Kahn had nothing to smile about after Thursday night's draft.
The 2009 NBA draft may not have been as interesting as some expected, but there were certainly some head scratchers. Let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of draft night.
The biggest loser
Minnesota T-Wolves – New team president David Kahn spent the days leading up to the draft running his mouth, then promptly dropped the ball. The selection of Ricky Rubio made sense, but using the ensuing pick on Jonny Flynn didn’t. The news that Rubio wants out makes this deal look a bit better. Then Ty Lawson came along and the Wolves nabbed him too.
Kevin Love on Twitter: “What are we doing????? We better trade. I don’t even know.”
Lawson was traded to Denver, making the Wolves look a bit smarter. Wayne Ellington was the final first round pick and could end up being a very good NBA player.
In the end, there is a strong possibility only two of the six players drafted by Minnesota will ever suit up for the club – those players being Flynn and Ellington. Lawson and Nick Calathes were traded, Rubio probably will be dealt, and some guy named Henk Norel won’t be in the lineup next year. Kevin McHale could have done better.
The biggest winner
New York Knicks – The selection of Jordan Hill drew boos from the crowd, but he is a perfect fit in D’Antoni’s system. The Knicks resisted the temptation of Jrue Holiday, Brandon Jennings, and Ty Lawson to take a big who can score. Hill’s presence allows the New York to shop David Lee to clear up space for the potential contract of one LeBron James. The Knicks acquired G Toney Douglas from the Lakers, providing stability and toughness in the backcourt. He isn’t a true point, but he is probably better than Chris Duhon right now. Douglas is very underrated and should have a nice NBA career.
DeJuan Blair, Chase Budinger and Jack McClinton – Blair was projected to go anywhere between 13-20 in almost all mock drafts I saw. He promptly lasted until the No. 37, ending up in San Antonio. Concerns about Blair’s lack of ACL’s may have had something to do with his drop. Watch him be better than Tyler Hansbrough, Taj Gibson, Jeff Pendergraph, and certainly Dante Cunningham.
Budinger and McClinton were considered late first-early second round prospects. Budinger is soft and tends to drift, so he drifted all way to No. 44. McClinton is a specialist – a pure shooter with few point guards skills at 6’1″. McClinton and Blair fit in well with the Spurs.
Brandon Jennings, Tyler Hansbrough – Jennings was expected to fall into the 20’s, but the Bucks took him at No. 10 despite concerns of immaturity. Scott Skiles will be very, very angry next season.
The Pacers added another white player to the roster, taking Hansbrough at No. 13. Productivity in college doesn’t always translate to productivity in the NBA – 13 is much, much too high.
Brandon Jennings bolted the green room after watching his stock plummet. The Bucks passed on Jrue Holiday and nabbed Jennings at No. 1 – come back Brandon! In a nice and somewhat odd gesture, Stern let Jennings come on stage after announcing the Earl Clark selection since Clark wasn’t in attendance. Jennings appeared, blew kisses to the crowd, and looked tiny in his giant suit.