Monday, April 13, 2009

2009 NBA Draft - Who's in, Who's out

It's been a week or so since the North Carolina Tarheels won the NCAA tournament and with that comes the next step, who's going pro? We're going to take a look at the small list of players that have already put their name in (and those that haven't) for the 2009 NBA Draft and we'll also look at my take on each player. Let's take a look at that list:

Blake Griffin - Oklahoma
If he isn't the #1 pick of the draft, I think that the team that passes on him should fold. Griffin has a complete game for a big man. He can take you off the dribble, he can post you up, he can hit a mid range jumper, and he rebounds very well. He also has an NBA body already. All I can say is imagine LeBron's body and this kid is close.

Draft Decision: Great decision for Griffin

DeJuan Blair - Pittsburgh
A bit undersized at power forward in the NBA, but Blair used his size and girth to help Pittsburgh make their run in the NCAA tournament. He's a old school type of player who uses his body to get rebounds. He has a few offensive moves that work in the paint and is pretty nimble for someone his size. My issues with Blair are, is he athletic enough, and what up with the weight? Now don't get me wrong, the kid can play, but I don't see the agility of someone that matches his body size already in the league (Glen Davis) and I'm a big guy, but is Blair going to balloon up when he gets in the league?

Draft Decision: Good decision for Blair

Chase Budinger - Univ. of Arizona
Well, maybe the second time is the charm. Budinger is entering his name in the draft for the 2nd time which means he's in for good this time. Budinger didn't have a good season at Arizona this year but stepped up his performance in the tournament. During the housing that Arizona received by Louisville, Budinger seemed to be the only Wildcat that could score or do anything against that team. I don't think that he can stop anyone in the league, but he can score and has some size. He's also a little more athletic than I thought, so that should help him too.

Draft Decision: Good decision for Budinger (How much better was he going to get next year?)

Earl Clark - LouisvilleThis kid is versatile and big. Two things that often mean, 'you gettin paid' when it comes to the NBA draft. The big thing is will he be motivated to play? Clark will have to impress during workouts and interviews, but I think that he'll be in the lottery.
Draft Decision: Good decision for Clark (Gotta impress during workouts. He could benefit by going back to Louisville and dominating next year, but why take the chance?)

Nick Calathes - Florida
I like this kid. He's a point guard/shooting guard with a high basketball IQ. That means that he knows what to do with the ball, whether that's passing or shooting. He is a little small and would have to play point in the NBA. I think he becomes a defensive liability when that happens, but his positives may outweigh that negative. Kids that 'know' how to play the game make it somewhere.

Draft Decision: So-so. He's a heady player who probably won't get better with another year in college. He should get drafted and be able to stick on someone's roster.

Dwayne Collins - Miami
I'm always concerned when I see kids that aren't the leaders on their team opting in for the draft. In this case, Collins has said that he isn't hiring an agent and he's just going to get more information on what he needs to do with his game. Good decision.

Draft Decision: Good decision for Collins IF his intent is getting the scouts feedback on his game.

Brandon Costner - NC State
This kid was a darling his freshman year. This year he disappointed a little or maybe the league figured him out. He doesn't have a true position (pf vs. sf) so he's got to show that he can guard bigger people or prove that he's athletic enough to play and guard out on the wing. I hope he doesn't sign with an agent.

Draft Decision: Stay in school.

Eric Devendorf - Syracuse
The troubled past may scare some people off, but the kid can play basketball. He's an undersized shooting guard so he'd probably have to prove he can play point. He has a little moxy to him and he won't step down from a challenge. When he gets on a roll, he can drain the 3.

Draft Decision: There are just other guards in this draft that I'd take over him. He probably needs to return to school and see if he can run point a little, which will be hard if Jonny Flynn stays.

Tyreke Evans - Memphis
His stock really went up during the tournament. He showed that he could run a team and when the opportunity presented itself, he could score the rock. He'll have to work on his jumpshot and work on decision making. He has the body already and that uncanny ability to get into the lane.

Draft Decision: Good decision for Evans.

DeMar DeRozan - USC
Talk about another player whose stock rose during the tournament. DeRozan didn't play well earlier in the season but during the tournament he was one of USC's best players. If he gets a consistent jumpshot, wow!!

Draft Decision: Good decision for DeRozan

Devan Downey - South Carolina
Who?!?!? And he's how tall (5'9")?? No Earl Boykins comparisons here.

Draft Decision: Stay in school.

Jonny Flynn - Syracuse
I like this kid. There's something about him that makes you want to watch him and hope that he wins. The kid runs a team well, can get to the rack when he needs to and he's a good kid. The only question is his jumpshot, but he seemed to make the ones that his team needed him to make. If he shows teams that he can hit the 3 on a consistent basis, he's going to be taken pretty early in the draft.

Draft Decision: Good decision for Flynn. He's hired an agent so there's no coming back now.

Roderick Flemings - Hawaii

Draft Decision: Go back to school.

James Harden - Arizona State

This guy reminds me of Eddie Jones when he was at Temple. Don't know why, but that's what I see when I watched him play. He is a scorer and he normally gets the job done. He had a terrible tournament, but I think he bounces back in workouts. He's too talented.

Draft Decision: Good decision for Harden

Jordan Hill - Arizona
This is the guy who made that Arizona squad work. He hustled and got rebounds for that team to give those shooters another shot. I like that he's worked on his offensive game and he should be able to continue that in the NBA next year.
Draft Decision: Good decision for Hill.

James Johnson - Wake Forest
Yes, he broke my heart by beating Duke on that last second play, but I still like his game. He's a forward that can play either power or small and reminds me of a poor man's David West. Good scoring stroke and he can rebound well. I didn't realize that he is 22 years old, so he needs to get into the NBA before he's older than some of the 3rd year pros.

Draft Decision: Good decision for Johnson.

Jodie Meeks - Kentucky
The kid broke a record at Kentucky by scoring 54 points in a game. That's a great accomplishment, but that's about it. He's an undersized two guard who can score and you can find that in the second round every year.

Draft Decision: Maybe go back for one more year at Kentucky. He's got Calipari coming in and maybe that'll help him.

Jeff Teague - Wake Forest
This kid rocked at the beginning of the year, but seemed to hit a wall late as his Wake Forest team struggled. After his terrible tournament, the shine has worn off. He's best served returning to Wake for one more year.

Draft Decision: Go back to school.

Greivis Vasquez - Maryland
This kid put Maryland back on the map after a decent start but then lagging middle of the season for the Terps. He was a triple double waiting to happen each time he stepped on the floor late in the season. Gary Williams seemed to trust him more then. In my mind, he's more of a forward, but he doesn't have that size. He'd get killed playing point in the league and he's not enough of a scorer to play two guard. That's the only quandry with this kid. He can play on and off the ball. He has that attitude, which may get out of hand at times, but still, I think a good kid.

Draft Decision: Good decision for Vasquez. Work on shooting a better percentage in workouts.
Out of the draft:

Trevor Booker - Clemson
Jerome Jordan - Tulsa

JaJuan Johnson - Purdue (He'll be a beast next year)

Kyle Singler - Duke (R-E-B-O-U-N-D, and yes I know you need more help than what you've had in the past years)

Ed Davis - UNC (He'll be a beast next year, and could be #1 pick next year)

Patrick Christopher - California

Evan Turner - Ohio State

This is my take and NO I didn't list everyone that's going pro, just a small sample. What do you think of this post? Any one got information about other kids going pro, if so hit me up.

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