Los Angeles Clippers: Blake Griffin, PF, Oklahoma, 6-9, So.
Poor Blake Griffin. This has to be the worst case scenario for him. The Clips are are a destination where players just do not thrive. They already have some talented big man in Chris Kaman, Marcus Camby, and Zach Randolph. Maybe Griffin can be the spark and hard worker the Clipper franchise has been longing for for the past decade-plus.
Think: Amare Stoudamire
Memphis Grizzlies: Hasheem Thabeet, C, UConn, 7-3, Jr.
Since it appears the Grizzlies are not trading this pick to Minnesota, Thabeet is the guy. He could be the defensive presence Memphis badly needs. I maintain Ricky Rubio is the second-best prospect in the 2009 NBA Draft and the Grizzlies will regret not selecting him or trading down to gain more assets.
Think: Ben Wallace, but six inches taller
Oklahoma City Thunder: Ricky Rubio, PG, Spain, 6-4, 1990
I get the feeling the Thunder GM Sam Presti is far too intelligent to let Rubio pass them. Drafting the Spanish sensation means Russell Westbrook shifts to the two which may not be the ideal fit, but is worth doing to land Rubio.
P.S. Is it me or are the Thunder the best young team in the NBA if they land Rubio?
Think: Steve Nash
Sacramento Kings: Stephen Curry, G, Davidson, 6-3, Jr.
Curry is what the Kings need in terms of find a point guard of the future and a face of the franchise. I think he makes more sense here than Tyreke Evans. There is still the wild card of Sacramento snagging Jonny Flynn.
The T-Wolves will work the phones up to the last minute to try and land Rubio, but "settle" with Evans at No. 5. I love Evans' game and I think he could be special at the next level. He is one-half of the backcourt of the future in Minnesota along with...
Think: Manu Ginobli
Minnesota Timberwolves: Jonny Flynn, PG, Syracuse, 6-0, So.
Since they grabbed Evans at No. 5, Flynn becomes the point guard Minnesota desperately needs. In my opinion, landing Evans and Flynn is a best-case scenario for Minnesota if they can't trade up for Ricky Rubio.
Think: Raymond Felton
Golden State Warriors: James Harden, SG, Arizona State, 6-5, So.
The Warriors get a pretty good deal with both Harden and Jordan Hill on the board. With young, lengthy forwards like Anthony Randolph and Brandan Wright already in Golden State, Harden gets the edge.
Think: Paul Pierce
New York Knicks: Jordan Hill, PF, Arizona, 6-10, So.
Jonny Flynn or Jrue Holiday have been rumored here for a while, but at this point, the Knicks can't pass on Hill. David Lee is a restricted free agent and the Knicks don't have a lot of depth up front making him the pick over Holiday or Brandon Jennings.
Think: LaMarcus Aldridge
Toronto Raptors: Demar DeRozan, SG, USC, 6-6, Fr.
Especially with the recent trade of Jason Kapono, the Raptors badly need some help on the wing making DeRozan the best option. DeRozan has great upside with his outstanding athleticism and could develop into a special player.
Think: Vince Carter
Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday, G, UCLA, 6-3, Fr.
This pick comes down to Jonny Flynn or Jrue Holiday. Since Flynn is off the board, the Bucks settle with Holiday who is an athletic, defensive-minded project at the point. Earl Clark could be a sleeper pick here since Charlie Villanueva is a restricted free agent and Milwaukee just dealt Richard Jefferson. Jeff Teague and Brandon Jennings are possibilities as well.
New Jersey Nets: Earl Clark, SF, Louisville, 6-8, Jr.
This would be a very solid pick for the Nets at 11. Clark has the potential to be a point forward-type player in the NBA, is a freak of an athlete, and has nice range on his jumper. He would be a great fit in New Jersey alongside Vince Carter on the wing. Gerald Henderson would also be a logical option for the Nets.
Think: Lamar Odom
Charlotte Bobcats: Terrence Williams, G/F, Louisville, 6-6, Sr.
With Raja Bell entering the final year of his contract and no depth behind him at the two, the Bobcats need to take a two-guard. Williams has reportedly impressed Bobcats personnel more than Henderson, and beats out the former Dukie at this spot. Jrue Holiday would also likely get a look as Raymond Felton could leave via free agency.
Think: Gerald Wallace
Indiana Pacers: Eric Maynor, PG, VCU, 6-3, Sr.
The Pacers need an athletic power forward or a point guard. It seems they are leaning towards the latter making Maynor the pick. Ty Lawson and Brandon Jennings should also get serious looks here as well. James Johnson is the direction Indiana goes if they take a forward.
Think: Antonio Daniels
Phoenix Suns: Brandon Jennings, PG, Italy, 6-0, 1989
With the Shaq trade, the Suns seem headed towards re-building mode and now have a bevy of possibilities with this pick. B.J. Mullens would make sense to help replace the Diesel, but the Suns did draft Robin Lopez last year. Both Grant Hill and Matt Barnes both free agents so the Suns need to find a wing player. I'm predicting Jennings since Steve Nash is a free agent next summer and getting up there in age. It would be worth the risk for a team likely looking to overhaul its roster.
Detroit Pistons: Gerald Henderson, SG, Duke, 6-4, Jr.
Henderson is a great value at No. 15 and would serve as a future replacement for Richard Hamilton, who is in the final year of his contract and past his prime. A big like B.J. Mullens has been rumored to have a promise from the Pistons, but is much more of a project than Henderson. And let's be honest, Joe Dumars doesn't need another Darko situation on his hands.
Think: J.R. Smith
Go to 2009 NBA Mock Draft: Picks 16-30 Sorry for cutting this into two halves; I've received complaints about load times and putting the mock draft on two pages saves bandwith.
Most accurate mock draft out there. Give it a look. Potential starting 5s. FA predictions. 2nd Round now available.
My top 5 players in order