2009 NBA Mock Draft: Version 3.0

Wednesday June 17th, 2009

The key team is the Grizzlies, who could swing the draft any number of ways depending on what they do with the No. 2 pick. The big climbers are Tyreke Evans (No. 7 in last week's mock draft) and Jonny Flynn (No. 10) in what will be the draft of the point guard.

1PFBlake GriffinOklahomaSoph.6-10248
Hours after winning the lottery May 19, the Clippers committed to Griffin, the surest thing in a shaky draft. He is raw offensively and needs to develop a low-post game, but Griffin has the size, athleticism and work ethic to become a go-to frontcourt starter on a good team. "I don't know if he'll be an All-Star," an Eastern Conference general manager said, "but I look at all of the things he has going for him, and I don't think he can fail."
2PGTyreke EvansMemphisFr.6-5221
The Grizzlies face several options: Deal the pick to any number of teams that covet Ricky Rubio; call Rubio's bluff that he doesn't want to play for Memphis and pick him anyway; fill their need for size with the 7-foot-2 Hasheem Thabeet; or, most likely, use the pick on Evans, who, in addition to being a star from the local college, has the makings of a potentially dominant point guard. They could also swap picks with Oklahoma City or Sacramento and probably still get Evans. "No one knows what they're going to do," said a rival GM with a lottery pick behind Memphis.
3PGRicky RubioDKV Joventut (Spain)--6-4180
The up-tempo point guard would create shots in transition for Kevin Durant and others. And because Rubio often played off the ball in Spain, he could pair with the more athletic Russell Westbrook to have two playmakers on the court at the same time. Another possibility: Trade down with Sacramento, New York or Toronto, who all want Rubio.
4PGJonny FlynnSyracuseSoph.6-1196
Most other general managers wouldn't risk so high a pick on Flynn, who was viewed as a lottery outsider two months ago. But iconoclastic Geoff Petrie needs a point guard (assuming he can't get Rubio), and Flynn has the playmaking ability and vision needed to create offense for shooting guard Kevin Martin and young frontcourt players Spencer Hawes and Jason Thompson.
5SGJames Harden Arizona StateSoph.6-5222
The Wizards would like to deal this pick for an NBA veteran who can complement their core of Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler and help them bounce back to the playoffs next season under new coach Flip Saunders. If the Wizards can't find the right trading partner, then Harden is a strong option -- a versatile talent who would fill up the box score as a rookie.
6CHasheem ThabeetConnecticutJr.7-2267
How often can you find a shot-blocker with his kind of potential impact? Thabeet would enable Al Jefferson to move over to his natural position at power forward.
7SGDeMar DeRozanUSCFr.6-6211
The Warriors need help at point guard, but Don Nelson won't be able to pass on a player with his size and athleticism. DeRozan needs to extend his shooting range, but he can still instantly enhance the Warriors' zero-to-60 offense.
8PGStephen CurryDavidsonJr.6-3181
Is it too good to be true that Curry is still available here? He would be the point guard of their new era, a mature rookie with the shooting and ball-handling skills to thrive in coach Mike D'Antoni's wide-open offense.
9PFJordan HillArizonaJr.6-10232
Toronto needs toughness, and Hill is a bruiser capable of doing the dirty work inside and liberating big men Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani. Also, Hill has the offensive skills to contribute as a rookie. Toronto would love to see him drop this far.
10PFDeJuan BlairPittsburghSoph.6-6277
Because he had ACL surgery on each knee in high school, teams are taking a cautious approach. But if Blair checks out physically, he would give Milwaukee the toughness and grit valued by coach Scott Skiles.

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