COUTURE: Redrafting the 2009 NBA Draft
At The Buzzer

In the seven years that have passed since the 2009 NBA Draft, time has allowed for the draft picks to meet, exceed or fall short of expectations. For NBA fans, this gives way to a retrospective view of the 2009 draft, one where we now laugh at guard Stephen Curry falling to the seventh overall pick. With this in mind, an opportunity to redraft the 2009 draft would cause a monumental shift in the NBA, righting the wrongs of teams with bad draft picks (looking at you, Memphis).

Los Angeles Clippers — Original Pick: Blake Griffin, Redraft Pick: Stephen Curry

With the first overall pick in 2009, the Clippers took forward Blake Griffin from Oklahoma. Griffin, who was sidelined halfway through his rookie campaign with a leg injury, has blossomed into one of the best power forwards in the league. However, the two-time MVP all three-point record holder is still the obvious choice.

Memphis Grizzlies — Original Pick: Hasheem Thabeet, Redraft Pick: James Harden

Winning the “bust-of-the-draft” award is center Hasheem Thabeet from Connecticut. Thabeet, whose frame towers at 7 feet 2 inches, averaged 3.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game in his rookie season in Memphis, which were also career bests, and now plays in the NBA Development League. Guard James Harden was not as touted when he left Arizona State, but the Grizzlies were remiss to take the UConn product.

Oklahoma City Thunder — Original Pick: James Harden, Redraft Pick: Blake Griffin

I have to tip my hat to Thunder GM Sam Presti. Drafting Harden along with guard Russell Westbrook and forward Kevin Durant in the span of five years is remarkable. The Thunder benefited heavily from the Grizzlies’ blunder, but in the redraft, taking Griffin is not so bad.

Sacramento Kings — Original Pick: Tyreke Evans, Redraft Pick: DeMar DeRozan

With the fourth overall pick, the Kings selected Memphis product forward Tyreke Evans. After his rookie year, the pick seemed like the steal of the draft as Evans averaged twenty points, five rebounds and five assists per game, winning Rookie of the Year. However, guard DeMar DeRozan is fresh of an Olympic stint and a career best 23.5 points per game season, whereas Evans has fizzled into injury-prone mediocrity in New Orleans.

Minnesota Timberwolves — Original Picks: Ricky Rubio & Jonny Flynn, Redraft Picks: Jrue Holiday & Jeff Teague

If you opened a dictionary and looked for the word “regret,” you would find a picture of the Timberwolves’ logo. Not only did they miss Curry with two lottery picks, they chose two additional point guards with those lottery picks. While guard Ricky Rubio has carved a nice role with his team, guard Jonny Flynn is nowhere to be found after a promising rookie season where he averaged 13.5 points and 4.4 assists on 36 percent shooting from deep. In the redraft, the ‘Wolves come out with two better point guards, although guard Jrue Holiday has been struggling after his 17.7 points and eight assists per game in 2013 with Philadelphia.

 

Golden State Warriors — Original Pick: Steph Curry, Redraft Pick: Ty Lawson

In the redraft, the Warriors are the first team to truly lose out as they crushed the original draft taking the Davidson sharpshooter seventh overall. While they would obviously miss Curry —  and subsequently their 2015 championship — they would still come away with serviceable North Carolina point guard Ty Lawson, who averaged 17.6 points and 8.8 assists with Denver in the 2014-15 season.

New York Knicks — Original Pick: Jordan Hill, Redraft Pick: Danny Green

We are starting to reach the point of the draft where lackluster role players are substituted for marginally better role players. That’s not to undermine guard Danny Green, the 46th pick in the draft, who is a career 40 percent three-point shooter and a renowned defender. Does Danny Green push the needle for the Knicks? Probably not, but he is more valuable to a team than center Jordan Hill, who was traded midway through his first season with the Knicks

Toronto Raptors — Original Pick: DeMar DeRozan, Redraft pick: Tyreke Evans

Much like the Warriors, the Raptors ultimately lose all-star talent for role-player talent. Evans had a phenomenal rookie season and has proven to be a serviceable point-forward, but DeRozan has elevated his game to an elite level and is in the conversation for top shooting guards in the league. Fortunately for the Raptors, the redraft is only hypothetical.

Milwaukee Bucks — Original Pick: Brandon Jennings, Redraft pick: Brandon Jennings

The Bucks are the only team in the top ten who drafted their player at his reasonable draft position. Guard Brandon Jennings had some good years for the deer, including 19.1 points and 5.5 assists per game averages in 2011-2012. At the time, Teague and Holiday were still on the board, but the Bucks made the reasonable pick nonetheless.

CoutureEvan Couture is a junior in the McDonough School of Business. At The Buzzer appears every other Friday.

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