I gave my picks for the first half of the 2009 NBA Lottery Saturday and I unveil the second half today. Most of the teams picking in the second half of the lottery have a solid talent base and are a player or two away from being competitive. For this reason I have a lot of them taking NBA ready wing players.
Of the players I don’t have going in the lottery I think DeJuan Blair and James Johnson could be steals later in the first round. I especially love Blair who could be a player very similar to Utah’s Paul Milsap. If all of the stars aligned could be a player comparable to Charles Barkley who was an undersized power forward who was a tenacious rebounder with great bulk
I also think Jrue Holiday could be a player taken later in the first round who could develop into a quality combo guard. He would be a project as his development was stunted at UCLA playing second fiddle to Darren Collinson.
Eric Maynor is an intriguing point guard prospect from VCU who I feel in love with him when he almost single handedly beat Duke in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
8. Knicks – Stephen Curry 6-1 180 Guard Davidson
Is there a better fit in the entire draft than the nation’s top scorer going to a Mike D’Antoni coached team? The Knicks are a team on the rise who will be looking to add a certain King from Cleveland in 2010 and Curry would be a great compliment to him. This pick makes so much sense it may be the reason the Knicks don’t make it; they haven’t been the best run team in the world of late. There is also a rumor that that the Knicks and general manager Donnie Walsh have a deal to select Curry if he is available when the Knicks pick.
- Curry is unquestionably the best pure scorer in the draft averaging 28.6ppg during his junior season.
- With defenses focusing on him he always found a way to get off and make difficult shots.
- Quick, consistent release both on the move and under pressure and range well beyond the NBA three point line.
- Good handles with the ability to put the ball on the floor and create his own shot.
- Moved to point guard this past season and showed he is a true combo guard who can play both the point and shooting guard.
- One of the best free throw shooters in recent NCAA history
- An average defender who does a good job of using his hands and creating turnovers
- The major question with Curry is with his height can he be a dominant scorer at the next level.
- His slim frame raises questions as to whether he can take a pounding during a full 82 game season.
- Not a great one on one defender and his height will allow larger guards to post up on Curry at will.
- Not a great finisher around the basket due to his lack of height and small frame.
- NBA Comparison – Mike Bibby
9. Raptors – DeMar DeRozan 6-6 210 Shooting Guard USC
- DeRozan has more upside of any player in the draft due to his amazing athleticism.
- Prototypical frame and height for a wing at the NBA level with a chiseled body and great length.
- Explosive leaper who is an amazingly efficient finisher.
- Mastered the art of the midrange game and is an ever improving perimeter shooter.
- Does a great job of coming off screens ready to fire.
- Excellent rebounder for his size especially on the offensive glass.
- Shows great dedication and intelligence on defense.
- Loves the big stage, dominating the Pac-10 tournament
- Plays hard but his “killer instinct” has been questioned at times.
- Needs to improve his perimeter shot as he only shot .167 during his freshman season.
- Despite a great stroke only shot 65% from the charity strip which hurts his game as he gets to the line a lot.
- Needs to improve his passing skills as he averaged only 1.5 assists per game last season.
- NBA Comparison – Vince Carter
10. Bucks – Earl Clark 6-10 230 Small Forward Louisville
- Long, athletic wing whose a rare breed of small forward who does a good job of making players better around him.
- Long arms with a wiry but surprisingly strong frame.
- His athleticism should allow Clark to create a lot of mismatches at the next level.
- Good handles at 6-10 that should allow him to handle the ball in half court offensive sets.
- A very capable rebounder that shows good bounce and anticipation.
- Will make his money on the defensive side of the ball where he uses his length and athleticism to guard both smaller and bigger player equally well.
- The biggest concern about Clark is his inconsistent effort; he can be the best player on the court at times or be a complete non-factor in the same game.
- For his superior height Clark settles for jumpshots far too often rather than attacking the rim.
- For a player who is not a full time ball handler Clark turns the ball over way too much.
- NBA Comparison – Marvin Williams
11. Nets – Tyreke Evans 6-5 195 Guard Memphis
- A premier shot creator with a great arsenal of moves to allow him to get open.
- Once Evans moved to point guard in midseason Memphis became one of the best teams in the country showing his amazing versatility.
- His combination of strength, aggressiveness, and scoring instincts are unparalleled in this draft.
- Tremendous upside with a limitless ceiling due to his great athleticism and basketball I.Q. at the age of 19.
- Does an excellent job of pushing the ball in transition with the ability to finish equally as well with either hand.
- A bulldozer slashing through the paint and creating contact at the rim.
- Tremendous wingspan allows him to be a nuisance at contesting shots and is great at jumping passing lanes.
- It is not completely decided what position Evans will be best suited for at the next level.
- Can hog the ball at time leaving his four teammates to stand around to watch him dribble around the court.
- Is absolutely dreadful shooting the ball off the dribble and tends to shot a lot of contested jumpers early in the shot clock.
- His defense is a work in progress and he loses focus in the half court from time to time.
- NBA Comparison – Larry Hughes
12. Bobcats- Gerald Henderson 6-5 215 Shooting Guard Duke
- Amazing combination of strength and athleticism.
- Henderson really broke out as a premier scorer during his junior season.
- Very polished midrange game with the ability to develop at least a serviceable outside shot during his NBA career.
- Terrific first step and shot fake that he uses to get to the rim where he usually comes away with two points, a trip to the line, or both.
- Made significant improvement to his slashing game during the second half of his junior season which led to Henderson averaging nine free throw attempts per game during his final eleven games.
- Has improved his free throw shooting every year at Duke culminating in a respectable 76% in 2008.
- On defense Henderson is a hustler who willing to step in and take charges (Come on he went to Duke of course he a flop).
- Henderson went cold from behind the line during the second half of the season shooting just 34% from long range.
- His handles could also be improved to help him maneuver more freely around the court in the NBA.
- NBA Comparison – Michael Finely
13. Pacers – Jonny Flynn 6-0 186 Point Guard Syracuse
- Flynn is an extremely quick guard with great change of direction and the ability to stop on a dime.
- Excellent handles with a multitude of different moves that allow him to blow past defenders and get where ever he wants on the court.
- Great form and height on his shot; has range beyond the three point line.
- A tenacious defender who likes to get into the body of his man.
- Is a competitor who plays the point guard position with great intelligence.
- He is a bit undersized and could have difficulty matching up with bigger guards at the next level.
- Played in a zone defensive system in college and will have to learn the principals of man to man defense.
- Settles for ill-advised shots at times instead of using his strength and quickness to attack the basket.
- Needs to become a better distributor of the basketball and improve his overall awareness as a lead guard.
- NBA Comparison – Mike Bibby
14. Suns – Chase Budinger 6-7 218 Shooting Guard Arizona
- Brings excellent size at 6-7 218 pounds to the wing position.
- Budinger does an excellent job of moving without the ball making his defender work hard on the defensive end.
- Does a good job of utilizing screen to slash to the basket where he is an above average finisher.
- His great size always him to post up and shot over smaller wings.
- Budinger improved his outside shooting during his junior season as he shot 40% from long distance.
- Not particularly explosive with his first step and is a average ball handler.
- Budinger doesn’t possess great lateral foot speed or quickness which will limit his ability t defender quicker wings at the next level.
- NBA Comparision – Martell Webster