2009 NBA Mock Draft: Fred Kerber

The top 10 seems to be set. Now pick the order.

As one exec put it, "This draft, you just don't know where guys are going to go. Players can go 4 to 14."

Or 14 to 20, 20 to wherever. And it was thrown into further confusion when the Minnesota Timberwolves acquired the No. 5 pick.

All are agreed on one thing: Blake Griffin of Oklahoma goes No. 1. After that, little seems certain. Point guards abound and everybody seems to have different opinions. Ricky Rubio's European contract status may be resolved but still might frighten some. Plus, Rubio's camp is adamant about keeping him away from some interested teams, such as Memphis. There is a flock of undersized guards who seem unfazed about being, shall we say, vertically challenged?

"It's turned into a small point guard league anyway, so I don't think height would be much of a factor," said North Carolina prospect Ty Lawson. "Point guards are getting smaller. It's hand speed, foot speed, getting around people."

2009 NBA Mock Draft - 06/25/2009
Round 1
1. Los Angeles Clippers
Blake Griffin, PF, Oklahoma: Here is the certainty. He is the best player in the draft, and the best player should and will be picked No. 1. His credentials speak for themselves: 22.7 points, 14.4 rebounds. Great touch, better hands. He gets to the line, is a team-first guy. He needs work on the defensive end -- find a rookie anywhere who hasn't -- but he is a willing hard worker. The Clippers were bottom-feeders in scoring and field goal defense, so Griffin will be a welcome addition to their stable of bigs. The no-brainer No. 1 pick.
2. Memphis Grizzlies
James Harden, SG, Arizona State: OK, so maybe Ricky Rubio does scare off the Grizzlies. Harden gives the Grizzlies a legit two to either play behind or with combo guard O.J. Mayo. Harden gets to the rim and has good court instincts. He shot 49 percent and averaged 4.2 assists as the Pac-10 Player of the Year. He led the conference in scoring at 20.1, just another nice goodie to add to the package. The shot needs work along with his ballhandling, but the pluses are varied, including a willingness to defend.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder
Hasheem Thabeet, C, Connecticut: Thabeet canceled his last workout with Memphis, citing a shoulder injury, so he might just tumble into the Thunder's lap. There's that whole adage that you can't teach size. And he has it -- 7-0 1/4 without shoes. The Thunder then could slide Nenad Krstic to power forward and present a huge front line. Thabeet is a defensive force with legit shot-blocking skills -- he was second nationally with 4.2 a game. The product of Tanzania is still a basketball baby; he has played for only a few years. The offensive game is coming, but patience is easier for a team when the guy is 7-3 in shoes.
4. Sacramento Kings
Tyreke Evans, SG, Memphis: The Kings are looking for a point guard with only Beno Udrih under contract. Evans is not quite Derrick Rose, the NBA Rookie of the Year and the last Memphis point guard lottery pick. But NBA execs like Evans' package. He scores and he gets to the line. He's raw with room for improvement but is a good piece for the Kings to plop next to Kevin Martin.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Washington)
Stephen Curry, PG, Davidson: Combine him with what the T-Wolves will get at No. 6 and there's a new backcourt in Minneapolis. He projects as an NBA point but has handled the two. Dell's kid has dad's shooting genes, a high skill level and even higher court IQ. Defense needs work (name a rookie whose D is ready made) but he has the shot, poise and go-to skills to compensate and make a learn-as-you-go process interesting. The T-Wolves worked hard to get this extra pick in top 10.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves
Jrue Holiday, PG, UCLA: The T-Wolves might just jump at the chance to grab Rubio, but Holiday, one of the biggest risers in the overall draft, could be Minnesota's redemption for trading the rights to Brandon Roy three years ago. Unlimited upside, which has the pro types drooling. He played out of position at UCLA but as a point he would be a nice complement to Randy Foye. He's quick -- blink-and-you-miss quick -- a slasher and a steady, fundamental passer. He defends, too.
7. Golden State Warriors
Jordan Hill, PF, Arizona: The Warriors had thoughts of Curry dancing in their heads, but then the T-Wolves pulled off a trade that might upset the top 10 and really impact the landscape. The Knicks would love for Hill to last another pick, but the Warriors figure to grab the quick, athletic (always a prerequisite for Nellie) big who plays defense (not always a prerequisite for Nellie).
8. New York Knicks
Ricky Rubio, PG, DKV Joventut: A perfect marriage if he can get this far. Rubio's camp gets the big market it craves. The Knicks get a superior talent, a superior point guard talent, with the speed, flash, leadership and IQ to adapt to coach Mike D'Antoni's lung-vaporizing style. Eight is a long way for the guy once projected as the No. 2 player in the draft, but the stars just might align for the Knicks, who will be tempted to grab power forward Jordan Hill. But Rubio here would be a steal, and it admittedly is a longshot to happen. If Rubio is grabbed by Minnesota at six, the Knicks could select from Hill and Curry or Holiday.
9. Toronto Raptors
Gerald Henderson, SG, Duke: Stock rose as much as anybody's in recent days. He's a solid complementary wing addition and terrific insurance against a loss of Anthony Parker. He shoots, he scores. He does lots of other things. Typical Duke product with team concept overriding individual aims. Good mid-range game, adept in transition, too. Plus he has an NBA dad in Gerald Sr.
10. Milwaukee Bucks
Jonny Flynn, PG, Syracuse: There are rumors of a possible T.J. Ford trade, and Ramon Sessions might be lost to restricted free agency. So the Bucks turn to the hero of the six-overtime Big East classic game against UConn. Flynn has done a dramatic rise on draft boards and is considered a ready-now point in many eyes. Some say as high as four. He's 6-0 and a compact near-200 pounds. He gets to the hole, has quickness oozing from his pores, is poised and is remarkably strong.
11. New Jersey Nets
Tyler Hansbrough, PF, North Carolina: On paper, it makes little sense. The Nets are loaded with fours. But this guy can play. Terrence Williams is a real possibility, but the Nets loved Hansbrough's underrated athleticism and shot, plus his kill-anything-that-moves mentality to win.
12. Charlotte Bobcats
Terrence Williams, SG, Louisville: Versatile and flexible was one exec's description of the product of Rick Pitino's Louisville system. If he gets past the Nets, he won't get past here (especially with Gerald Henderson off the board). Has an effective all-around game with a team-first approach. His shot was spotty, but he scores, passes and rebounds.
13. Indiana Pacers
Ty Lawson, PG, North Carolina: On paper, the Pacers have a ton of point guard depth. But Jarrett Jack is a restricted free agent, Jamaal Tinsley is still around and Travis Diener can opt out, so help for starter T.J. Ford is not out of the question. And here's a tough, solid "true" point who gets out in transition.
14. Phoenix Suns
DeMar DeRozan, SG, USC: Terrific athlete with length, size and -- like so many in this draft -- boundless potential. Again, so many execs varied leading to draft. The USC combo wing was projected higher but slipped late. Suns will gladly take the raw quickness for their transition game.
15. Detroit Pistons
Earl Clark, SF, Louisville: A versatile three-four type with a high skill level. An outstanding passer who can play three positions. Conditioning and strength are questions, but he can be a plus in halfcourt or transition.
16. Chicago Bulls
James Johnson, PF, Wake Forest: Gained 10-plus pounds since the end of the college season, and that raised an eyebrow or two. But he's a very tough three-four (more of an NBA three) who seems a good fit here or at 15 for the Pistons.
17. Philadelphia 76ers
Brandon Jennings, PG, Lottomatica: Once seen as an easy top 10 pick, Jennings has dropped as many are split about his European tour. Good all-around skill level and he's a creator, but defense and shot are real concerns. Sixers need guard help, especially a backup for Andre Miller, and new coach Eddie Jordan is a perfect mentor.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Miami)
Sam Young, SF, Pittsburgh: Physical three-four with a defensive bent. Good around basket but overall offensive game needs polish. T-Wolves probably disappoint the Jazz with this pick.
19. Atlanta Hawks
B.J. Mullens, C, Ohio State: He's 7-0, 260 pounds. End discussion. He's young and raw, but he's also good insurance if the Hawks lose Zaza Pachulia to free agency. Terrific upside.
20. Utah Jazz
Austin Daye, SF, Gonzaga: Slender at 6-10, needs to develop an NBA body. Jazz might have to hurry the learning curve, depending on their free-agency status. A potential mismatch every night if he bulks and toughens.
21. New Orleans Hornets
Jeff Teague, PG, Wake Forest: Hornets looking for backcourt depth and a Wake Forest combo at guard could be the answer and a possible gift at 21. He gets to the line, creates off the dribble and has range.
22. Portland Trail Blazers (from Dallas)
Eric Maynor, PG, Virginia Commonwealth: Blazers looking for backcourt depth and this explosive point, considered one of this draft's real sleepers, seems like a natural fit here after a trade up from 24.
23. Sacramento Kings (from Houston)
Derrick Brown, SF, Xavier: Tough three-four type with athleticism. There is a lot of room for improvement but there is also a lot to work with here, including a massive wingspan.
24. Dallas Mavericks (from Portland)
DeJuan Blair, PF, Pittsburgh: Mavs moved back two spots and still get some bulk and size. Pitt's undersized but impressively powerful four with the huge wingspan is a nice pick, despite red flags about weight and arthritic knee.
25. Oklahoma City Thunder (from San Antonio)
Chase Budinger, SG, Arizona: A versatile two-three player, with smarts and team-first concept. A scorer who'll give the Thunder frontcourt depth.
26. Chicago Bulls (from Denver through Oklahoma City)
Toney Douglas, SG, Florida State: Assuming Bulls don't deal pick. Nice insurance if they don't have Ben Gordon back. Solid defender, decent shot and good scorer.
27. Memphis Grizzlies (from Orlando)
DaJuan Summers, SF, Georgetown: Solid, versatile, wing. At 6-8, 240, he could be a good mismatch type. Big upside.
28. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Boston)
Wayne Ellington, SG, North Carolina: A safe pick, as most Tar Heels usually are. Consistency is a concern, but he can get on offensive rolls. At No. 28, why not?
29. Los Angeles Lakers
Omri Casspi, SF, Maccabi Tel Aviv: Energizer in the Andres Nocioni mold. A slight 6-8, he plays all out, is a good finisher. Could stay overseas for a year.
30. Cleveland Cavaliers
Taj Gibson, PF, USC: He's too slender (6-9, 210 pounds), but he is athletic and is skilled around the basket. He's a project but brings Cavs more size.
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