By: Peter Christian and David Kay
It’s the NBA All-Star Break which means it’s time for The NBA Lottery Re-do with David Kay and Peter Christian. In the 2nd Annual Edition, the two basketball nerds re-pick the lottery portion of the 2009 NBA Draft with the knowledge that they have now (i.e. rookie performances, free agent signings and trades) about the teams involved. Peter Christian won the toss this year and has decided to select the odds.
#1 Los Angeles Clippers
Original Pick: Blake Griffin
Re-do Pick: Blake Griffin
(PC) Even though the Clippers are without the services of their first overall pick for the year, it is still the correct pick for LA’s second team. They have a good core with Baron Davis, Eric Gordon Al Thornton and Chris Kaman and Griffin will eventually be a great compliment to that group. The other half of the coin is the question of who the Clippers would take instead. Tyreke Evans is the hands down best rookie performer from last June’s draft and he would only create a logjam of guards on the Clips.
(DK) Agreed. Plus, Tyreke would probably fall victim to the Clipper curse instead of Blake anyway.
#2 Memphis Grizzlies
Original Pick: Hasheem Thabeet
Re-do Pick: Tyreke Evans
(DK) First of all, I need to say, “I told you.” I had been whoring Evans since I saw him in the McDonald’s All-American game and had him in my lottery all season long while other mock drafts sites barely had him in the first round for most of the year. Anyway, it’s far too early to call Thabeet a bust since we knew he needed some grooming at the next level. But with Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph playing well up-front, imagine if you added Evans on the wing alongside O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay. The Griz are not sold on Mike Conley being their long-term answer at the point, and Evans would allow him to come off the bench.
(PC) You don’t need to preach to me, I was one of your first converts on Evans. I’ve been on his bandwagon since his first nationally televised game at Memphis in November 2008 when he led the Tigers with 19 points in a Midnight Madness game against Memphis. I remember.
#3 Oklahoma City Thunder
Original Pick: James Harden
Re-do Pick: Brandon Jennings
(PC) I was on the fence with this pick forever. I ultimately chose Jennings for his ability to be a true point guard in the NBA and because he would be the best player to help OKC’s best player (Kevin Durant) become even better. Jennings isn’t nearly the selfish, unrefined player we assumed he would be after spending time playing riding the bench in Europe instead of playing for the University of Arizona. He is however, a quick learner and shows an ability to get to the basket and find open teammates for easy jumpers. Russell Westbrook could easily handle the two-guard duties offensively and defensively while Jennings slashed and dished to Durant, Jeff Green or Westbrook for an open jumper.
(DK) I understand your argument, but I think Curry would have been a better pick here. Westbrook is not a great perimeter shooter and more of a playmaker, so Curry’s shooting ability would be a nice addition to this team.
#4 Sacramento Kings
Original Pick: Tyreke Evans
Re-do Pick: Ricky Rubio
(DK) Point guard is the obvious choice here and there is a plethora to choose from between Rubio, Curry, Flynn, or even Lawson. With the Kings being a team in complete re-building mode, rolling the dice on Rubio would be worth the gamble. Plus, you never know; maybe Rubio does come over this season since Sacramento is a slightly more attractive destination than Minnesota rather than staying in Spain for two years.
(PC) The Maloof’s are Vegas boys at heart, so a gamble on Rubio isn’t far fetched. Rubio (if he played for Sacramento) would be a much better fit with current Kings guard Kevin Martin than Evans has been since Martin’s return to the lineup and wouldn’t be facing the task of trading Martin right now.
#5 Minnesota Timberwolves
Original Pick: Ricky Rubio
Re-do Pick: Jonny Flynn
(PC) As with the Kings, point guard was the biggest need for the Timberwolves in last June’s draft, so it makes sense that they would still land Jonny Flynn, just one pick earlier. Flynn has grown into a promising young point guard with the ability to score at times and would obviously still fit into the Timberwolves future.
(DK) Agree one-hundred percent.
#6 Minnesota Timberwolves
Original Pick: Jonny Flynn
Re-do Pick: Stephen Curry
(DK) I wavered between Harden and Stephen Curry with this one. Harden may be more of a natural fit at the two than Curry who has ran a good amount of point in Golden State this season, but Curry’s outside shooting compliments Flynn’s ability to get into the paint and kick. By the way, how much easier would life have been for David Kahn, you, and all of Timberwolves nation if this is actually how the draft played out?
(PC) As a T-Wolves fan, this is my “what could’ve been scenario.” Curry has been shooting at a good percentage (45% from the floor, 43% from 3pt) and would be a good, no great compliment to the core of Jefferson/Love/Flynn for a potentially deadly slash and kick or slash and dish combination for years to come. I still think that as soon as David Kahn realized he wasn’t going to woo Ricky Rubio to play in Minnesota he should have called Golden State and tried dealing Rubio for Curry straight up. He could’ve made it all better. He could’ve made it ALL better…
#7 Golden State Warriors
Original Pick: Stephen Curry
Re-do Pick: Ty Lawson
(PC) Lawson would be a great “Nellie Ball” player. He’s quick, he’s got great handles, he’s really good at breaking down the defense and dishing to the open man. He isn’t as much of an outside shooter like James Harden is but Golden State needs a player to really manage the chaos of all their shooters and post players anyway and Lawson has had to be that guy in Denver, he definitely could be that guy by the Bay.
(DK) Yeah, Lawson was a steal for the Nuggets at 18. (I am sure I don’t have to remind you that was the T-Wolves pick heading into the draft.) He definitely has “franchise point guard” written all over him and would be a nice addition to “Nellie Ball” while also being able to control the tempo of a game.
#8 New York Knicks
Original Pick: Jordan Hill
Re-do Pick: James Harden
(DK) Since the Knicks are such an absolute mess and have almost their entire roster entering free agency this summer, I have to go with best available player and that’s Harden. I gave serious thought to Thabeet with this pick, but already having Eddy Curry on the roster would be a TERRIBLE influence for a young seven-footer who needs to put in a lot of work to improve. This didn’t even happen and I feel sorry for Harden.
(PC) Wow… not at all the direction I expected you to go. Don’t get me wrong, I think Harden is a good value here and is a good fit for the Knicks who don’t have any size at the guard position outside of Larry Hughes. However the Knicks are also set to lose anyone that can pull down a rebound after this season. I thought for sure this pick was going to be DeJuan Blair, Hasheem Thabeet or Taj Gibson
#9 Toronto Raptors
Original Pick: DeMar DeRozan
Re-do Pick: DeMar DeRozan
(PC) I struggled with this one because I witnessed how much DeMar struggled to start the season for the Raptors. He’s come along lately and is showing some promise for a team that is very likely going to be losing its franchise player after this season. I gave heavy consideration to Wesley Matthews and Omri Casspi, but DeRozan’s size and flexibility won out. If Toronto hadn’t acquired Hedo Turkoglu, the pick definitely would have been Casspi.
(DK) I would have probably taken Thabeet. Toronto really doesn’t have any inside presence with Bosh and Bargnani being more perimeter-based bigs.
#10 Milwaukee Bucks
Original Pick: Brandon Jennings
Re-do Pick: Darren Collison
(DK) I am definitely surprised with how Collison has been able to fill in for CP3 who has been banged up this season. The former Bruin took a stock hit after a very lackluster final season at UCLA but would be a nice point guard of the future in Milwaukee especially with Luke Ridnour being in the final year of his contract. This was the absolute wild card pick of the draft and kudos to John Hammond for taking Jennings.
(PC) Collison has been surprisingly solid in the past few weeks to justify taking him in the lottery re-do. I can’t argue with him going 10th to the Bucks.
#11 New Jersey Nets
Original Pick: Terrence Williams
Re-do Pick: DeJuan Blair
(PC) Blair’s stock fell into the bargain basement because of potentially bad knees, but he has reminded everyone why he was considered one of the most fundamentally efficient big men in the NCAA last year. Blair would provide a little muscle in the paint for the Nets which would be a dramatic change from Yi’s complete lack thereof.
(DK) It’s still baffling that Blair fell to the 37th overall pick. As demonstrated by his 23 rebound performance in the Rookies/Sophomore game, Blair is a beast and would be a great compliment inside for Brook Lopez. Do you think R.C. Buford feels like a genius for drafting Blair by the way because he should be laughing at all the G.M.’s that let him slide.
#12 Charlotte Bobcats
Original Pick: Gerald Henderson
Re-do Pick: Omri Casspi
(DK) With a glutton of seven-footers, the Bobcats don’t need Thabeet and select a do-it-all, hustle, energy player in Casspi who has been a pleasant surprise in Sac-town. He would be a great back-up for Gerald Wallace and would be able to play alongside Wallace and Stephen Jackson when needed.
(PC) I really like Casspi. He works hard and is a natural shooter. He’s stuck in a bit of a slump lately but he shows real promise and would be able to be a bit more selective on a team like Charlotte, which would only help his shooting percentages.
#13 Indiana Pacers
Original Pick: Tyler Hansbrough
Re-do Pick: Taj Gibson
(PC) Taj Gibson has been a quiet surprise for the Bulls on both ends of the floor and has even supplanted Tyrus Thomas as their starting power forward. For the Pacers he would be a nice change of… umm, pace (sorry, I really am) behind Troy Murphy as a more athletic, hard nosed player off the bench.
(DK) I am really disappointed you didn’t stick with Hansbrough. He and Indiana are a match made in heaven.
#14 Phoenix Suns
Original Pick: Earl Clark
Re-do Pick: Jonas Jerebko
(DK) With all the injuries the Pistons have suffered this season, Jerebko has had a chance to get a lot of quality minutes and taken advantage of that opportunity. He would provide some nice energy for the Suns’ up-tempo offense and serve as a possible long-term replacement for Amare Stoudemire.
(PC) I don’t really see any other choice here. Jerebko’s length on defense disrupts the opposing offense resulting in a steal or turnover which would be good off the bench for the Suns.
(PC) While I’m a bit surprised at the number of players David and I dropped from the original lottery (6), I don’t necessarily think all of them are busts. I knew Hasheem Thabeet wasn’t #2 pick material but I was sure we’d still put him in the lottery. Obviously, the biggest winner in the Re-do is Memphis because they get Tyreke Evans who has been phenomenal and are getting far more than 10 minutes per game from their highest draft pick of the since moving from Canada. The biggest loser would definitely be the Sacramento Kings because even if they do have Rubio’s services they would be losing Evans AND Casspi’s which would really put a damper on the team’s better than expected performance thus far.
(DK) Based on potential, Thabeet probably should have still gone in the lottery re-do and I would have taken him at #9 in Toronto. But dropping guys like Jordan Hill, Gerald Henderson, and Earl Clark makes sense in my opinion because they really have not shown any real promise in their rookie seasons. Memphis would be pretty scary with Tyreke as would OKC with Brandon Jennings playing alongside Westbrook. The Kings would be competing with the Nets in the John Wall sweepstakes if this is how the 2009 Draft really played out.
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