Ball Don't Lie - NBA


Ball Don't Lie combined with SB Nation (and a few others) to put together this epic 2009 Mock Draft. The individual blogs, linked with their respective picks and breakdowns, made the selections for their team.

It should be noted that these selections were made before Minnesota acquired Washington's 5th pick and Dallas and Portland swapped late first-rounders.

1. Los Angeles Clippers
Clips Nation
The Pick: Blake Griffin, PF/C, Oklahoma, Sophomore

Clips Nation: "Griffin's size and athleticism compare favorably to Amaré Stoudemire, and he measures out stronger and quicker than STAT. Look, I realize I'm risking the wrath of basketball karma by invoking Duncan and Stoudemire at this point but I don’t care. Is Griffin a 'can't miss' All-Pro? There are no guarantees, but he's pretty close." [more]

2. Memphis Grizzlies
3 Shades of Blue
The Pick: Ricky Rubio, PG, DKV Joventut (International)

3 Shades Of Blue: "Rubio's entourage has done everything in their power to dissuade Memphis from taking him, but it would be the height of stupidity to pass on Rubio at this time. No one in Memphis wants to see the Grizzlies make a mistake like Portland did with Sam Bowie." [more]

3. Oklahoma City Thunder
Welcome To Loud City
The Pick: James Harden, SG, Arizona State, Sophomore

Welcome To Loud City: "Harden's measurables at the combine were above average for a shooting guard. He's an efficient offensive player and he can score in a number of different ways. He shot 47% from the floor, which is higher than any other player in the draft who shot the ball as much as he did. Perhaps most importantly, Harden is one of the best prospects in the entire draft at scoring in isolation situations ..." [more]

4. Sacramento Kings
Sactown Royalty
The Pick: Tyreke Evans, G, Memphis, Freshman

Sactown Royalty: "Geoff Petrie understands more than anyone than point guard purity is overrated. Even Chris Paul(notes) shoots 15 times a game! As such, someone like Evans or Curry won't be avoided just because the team has a hole at the point and a quality starter (Kevin Martin(notes)) at the two-guard. [...] While you'd think the Kings under Petrie will always go with the shooter, the incredibly poor backcourt defense needs to be addressed at some point, and Evans can help there. A lot." [more]

5. Washington Wizards*
Bullets Forever
The Pick: Stephen Curry, G, Davidson, Junior

Bullets Forever: "The Wizards would rather trade the pick for a veteran who fits into the Big 3’s timeline than a rookie that supposedly will take time to 'develop.'" (Ed. note: Bingo!) [...] "Curry is perhaps the most polished prospect in the draft ... his upside is not as high as Thabeet’s or even Hill’s, but the Wizards are concerned primarily about today, not tomorrow." [more]

6. Minnesota Timberwolves
Canis Hoopus
The Pick: Hasheem Thabeet, C, Connecticut, Junior

Canis Hoopus: "[If the Wolves keep this pick] they will go big, taking Thabeet to pair with Kevin Love(notes) and Al Jefferson(notes) in the best young frontcourt rotation in the NBA. While they still wouldn't have an athletic four to take on the Rashard Lewises and Amare Stoudemires of the world, they will be able to rotate a significant amount of skills through the 96 minutes at the 4/5, which should be enough to make up for any negatives the trio might bring about." [more]

7. Golden State Warriors
Golden State Of Mind
The Pick: Brandon Jennings, PG, Lottomatica Roma (International)

Golden State Of Mind: "I don't doubt that it will take Jennings a few seasons to get acclimated to the NBA. I don't doubt that pairing him with Monta Ellis(notes) is a defensive disaster waiting to happen. But that's not what draft picks are all about. For the Warriors, it has to be about fishing for a superstar who, at worst, can be a serviceable player in this league." [more]

8. New York Knicks
Posting and Toasting
The Pick: Jrue Holiday, G, UCLA, Freshman

Posting and Toasting: "Holiday's a big, intelligent guard who brings a little defensive edge to the Knick roster. There are questions about his leadership skills and offensive repertoire, but with Chris Duhon(notes) in the mix, Holiday should have time to learn the ropes. Jrue comes across as a quiet fellow, but he'll need to be vocal and assertive to distinguish himself and one day take over the starting point guard slot. For the time being, his size and smarts will suffice to serve a backcourt that got torched by guards like Mike Taylor(notes) and Jarrett Jack(notes) last season." [more]

9. Toronto Raptors
RaptorBlog
The Pick: DeMar DeRozan, SG/SF, USC, Freshman

RaptorBlog: "DeRozan is certainly athletic with his 38.5-inch vertical, but the freshman is also very raw. If we're going to be blunt, he’s a shooting guard who currently can't shoot, dribble or play defense particularly well. So how does this guy go ninth overall? Well, this is a weak draft and the Raptors are far enough away from contender status that they might as well take a home run swing at this slot rather than settle for a safer pick like Gerald Henderson." [more]

10. Milwaukee Bucks
Brew Hoop
The Pick: Jordan Hill, PF, Arizona, Junior

Brew Hoop: "... no one seems to think [Hill's] got superstar talent, but then again at No. 10 you're not usually going to find it. What he does have is legit PF size, athleticism, motor, and enough skill to put up 18/11 in the Pac-10. If he can polish up his 15-foot jump shot he'll look pretty good next to Andrew Bogut(notes), and Scott Skiles should appreciate his willingness to mix it up and work down low." [more]

11. New Jersey Nets
Nets Daily
The Pick: Terrence Williams, G/F, Louisville, Senior

Nets Daily: "After the various issues the Nets have gone through with The Brothers Williams (Marcus and Sean), getting a kid with a good head on his shoulders is also important. We're not asking for another lottery pick who'd rather have lunch with Stan Lee than Beyonce, but at least a guy who knows to do his computer monitor tossing in private. Terrence Williams fits the bill. He'll give the Nets a guy who can become a defensive stopper and complement Devin Harris(notes) and Brook Lopez(notes) down the line." [more]

12. Charlotte Bobcats
Rufus On Fire
The Pick: Gerald Henderson, SG, Duke, Junior

Rufus On Fire: "The logical pick that won't elicit a refrain of 'MJ being MJ' is Gerald Henderson. The Dukie would be slated to step in as the backup off-guard behind Raja Bell(notes) this season, and then take over as DJ Augustin's(notes) backcourt mate next. Henderson might be the 'Best Player Available' and 'Fill A Need,' making everything nice and tidy." [more]

13. Indiana Pacers
Indy Cornrows
The Pick: DeJuan Blair, PF/C, Pittsburgh, Sophomore

Indy Cornrows: "Defensively, Blair can help immediately by simply playing the role of a Brinks truck in the lane. Pacer opponents found the path through the lane far too friendly last season. Blair's size and physical nature should make that quest to the bucket much more harrowing for opposing playmakers." [more]

14. Phoenix Suns
Bright Side of the Sun
The Pick: Earl Clark, SF/PF, Louisville, Junior

Bright Side of the Sun: "Clark's offensive game will likely take a few years to develop but that's OK. He has solid foundational skills inside and out and he has enough range on his jump shot to spread the floor in Phoenix and not be a complete offensive liability even in his rookie year. There's no question he can run and finish in transition. Perhaps after a few seasons he can even be a reliable enough threat from the three-point line which would allow him to start at the small forward once Grant Hill(notes) calls it quits." [more]

15. Detroit Pistons
Motown String Music
The Pick: Eric Maynor, PG, VCU, Senior

Motown String Music: "... Maynor is a true point guard. Drafting Teague, who only averaged a little over three assists per game, would be déjà vu for the Pistons as they drafted a fringe point guard at No. 15 in 2007. That guy is the aforementioned Rodney Stuckey(notes). With Billups traded away at the beginning of last season, the Pistons could use a confident leader on the floor that would allow guys like Stuckey and Will Bynum(notes) more opportunities to use their scoring abilities and worry less about distributing the rock." [more]

16. Chicago Bulls
Blog a Bull
The Pick: Tyler Hansbrough, PF, North Carolina, Senior

Blog a Bull: "At this spot in the draft, teams can do worse than someone who should be ready to contribute right away. And perhaps in a role more demanding than originally intended, as the Bulls try and make a big acquisition. Because whatever package of players leave in a potential deal for Chris Bosh(notes) or Amaré Stoudemire will either include Hansbrough or will leave the roster depth depleted requiring him to pick up the slack. And if that's the scenario, the Bulls will be glad they didn't take a project ..." [more]

17. Philadelphia 76ers
Liberty Ballers
The Pick: Jonny Flynn, PG, Syracuse, Sophomore

Liberty Ballers: "It would be nice if our rookie PG could have a year of seasoning under a veteran guard like Andre Miller(notes), but it is more likely that he'll be thrust into the starting role from day one. I'm sure we'll sign a Kevin Ollie(notes)-esque veteran point guard to tutor young Jonathan (or Tywon or Eric) but for only minor minutes. I have no problem with this because of the nature of Coach Jordan's Princeton offense." [more]

18. Minnesota Timberwolves
Canis Hoopus
The Pick: Ty Lawson, PG, North Carolina, Junior

Canis Hoopus: "Lawson isn't flashy; he's not the most explosive or athletic point in the draft; he's not the longest or the tallest; he probably won't play excellent defense at the next level. What he will do is be ol' reliable — the type of guard who will control the tempo of the game as well as expertly run the offense while being able to efficiently insert himself into the action as needed. Yes please." [more]

19. Atlanta Hawks
Peachtree Hoops

The Pick: Jeff Teague, G, Wake Forest, Sophomore

Peachtree Hoops: "... Teague represents a huge gamble. It is tough to place all one's eggs in an Acie Law/Jeff Teague basket. And the other option is resigning Mike Bibby(notes) with Teague being at worst a poor man's Flip Murray(notes) and, at best, an athletic upgrade to the point guard position. Nothing is certain and neither option inspires an onslaught of season ticket purchases." [more]

20. Utah Jazz
SLC Dunk
The Pick: James Johnson, PF, Wake Forest, Sophomore

SLC Dunk: "At first glance, it doesn’t seem like the Jazz need another wing player or another 'tweener.' The difference with Johnson though is that he can create his own shot, something that the current Jazz wing players struggle to do. Johnson is a gifted athlete that has played nearly every position on offense. He's remarkable in the open court whether he is leading the break or whether he’s on the receiving end." [more]

21. New Orleans Hornets
At The Hive
The Pick: Marcus Thornton, SG, LSU, Senior

At The Hive: "Thornton is the safe pick. He's an efficient scorer, he rarely turns the ball over, and he was responsible for a large part of his team's offense. He doesn't have much NBA upside because he's short for a two-guard. But he can come in, knock down a few jumpers, and drive a little bit. That's something very few Hornets could do last year." [more]

22. Dallas Mavericks**
Mavs Moneyball
The Pick: Darren Collison, PG, UCLA, Senior

Mavs Moneyball: "Darren Collison may not be the sexiest pick, but for a team in the Mavericks' position it is a smart one. The biggest knock on Collison is his low ceiling. Although some of that perception is simply because he actually stayed in college four years, it is difficult to imagine him developing into anything near an All-Star point guard. But he can play, and that means he can help." [more]

23. Sacramento Kings
Sactown Royalty
The Pick: Patrick Mills, PG, Saint Mary's, Sophomore

Sactown Royalty: "The Kings need help all over the roster, with point guard looking like a particularly gruesome sore in need of ointment. Mills, a lightning fast Aaron Brooks(notes)-style beast, can disinfect the wound and give all the children of Sacramento a lollipop to boot." [more]

24. Portland Trail Blazers**
Blazers Edge
The Pick: Omri Casspi: F, Maccabi Tel Aviv, (International)

Blazers Edge:"At age 20, Casspi has shown the requisite grit and toughness in his group workouts and still has all the time in the world to figure out how to stop shooting jumpers like Shawn Marion(notes). Barring a draft day trade, there's really not any room for Casspi on the Blazers' roster but in a thin draft year and with their eyes towards free agency, Portland can afford to wait a year for him." [more]

25. Oklahoma City Thunder
Welcome To Loud City
The Pick: B.J. Mullens, C, Ohio State, Freshman

Welcome To Loud City: "Mullens has huge upside and he has a great amount of athleticism for a center. He's great at running the floor and getting to the rim. He has great hands and is pretty good in the post. Worries? Despite his ability to catch the ball in the post pretty well, he can turn the ball over quite a bit. His ability to play defense is questionable, too, and it's one of his biggest weaknesses. He'll need to work on that ..." [more]

26. Chicago Bulls
Blog a Bull
The Pick: Sam Young, F, Pittsburgh, Senior

Blog a Bull: "Sort of going with the same philosophy as the Tyler Hansbrough pick, Sam Young projects to be another immediate contributor. He also has some versatility as a 3 and a 4, positions where the Bulls currently need depth." [no more]

27. Memphis Grizzlies
3 Shades of Blue
The Pick: Chase Budinger, G/F, Arizona, Junior

3 Shades Of Blue: "Budinger brings supreme athleticsm, size, perimeter shooting and experience at a top-level program to the Grizzlies which are traits the team needs. Known more as a volleyball player than a hoopster growing up, Budinger surprised many scouts at the combine with his agility as well as exhibiting a bigger frame than expected that looks capable of adding more muscle which will be called for during the long NBA season." [more]

28. Minnesota Timberwolves
Canis Hoopus
The Pick: Nick Calathes, G, Florida, Sophomore

Canis Hoopus: ""Calathes does a number of things for the Wolves. First, his European contract allows the Wolves to have a situation where they don't have to absorb three rookies in a single year. Playing in Europe also gives him additional professional experience before coming to the NBA. Second, Calathes would give the Wolves a backcourt with two legitimate ball handlers. [...] Third, Calathes performs well in both spot up situations, near the rim and in pick-and-roll chances. In other words, he has a lot of flexibility in terms of how you can use him ..." [more]

29. Los Angeles Lakers
Silver Screen and Roll
The Pick: Victor Claver, F, Pamesa Valencia (International)

Silver Screen and Roll: "It's no secret that the Lakers are well into the luxury tax and will have financial decisions to make this offseason as they decide how much luxury tax they're willing to play to sign Trevor Ariza(notes) and Lamar Odom(notes). Because Los Angeles is already dealing with financial issues and have a rather deep roster that doesn't need the immediate help of a rookie, they will have to be looking for a European player. In drafting a Euro, the Lakers can take a high ceiling guy who needs a lot of work and leave him with his European team for a year where he can develop and, most importantly, not be paid by the Lakers." [more]

30. Cleveland Cavaliers
Fear The Sword
The Pick: Austin Daye, SF, Gonzaga, Sophomore

Fear The Sword: "If the loss to Orlando in the Eastern Conference Finals showed us anything it’s just how undersized the Cavaliers are, both in the front court and back court. Without a real 'big man' option left, the Cavaliers needed to find the length anywhere they can, and a perimeter player like Daye, a small forward that measured 6-11, to go along with a 7-2 wingspan, is exactly what the Cavaliers were lacking." [more]

* — Washington traded E. Thomas, Pecherov, Songaila and the 5th pick to Minnesota for Foye and M. Miller
** — Dallas traded the 22nd pick to Portland for the 24th and 56th picks

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