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A Draft Do-over

by Darnell Mayberry Modified: April 12, 2013 at 5:52 pm •  Published: March 9, 2010

I was watching NBA Fastbreak last night, and the show called for Jamal Mashburn to put on his GM hat and re-draft the top 10 picks in 2009. The idea stemmed from the strong play of late first-round and second-round picks such as Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton down in New Orleans and big DeJuan Blair in San Antonio.

It’s obviously waaaaaaay too early to know how most of the players taken this year will pan out, but it’s always fun to revisit the way things should have gone. The only major issues I had with Mashburn’s draft re-do was he completely neglected Ricky Rubio’s talents simply because he’s not in the league this year, etching him from the top 10, and I thought he overvalued the contributions made by Thornton and Blair and placed them into the top 10, while leaving Thabeet where he was selected. Very contradictory stuff there, seeing as how Thabeet is barely in the league either.

With that said, it’s all kinds of ways to do a do-over. You could re-slot based on how players are playing now, re-draft on what you think players’ long-term potential is now after seeing them 60 to 65 games and having the benefit of hindsight, or you could just pencil in which players would be the best fit based on what we know now. I’m doing a little of all the above. I think.

Actual 2009 top 10
1. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
2. Hasheem Thabeet, Memphis Grizzlies
3. James Harden, Oklahoma City Thunder
4. Tyreke Evans, Sacramento Kings
5. Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves
6. Jonny Flynn, Minnesota Timberwolves
7. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
8. Jordan Hill, New York Knicks
9. DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors
10. Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee Bucks.

Jamal Mashburn’s 2009 top 10
1. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
2. Hasheem Thabeet, Memphis Grizzlies (Mash argued the Griz already have Mike Conley.)
3. James Harden, Oklahoma City Thunder (Mash said you can’t argue with what OKC has done)
4. Tyreke Evans, Sacramento Kings
5. Stephen Curry, Minnesota Timberwolves
6. Jonny Flynn, Minnesota Timberwolves
7. DeJuan Blair, Golden State Warriors (I forgot Mash’s logic here, but seventh, really?)
8. Brandon Jennings, New York Knicks
9. DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors
10. Marcus Thornton, Milwaukee Bucks (Again, I don’t remember his logic, but 10 is awfully high IMO)

DM’s 2009 top 10
1. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
I don’t care if Big Blake misses all of next season. No one can argue this selection.

2. Tyreke Evans, Memphis Grizzlies
Move over Mike Conley. Evans is a bigger, stronger, more versatile version.

3. James Harden, Oklahoma City Thunder
I’m with Mash. Can’t really argue Harden’s selection. He’s been the perfect fit.

4. Ricky Rubio, Sacramento Kings
If he’s as good as advertised, and I’ve talked to some as recently in the last week who say he is, the Kings would have to take him.

5. Hasheem Thabeet, Minnesota Timberwolves
Why not? The Wolves are starting Ryan Hollins at center. Kevin Love is coming off the bench. And at least Thabeet would report to the Twin Cities.

6. Brandon Jennings, Minnesota Timberwolves
I love Jonny Flynn, but I love point guards who impact their team’s won-loss record more.

7. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Much like the Thunder’s selection of Harden, it’s hard to argue against Curry in Golden State. He’s a great fit.

8. Jonny Flynn, New York Knicks
The Knicks would get a point guard with potential while immediately upgrading from Chris Duhon.

9. DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors
At this point, he’s the best available player on the board. But it’s not like he’s a last-ditch option. He’s got upside.

10. Darren Collison, Milwaukee Bucks
He’s tough, smart, a winner and a leader. And he’s defensive tenacity is right up coach Scott Skiles’ alley.

That’s my take. What say you?

If you’re wondering where I would pick Blair, it’ll likely be in the top 20. I’m still not as high on him as some simply because he still might not be nearly as effective five years from now. That’s not a top 10 pick in my opinion. All but two –Utah and Phoenix– of the top 20 teams needed help now while also looking to build for the future. Blair might not have been as good of a fit on those other teams. But you could make an argument for Blair on every team from 11 through 20. I definitely wouldn’t have him going any lower than 18 to Minnesota. No matter how his knees hold up, he’d be better for the Wolves than a third point guard.

-DM-

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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