2009 Eastern Conference Draft Review

» June 28, 2009 12:25 PM | By xphoenix87

Wrapping up my draft coverage here, I’ll be talking about each team’s draft individually. Now that the trades have settled down and we know who actually ended up where, we can take a look and see how each team made out. First, I’ll be looking at Eastern Conference teams. A few notes before we get going.

- I don’t give team grades. I give thumbs up or thumbs down. If I really, really liked a team’s draft, I’ll give them two thumbs up, and if I really hated it, I’ll give them two thumbs down. I have to have a really strong opinion of a team’s draft to do that though. For the most part, I either have a positive or negative opinion. I don’t think in terms of grades. If I’m undecided, I’ll give a team an “On the Fence.”

- I’m concerned with who received good value for their picks. For instance, obviously the Thunder had a better draft than the 76ers, they picked 3rd and Philly picked 17th. However, if OKC didn’t pick the right guy and Philadelphia got good value for their pick, I’ll like Philly’s draft more, despite the fact that the player they got might be less talented. Make sense? Good, On to the teams!

Atlanta Hawks -Thumbs Up

Picks: Jeff Teague (19), Sergiy Gladyr (49)

- I really like the Teague pick. There was nobody definitively better out there, and Teague has the chance to be really, really good. He might take a few years, but the Hawks don’t need him to produce immediately since they’ve got a strong core group together. He’s got a lightning-quick first step and great scoring instincts. He’s a tremendous athlete, and I think he can be a terrific combo-guard in the future. I have no opinion on Gladyr, but at that point in the draft, it doesn’t really matter anyway.

Boston Celtics – On The Fence

Picks: Lester Hudson (58)

- In this case, “on the fence” means “I don’t care.” The odds of Hudson making the team are slim anyway. The bigger news is that they didn’t find a deal they liked while they were shopping Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen. Rondo has apparently drawn the ire of Doc Rivers, but still, he’s a tremendous point guard. Celtics fans should probably be breathing a sigh of relief that nothing came of all those trade rumors. With their championship window quickly closing, Rondo is one of the players that Boston can rebuild around.

Charlotte Bobcats – Thumbs Up

Picks: Gerald Henderson (12), Derrick Brown (40)

-The Bobcats are one of the few teams whose draft I really liked. They got saved from picking Terrence Williams when New Jersey took him one pick ahead of them, and instead ended up with Henderson, a guy who fits their needs a lot better. While Henderson isn’t a great shooter, he’s a whole lot better than Williams, and he has a solid, repeatable stroke that can definitely turn into a consistent jumper. He can certainly be a solid role player on offense who doesn’t hurt you when he’s on the floor. Defensively though, he can be really special. He’s got the wingspan, athleticism and defensive instincts to be a real lockdown perimeter defender. Brown is another solid pick at 40. He’s a terrific athlete who a lot of people thought would go in the first round. He’s not really polished yet, but at this point in the draft he’s a very solid get.

Chicago Bulls – Thumbs Down

Picks: James Johnson (16), Taj Gibson (26)

- What a terrible draft for the bulls. They’re already flush with soft combo forwards, and they go out and get two more? I know, the rumor is that they’re trying to trade Tyus Thomas, and these guys would be his replacements. That begs the question, WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO TRADE TYRUS THOMAS?!? He’s a tremendous athlete, his offensive game is growing, and he’s a great compliment to Derrick Rose. I don’t understand, none of it makes sense. If you’re going to draft a forward, why not take a physical bruiser like Blair who brings something that you don’t aleady have, and why not take a guy like Teague or Ellington to fill the gaping hole that Ben Gordon is going to leave?

Cleveland Cavaliers – Thumbs Down

Picks: Christian Eyenga (30), Danny Green (46), Emir Preldzic (57)

- Seriously, Christian Eyenga? He’s your first round pick? With Sam Young, DaJuan Summers and DeJuan Blair still on the board? Really Cleveland? Never mind the fact that you could have gotten Eyenga with that 46th pick, and that then you wouldn’t be restricted by the rookie salary scale when you do bring him over from Europe, but he’s really not that great a prospect anyway. Bleh. I like Green though, he’s got NBA role player written all over him. He’s a good wing defender, he’s a smart, unselfish player, and he’s a great shooter on spot-up threes. He might take the departed Sasha Pavlovic’s minutes this season.

Detroit Pistons – On The Fence

Picks: Austin Daye (15), DaJuan Summers (35), Jonas Jerebko (39)

- On the one hand, I dislike Austin Daye immensely. He’s a guy who should be able to be a great role player, but he doesn’t have a role player’s mentality, and he was lackadasical at Gonzaga. Also, please stop comparing him to Tayshaun Prince (who was a fantastic college player, something day is not) and bringing up the fact that Kevin Durant didn’t test well at the combine either (I know Kevin Durant, I have seen him play. Austin Daye, you are no Kevin Durant). On the other hand, Summers and Jerebko are great picks in the second round. Though I don’t like that they passed on Blair (because the city of Detroit just can’t stand those hard-working forwards who rebound like maniacs, you know), but Summers is an excellent shooter with good size and athleticism to play either forward spot, kind of like a poor man’s Rashard Lewis. Jerebko was predicting in the first round by a lot of people, and at 39 he’s a great pick to store away in Europe for a few years.

Indiana Pacers – Thumbs Down

Picks: Tyler Hansbrough (13), A. J. Price (52)

- What a terrible pick. What legitimate NBA skill does Hansbrough possess that is going to translate to the NBA? He has a good midrange jumper for a post player, and that’s really about it. His shot-put style post shots are going to get blocked back into his face, he’s not going to live at the free throw line like he did in college, he’s a below-average defender, and he’s a below-average rebounder. Shockingly, Dick Vitale loves this pick. Boo.

Miami Heat – On The Fence

Picks: Patrick Beverley (42), Robert Dozier (60)

-Beverley is actually a pretty good find that late in the draft. He’s a bit stuck between the guard positions, but he’s a good athlete with plenty of talent, and he really sells out on defense. That’s what you want in a backup guard, so he might have a chance to stick in this league. At that point in the draft though, it doesn’t matter all that much.

Milwaukee Bucks – Thumbs Up

Picks: Brandon Jennings (10), Jodie Meeks (41)

-I like Jennings here for the Bucks. In all likelihood, Ramon Sessions is going to be gone, so they need a point guard of the future. Jennings might be the rawest of all the points in the draft, but he’s also got a huge ceiling. His physical tools are immense, he’s got more speed and quickness than anyone in the draft, and he has just a sick handle. If he can find the right balance of scoring and distribution, and add a bit of muscle to his frame, he has star potential, and at 10 he was pretty clearly the best pick on the board for them.

New Jersey Nets – Thumbs Down

Picks: Terrence Williams (11)

- I hate, hate, hate this pick. As I said in my pre-draft article, I don’t see Williams as a good prospect, much less a lottery pick. He’s essentially a jack-of-all-trades, but master of none, and he’s a pretty terrible shooter. If a guy has spent 4 years in college and has no one discernable NBA-caliber skill, he’s probably not going to amount to a whole lot.

New York Knicks – Thumbs Up

Picks: Jordan Hill (8), Toney Douglas (29)

- They were so close. One pick away from landing the guy they wanted all along, and then Golden State snatched up Stephen Curry and left them with Hill. Getting Hill probably means David Lee will be out the door, though that might not be a bad thing since he’ll probably get overpaid somewhere else. Hill is a very mobile big man who works hard and has a lot of room to grow. Since the Knicks have needs everywhere, taking the best talent available was the right call. I also really like the Douglas pick late in the first round. He’s an NBA-caliber defender already, and can be a valuable contributor offensively when he’s not asked to do too much.

Orlando Magic

No Picks

Philadelphia 76ers – Thumbs Up

Picks: Jrue Holiday (17)

- Mark me down as a Holiday fan, despite the fact that he struggled a good deal at UCLA. Obviously, he has a huge amount of growing to do, but he’s such a versatile talent who is willing to do whatever is asked of him. He has great size and length for the position and can easily play either guard spot. He’ll have to define his role offensively, but he’s a steal here this late in the draft. He was in consideration as high up as the 4th pick, so for Philly to get him at 17 is tremendous.

Toronto Raptors – On The Fence

Picks: DeMar DeRozan (9)

- I’m torn. I really don’t like DeRozan as a prospect, since the track record of shooting guards who can’t shoot is not so good. However, there wasn’t really anyone else on the board that made sense. They don’t need a point guard, and they’re going to be rebuilding, so this was a swing for the fences pick. I guess I can get on board with that. I probably would’ve drafted Blair, since I’m just a huge fan of his, but I can see the logic in taking DeRozan.

Washington Wizards – Thumbs Up

Picks: None (Traded the #5 pick for Randy Foye and Mike Miller)

- I actually really like what Washington did here. Note: I don’t like the general direction of the franchise, but as long as they’ve commited themselves to it, they might as well go for it. By commiting big money to the Butler-Arenas-Jamison trio last year, they essentially killed any hope of rebuilding anytime soon. They were trying to trade the #5 pick for a veteran, and they did a pretty good job of that. They get two solid guards and shed some bad contracts by giving up the 5th pick in a weak draft. Now, unfortunately for them Ricky Rubio inexplicably dropped to that #5 pick, but nobody expected that to happen. In fact, Foye is a better young player than most of the players in this draft, so to get he and Miller for the 5th pick is really a good haul. The Wizards aren’t going to contend for a championship, but they should be much-improved this year and can at least put a scare in the East’s elite.

BallerBlogger contributing writer ‘xphoenix87′ is a college student who dreams of one day writing about sports for a living. Since that’s not gonna happen, he’ll do this instead.

4 Responses to “2009 Eastern Conference Draft Review”

  1. Tsunami Says:

    Great Review X! Do the GM’s know something about Blair that we don’t?!?!

    I mean the guy was a MONSTER in College and has NBA written all over him. I can’t believe the Cavs and Pistons passed on him.

    As far as teh Cavs drafting Christian whatever, it seems the reason they took a Europlayer with their 1st round pick was to save money for the upcoming weeks. It makes sense, but they are lucky Green was available at 46 – that was a great pickup.

  2. Tsunami Says:

    I think the bulls have proven to be one of the worst drafting teams in recent memory.

    They had zero low post offensive presence for 3 years in a row and they go out and draft a bunch of guys with zero low post game. And now they are overloaded at forward and they draft 2 more. Makes no sense.

    And yes, Ty Thomas is FINALLY starting to show some signs of life, and they are going to trade him?!

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