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.