks were in the midst of their rebuilding process under D’Antoni, starting Wilson Chandler & Danilo Gallinari over 60 game each, yet they still struggled by starting Chris Duhon for 59 games and enduring his horrendous 10.7 PER. Lawson would have been a fresh approach for D’Antoni and would have allowed him to run more up tempo, maybe they never would trade for Carmelo and the coach would still be in New York.

Danny Green goes from being the 4th former Tar Heel to be drafted, to going top 10.

9. Toronto Raptors – 2009 Pick: DeRozan 2012 Pick: SF Danny Green– the Raptors struggled at the SF position in ’09-10, starting Hedo Turkoglu for 69 games when he hit just over 40% from the field. While Green was a mid-2nd round selection for the Cavs, he’s really blossomed this past season where he averaged 9.1 points and shot almost 47% from 3’s for Spurs, while playing above average defense.

10. Milwaukee Bucks – 2009 Pick: Jennings 2012 Pick: PG Jrue Holiday – Holiday may have come out a year too early from UCLA, but he’s developed over the past few seasons and became a bright spot for the 76ers this past few seasons while leading Philly to the playoffs. Maybe you could argue for Darren Collison, but I would still take the younger, explosive Holiday over his fellow Bruin PG.

11. New Jersey Nets – 2009 Pick: SG Terrence Williams 2012 Pick: SF James Johnson – The Nets were in the midst of rebuilding, but Williams would prove to not be apart of it as he was traded in 2011. While Johnson may not be a big name, he’s still been an all-around above average player for the Raptors, where the past two seasons he averaged above 9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and a block. While he may not be Andrei Kirilenko just yet, he still has lots of room for improvement and should expect to get more minutes in the upcoming seasons.

12. Charlotte Bobcats – 2009 Pick: SG Gerald Henderson 2012 Pick: C Dejuan Blair – The Bobcats really needed size, and Blair’s injury history scared away most teams but he’s proven to be a quality backup to Tim Duncan in San Antonio. Over the past 2 seasons, he’s averaged 8.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and almost 1 steal over just 20 minutes a night. His 36 minute average would be 15.1/11.3/1.6 steals. Not bad for the former Pittsburgh Panther.

Both of these former UCLA point guards go a lot higher in this redraft, as Holiday goes to Milwaukee at 10 and Collison ends up in Indy at 13

13. Indiana Pacers – 2009 Pick: PF Tyler Hansbrough 2012 Pick: PG Darren Collison– While Psycho-T has been solid for the Pacers, holding career averages of 10 points and almost 5 boards a game, but the Pacers ended up trading for Collison after his rookie season in their attempt to get a starting point. Why not just draft him here?

14. Phoenix Suns – 2009 Pick: SF Earl Clark 2012 Pick: PG Jeff Teague – I was thinking potentially PF Taj Gibson due to his stellar play as a back up on Chicago, but Teague is too tantalizing to pass up if you’re the Suns and looking for a replacement for Steve Nash at point (in 2010, he turned 35 but magically kept playing at a high level). Teague has quietly developed into a capable starting PG since taking over the point for the Hawks, and even averaged 12.6 points and 5 assists this past season while hitting 47% from the field. Not a bad steal here at 14.

Most of the players from this draft are still developing, as only Thabeet and Jonny Flynn are the only high profile busts so far. Plenty of intriguing prospects are still available including Jordan Hill, Gerald Henderson, Psycho T Hansbrough, Austin Daye, Omri Casspi, Rodrique Beaubois, Taj Gibson, and Chase Budinger.

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