The draft pundits hailed the 2009 NBA Draft as a 2 player draft with headliners Blake Griffin and Ricky Rubio. The rest were supposed to be, well... the rest. To put it nicely, the draft analysts were right about Griffin.
Here's some selected picks, 20-20 hindsight, and impact on the 2015 NBA Playoffs:
1. Blake Griffin - LA Clippers
He's both super popular and super unpopular at the same time, but no disrespect. Griffin is one of the league's best big man and has many All-NBA years to come.
2015 Playoff Impact: Chris Paul probably wouldn't stick around with the Clips after the trade that shook up LA hoops power and Lob City would never be born.
This is a Warriors blog, so I'll add a little #StopFlopping just because...
2. Hasheem Thabeet - Memphis Grizzlies (making noise in the D-League)
Joe Dumars and the Detroit Pistons rightfully hear it from hoops historians about selecting Darko Milicic ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and shoot even the legendary Žarko Čabarkapa.
But taking Thabeet at this spot is just as bad.
2015 Playoff Impact: If the Grizzlies selected Harden, Curry, or even DeRozan here they would be the #1 seed and the favorites to win it all.
3. James Harden - Oklahoma City Thunder (now on Houston Rockets)
Over 3 years in the NBA draft the Sonics/ Thunder selected Kevin Durant (2007), Russell Westbrook (2008), and James Harden (2009). That's 3 MVP level players in a row. That's super. Super-sonic even. Too bad all 3 will be gone from OKC in 2 years.
2015 Playoff Impact: If the Thunder kept Harden they'd be in the playoffs even without Durant. If the Rockets didn't have Harden, they'd be watching from home like the Thunder. Funny how that works.
4. Tyreke Evans - Sacramento Kings (now on New Orleans Pelicans)
20-5-5-blah-blah-blah first since blah-blah-blah. Okay I'm just bitter that Curry lost the 2009-2010 NBA Rookie of the Year vote to Evans, but he's a very good NBA player that might make an All-Star team some day.
2015 Playoff Impact: He's part of a Pelicans team that could be challenging for the NBA title in 3-4 years. But this year, Evans can be proud to be part of the first Pelicans squad to ever make the NBA Playoffs. And you know if the Pelicans and Evans were in the Leastern Conference bracket... well, you already know where I'm going.
5. Ricky Rubio - Minnesota Timberwolves
Lots of pre-draft hype. Lots of fun highlights. Lots of L's.
2015 Playoff Impact: You mean 2015 NBA Lottery Impact.
6. Jonny Flynn - Minnesota Timberwolves (currently not playing professionally)
The T-Wolves really, really did not want Stephen Curry.
2015 Playoff Impact: I don't want to be cruel...
7. Stephen Curry - Golden State Warriors
You've already got Monta Ellis and Stephen Jackson. Monta will throw a tantrum if you draft another guard and make him share the rock. Jack wants to win now and will throw a tantrum just because he's Stephen Jackson and it's about that time.
Over in Phoenix, GM Steve Kerr and Coach Alvin Gentry seem like they'd be happy to give you All-NBA big man extraordinaire Amare Stoudemire for this pick.
What would you do? Draft and keep a skinny, smallish shooting guard in a point guard's body from a school 99% of us have never heard of and played in a conference against schools 99% of us never knew existed? (Example: Sanford, not Stanford)
Well that's exactly what Don Nelson and Larry Riley did.
This might be my biggest thank you over 10 years of being in a Golden State of Mind.
Thank you Nellie and Riley for this draft pick.
Almost as good as Delirious!
Remember kids at home, Hall of Famer Don Nelson was Right about 2008-2010 Golden State Warriors.
By the way here's what I wrote back in November 2012
Let's not forget that Nellie worked wonders for Stephen Curry's game. Late in Curry's rookie season under Nellie he was putting up All-Star numbers (22ppg with red hot shooting, close to 8 apg, 5.5 rpg, 2 steals). I haven't seen anything like that from Curry since. There was a system in place with Nellie to maximize Curry's talents, but the Warriors have gone away from it for 3 years now. Wny?
Seriously why oh why?!?
Man that was a dark period. Dark like the nosebleeds in the Roaracle. Thank goodness the Warriors front office reads Golden State of Mind every day. (Only slightly kidding...)
2015 NBA Playoffs Impact: #1 seed and #1 in Unstoppable Baby rating.
Another lesson kids- start professional networking early.
(Man 10 years of being in a Golden State of Mind, Atma Daughter #1, and for some reason I act like I'm qualified to be calling people kids and giving out advice?)
8. Jordan Hill - New York Knicks (now on LA Lakers)
I won't name names, but there were plenty of local media types who were saying Nellie and Riley were fools for not drafting Hill.
2015 NBA Playoffs Impact: The Knicks would be Eastern Conference contenders with Steph. They'd probably at least be in the playoffs with the next player selected. Instead they're hoping for the #1 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
9. DeMar DeRozan - Toronto Raptors
Nice pick by the Craptors here. This ensured they wouldn't be be at crappy Knick-levels for a few years in the Leastern Conference.
2015 NBA Playoffs Impact: A lot of points will be scored.
#13. Tyler Hansbrough - Indiana Pacers (now on Toronto Raptors)
I predict Psycho T will play on more NBA teams than Christian Laettner.
2015 NBA Playoffs Impact: Something crazy will happen and he will be involved.
#19 Jeff Teague - Atlanta Hawks
The T-Wolves passed on this point guard twice too.
2015 NBA Playoffs: His name will be made this spring if the Hawks make it to the Eastern Conference finals.
#46 Danny Green - Cleveland Cavaliers (now on San Antonio Spurs)
The Cavs should have held onto him. Those 27 3's in the 2013 NBA Finals will never be forgotten.
2015 NBA Playoffs: He and Coach Pop will make some fanbase cry at some point this spring. It could very well be the fans of the team that drafted him.