2009 Draft, Revisited


HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — So, DeMarcus Cousins is involved in another snit? And this is news, how? Everyone knew Cousins was maturity-challenged when the 2010 draft arrived, and yet the Kings took him anyway because it’s hard to find 6-11 players with soft hands and decent footwork. They figured they’d just ride out the emotional bumps, which were sure to come, and hope he’ll figure it out before it’s time to extend his contract.

But while it might be fashionable today to dismiss Cousins as a permanent head case, it’s best to take a wait and see approach. It’s too early to tell if the Kings made a draft mistake. The 2009 draft, however, is a different deal. The results are slowly pouring in and we have a fairly decent idea who screwed up and who didn’t.

Here’s a Hang Time take on the first 15 picks, in retro:

1. Blake Griffin, Clippers: No-brainer pick is the only All-Star of the bunch so far.

2. Hasheem Thabeet, Grizzlies: He’s already on his second team — or third, if you count the D-League stint. Sometimes when you reach for a raw 7-footer, you end up with a raw 7-footer.

3. James Harden, Thunder: Sharp shooter was a nice pickup by Sam Presti, although others drafted lower might wind up better in the long run.

4. Tyreke Evans, Kings. Hasn’t he regressed since his rookie year? Is that due to coaching, or is Tyreke just going to be an OK player?

5. Ricky Rubio, Wolves: Ding. Ding. He might save David Kahn‘s job.

6. Jonny Flynn, Wolves: This was a confusing pick when it was made, and even more now. Flynn over Steph Curry? Really?

7. Stephen Curry, Warriors: He might wind up a star, though he’s not there yet.

8. Jordan Hill, Knicks: Maybe the kid has found a home in Houston, where he was sent to help Knicks clear cap space.

9. DeMar DeRozan, Raptors: Flashy player needs more time and consistency.

10. Brandon Jennings, Bucks: He’s coming off a poor sophomore year but point guard is not the Bucks’ problem.

11. Terrence Williams, Nets: Lasted one season in Jersey after being a big headache; Nets passed on Jrue Holiday (17th pick).

12. Gerald Henderson, Bobcats: Very dependable mid-round pick for a team that needed one.

13. Tyler Hansbrough, Pacers: Solid, no star. Might have a productive 10-plus year career.

14. Earl Clark, Suns: Already gone. Here’s who Phoenix ignored: Jeff Teague, Ty Lawson, Darren Collison, Taj Gibson.

15. Austin Daye, Pistons: Role player hasn’t found or earned more minutes.

The mistakes were Thabeet (huge), Flynn and Williams. The draft was weak on big men, just OK in other areas. Rubio and Curry might upgrade the overall impact of the draft, which otherwise was nothing special, in hindsight.



  1. charles says:

    James Harden has a good shot at being an all star. Tyreke is a highly skilled player and just needs a super quick shooting guard – like jennings.

  2. Leon says:

    i dont think terrence williams isnt that bad ! remenber when he had that triple double against chicago! he showed his potential but not on regular bases… he was high on my break out season cadidates this year

  3. Chippy says:

    Jennings is overrated. He nor Flynn will ever be stars in the league and Curry should have been taken ahead of Flynn but Flynn and Jennings did similar things in their rookie years while Jennings was free to run the show Flynn was hamstrung by being in the wrong system. In the right environment Flynn could be as competent as Jennings.

    • tjl says:

      I agree. Flynn got 6.5 APG with a lineup that included Ryan Gomes, Damien Wilkins, a non-jump-shooting Kevin Love, Ryan Hollins and Sebastian Telfair. Not to mention he was a rookie (the first rookie to do so) running the Triangle, which is a notoriously bad offense for PGs, and generally a bad offense when Jordan and Kobe are not involved. Jennings hamstrings his team with terrible shots: he’s the worst three point shooter in the league when you take into account the amount he shoots. I’m not saying Flynn is great, or even better than Jennings. The correct pick was Steph Curry and I think Kahn knows it. But what are you gonna do when you workout both Flynn and Curry, and Flynn blows Curry out of the water?

  4. NBAFAN says:

    Look how long it took Zach Randolph to figure it out. Now everyone is on the Zach Randolph bandwagon. But maybe 5 or 6 years ago people were problaby thinking I am glad i didn´t pick that dude. I think you just have to treat him like he hasn´t proven anything yet. bust his bubble and bruise his ego and he´ll hopefully come down to earth or maybe not.

  5. kingsfan says:

    Could have been big things from the Kings this year. To bad demarcus cousins is demanding a trade. maybe he will change his mind and continue playing for the kings. Now that we have Jimmer it could be a special season and a unexpected playoff run for the kings and demarcus cousins. http://dem­arcuscousi­nsseekstra­de.blogspo­t.com

    • Kiko says:

      Great team, good potentional but I really don’t think their better then eight other teams in the west. Maybey in two years when they find a decent coach and add some veteran depth.