Mike Baldwin grades the NBA Draft

by Michael Baldwin Published: June 27, 2009
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B+ Atlanta

Hawks don’t plan to re-sign Mike Bibby and got a quality replacement in Wake Forest PG Jeff Teague. Sergiy Gladyr, a good athlete and good shooter, was a good gamble at No. 49.

D Boston

When you only have one pick and it’s No. 58, it’s hard to get a decent grade. Lester Hudson is a decent combo guard, but he could have gone undrafted.

B+ Charlotte

The Bobcats got a quality shooting guard in Gerald Henderson, who stays on Tobacco Road, and Derrick Brown was a great value at No. 40. Some analysts had Brown, a good athlete, going late in the first round.

B- Chicago

James Johnson could be the replacement for Tyrus Thomas if he’s traded. Johnson was a solid pick at No. 16. Taj Gibson is more of a defender, but it would have been better if the Bulls had taken DeJuan Blair.

B+ Cleveland

Considering how low they were picking, the Cavaliers did really well. Christian Eyenga (No. 30) is a good stash pick and Danny Green, a 3-point threat, was a good value at No. 46.

B Dallas

Rodrigue Beaubois (No. 25) will stay overseas for a year or two. Oddly enough, Nick Calathes (No. 45) who might play overseas as well, is the better player. Calathes could have gone late in the first round.

A- Denver

The Nuggets had only one pick and obtained that selection by sending a future Charlotte first-round pick to Minnesota to grab Ty Lawson at No. 18. Lawson is a good backup for Chauncey Billups and the PG of the future.

A- Detroit

The Pistons did very well. Austin Daye (No. 15) is one of the most underrated players in this class. DaJuan Summers was a great value at No. 35, and Jonas Jerebko (No. 39) is a great stash overseas selection.

B Golden State

Coach Don Nelson has denied rumors the Warriors will trade their only pick, Stephen Curry (No. 7), saying Curry could play right away. The former Davidson guard was regarded as one of the draft’s most polished players.

A- Houston

The Rockets literally bought their way into a good draft, spending millions for picks. Jermaine Taylor (No. 32) is a good athlete who can score. Sergio Lull (No. 34) has had some success in Europe. Some say Chase Budinger is lazy, but at No. 44 there’s nothing to lose.

C Indiana

The Pacers had a chance to add a good PG but bought into the "Tyler Hansbrough is more athletic than you think” talk that improved his stock. They should have taken a PG or Earl Clark.

A L.A. Clippers

They only had one pick but Blake Griffin is, by far, the best player in the draft. This was a slam dunk even the Clippers couldn’t mess up.

F L.A. Lakers

The Lakers are trying to save money to re-sign both Trevor Ariza and Lamar Odom. They sold the No. 29, which they could have used on any one of several players who fell. Odom probably still bolts.

A- Memphis

The Grizzlies did well. The jury is out on whether Hasheem Thabeet (No. 2) will evolve into a legit NBA center, but he was the best big man. DeMarre Carroll (No. 27) is a great energy guy, and Sam Young was a great value at No. 36.

C+ Miami

The Heat’s first pick was No. 42, so they didn’t have much to work with, but Patrick Beverley, from the Ukraine, is a terrific athlete.


by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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