Repicking the 2009 NBA Draft

Dec 3, 2018 · 6 min read

The 2009 NBA Draft is definitely one of the most memorable in recent history. For one, the best shooter in NBA history, Stephen Curry, was selected, as well as NBA stars Blake Griffin and James Harden. Blake Griffin went #1, but none these players went #2. Hasheem “The Dream” Thabeet was the second pick. Today, we’ll repick the top 10 picks in the draft, keeping in mind the needs and backgrounds of the teams.

With the #1 Pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Clippers select Stephen Curry, Point Guard from Davidson.

Original Pick: Blake Griffin, PF, Oklahoma

Record Previous Year: 19–63

Player’s Original Pick: No. 7

Record Year After: 29–53

Projected Record with Player: 34–48

I’m not saying Blake Griffin is not a good player, but Stephen Curry is an All-Time Great. No matter what position you need, you have to take Steph here if you’re L.A.. No question. Blake Griffin didn’t even play his rookie year because of injury, while Stephen immediately contributed to his team with 17.5 PPG, 5.9 APG, and approximately five win shares. Of course, Stephen Curry is most known for leading the Warriors current dynasty, with two MVP trophies in that time. In 2015–16, he hit the 50–40–90 milestone for the first time in his career.

With the #2 Pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Memphis Grizzlies select James Harden, Shooting Guard from Arizona State.

Original Pick: Hasheem Thabeet, C, UConn

Record Previous Year: 24–58

Player’s Original Pick: No. 3

Record Year After: 40–42

Projected Record with Player: 43–39

Let’s just start off by asking ourselves, Is Hasheem Thabeet still in the NBA? The answer is no. Right now, he is in the Japanese B.League (No, that’s not a typo. That’s the name of the league. The B.League). Simply for longevity, James Harden is a better choice here. Even though Memphis already had O.J. Mayo, a decent shooting guard at the time, you can’t go wrong with the future MVP Harden. With Marc Gasol already on the team, the 7'3" Thabeet is not the smartest choice here. The best available player left on the board is James Harden.

The Oklahoma City Thunder trade their pick to the Sacramento Kings. With the third pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Sacramento Kings select Blake Griffin, Power Forward from Oklahoma.

Original Pick: James Harden, SG, UConn (by OKC)

Record Previous Year: 17–65

Player’s Original Pick: No. 1

Record Year After: 25–57

Projected Record with Player: 20–62

The Kings trade their 4th overall pick, their 23rd overall pick, and their 31st overall pick for the third pick, all in the 2009 Draft. After seeing the star Griffin falling to number three, they did not want to wait. They knew that Oklahoma City was going to take him. Instead of risking it, the Kings trade up for the PF. Although Blake Griffin misses his first season, it’s a very solid pick to solidify the Kings’ PF position for years to come.

With the fourth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder select DeMar DeRozan, Shooting Guard from Southern California.

Original Pick: Tyreke Evans, PG/SG/SF, Memphis

Record Previous Year: 23–59

Player’s Original Pick: No. 9

Record Year After: 50–32

Projected Record with Player: 47–35

The Thunder wanted to take a shooting guard anyway, and they ended up getting an extra draft pick to slide down a pick. The Thunder take DeRozan, the 4-time All-Star. With Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook already in place, they take DeRozan with this pick and hope to get a big man with the newly-acquired 23rd pick. He also will improve his shooting alongside sharpshooter Kevin Durant. This is the perfect pick for OKC, and an even better situation for DeRozan to be in.

With the fifth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves (from WAS) select Jrue Holiday, Point Guard from UCLA.

Original Pick: Ricky Rubio, PG, Spain

Record Previous Year: 24–58

Player’s Original Pick: No. 17

Record Year After: 15–67

Projected Record with Player: 16–66

Originally, the Timberwolves took Ricky Rubio with this pick. This wasn’t necessarily the worst pick for them in the long run, but Rubio played two seasons in Spain after he was drafted. When you get a rookie, you want him to work with the team as soon as possible and become an immediate contributor. Jrue Holiday does just that. His first season wasn’t necessarily his best season by any means, but it was a good start to the solid NBA career that has been Holiday’s. The next pick is where it gets interesting for the Timberwolves.

With the sixth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves (from BOS, originally from MIN) select Jeff Teague, Point Guard, from Wake Forest.

Original Pick: Jonny Flynn, PG, Syracuse

Record Previous Year: 24–58

Player’s Original Pick: No. 19

Record Year After: 16–66 (w/ Holiday)

Projected Record with Player: 17–65

Let’s just start off by saying that Jonny Flynn had 0.1 win shares in his rookie year and played 81 games. That’s insanely bad. Jeff Teague only had 0.6, but he only played 10 minutes a game. As we now know, Jeff Teague is a reliable starting point guard if needed, and a great sixth man. Jonny Flynn last played for Orlandina Basket of the Lega Basket Serie A. What does that even mean? To me, this comes down to Jeff Teague or Ricky Rubio. Jeff Teague is simply the better scorer and is more efficient. Ricky Rubio is a better passer, but considering Rubio missed two years, you have to go with Teague. Two years is a long time to develop a young player. Fun fact: The Timberwolves traded away this pick to the Celtics alongside Michael Olowokandi, Wally Szczerbiak, and Dwayne Jones. To be honest, the only name I recognize that the T-Wolves got in this trade was the pick that resulted in Nikola Pekovic. A year and a half later, the Wolves realized they wanted their pick back, and traded Kevin Garnett for the pick, Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair, the pick that later became Wayne Ellington, and cash.

With the seventh pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Golden State Warriors select Tyreke Evans, Point Guard/Shooting Guard/Small Forward, from Memphis.

Original Pick: Stephen Curry, PG, Davidson

Record Previous Year: 29–53

Player’s Original Pick: No. 4

Record Year After: 26–56

Projected Record with Player: 26–56

Obviously, the Warriors main target in the draft has been taken, that being Stephen Curry. Tyreke Evans is just the best player left on the board, and although he’s not the best player in the league today, he’s a solid role player and won Rookie of the Year. Averaging 20 PPG, 6 APG, and 4 RPG, he is not a bad pick at all. He’s just the all-around spark that the Warriors needed.

With the eighth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks select Ricky Rubio, Point Guard, from Spain.

Original Pick: Jordan Hill, C, Arizona

Record Previous Year: 32–50

Player’s Original Pick: No. 5

Record Year After: 29–53

Projected Record with Player: 29–53

Ricky Rubio didn’t play in his first two years after getting drafted, but it seemed that Jordan Hill didn’t either. Or at least it felt like it. Jordan Hill was an obvious bust! The Knicks didn’t need a point guard, but they are building for the future. They knew that he would want to stay in Spain, but they’re okay with that, considering his elite playmaking abilities.

With the ninth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Toronto Raptors select Patrick Beverley, Point Guard, from Arkansas.

Original Pick: DeMar DeRozan, SG, Southern California

Record Previous Year: 33–49

Player’s Original Pick: No. 42

Record Year After: 40–42

Projected Record with Player: 38–44

Even though he played 3 and a half seasons overseas before stepping on an NBA court, Patrick Beverley has proved to be a capable point guard with great on-ball defending. Alongside other offensive threats, Beverley can bring a court together with his defensive abilities. After snatching Beverley with the ninth pick, they’ll probably resort to drafting a more offensive player with their pick next year.

With the tenth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Milwaukee Bucks select Brandon Jennings, Point Guard, from Oak Hill Academy.

Original Pick: Brandon Jennings, PG, Oak Hill Academy

Record Previous Year: 34–48

Player’s Original Pick: No. 10

Record Year After: 46–36

Believe it or not, in this scenario, the Brandon Jennings selection was a good one for Milwaukee. This doesn’t mean that they made a good pick, but with all the talent off the board that is, this is a good selection. Brandon Jennings put up 55 points in a game in his rookie year, and averaged a solid 16 PPG, 6 APG, and 3 RPG. He kept this up for a while, but the NBA was sleeping on him. In 2018, he came back to Milwaukee on a 10-day contract and nearly put up a triple-double. Sure his prime was only 6 years or so, but he was a solid player, especially for the tenth pick here.