The NBA at this time was being dominated by Prime Kobe Bryant fresh out of a championship, while LeBron James was reaching his peak potential. Believe it or not Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade were prime dominant players without injuries drama and very prestigious athletes.
“With the 1st Pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Clippers select…
1. Los Angeles Clippers select James Harden
(Originally selected Blake Griffin)
He can make everyone around him better while improving himself. From his OKC days off the bench to being the 6th man to leading the Rockets into contention with an MVP nomination he’s a proficient contender. He and DeAndre would’ve been the best 1-2 / In and Out combo in the league.
His career averages of 22.1 PPG / 5 REB / 5.7 AST / 1.5 STL are a sign of solidity and consistency and with the 2016-17 season being his best during the Playoffs he’s still getting better. In 2015 through 17 Playoff games he posted 27.2 PPG / 5.7 REB / 7.5 AST / 1.6 STL / 0 Injuries and no signs of slowing down.
2. Memphis Grizzlies select Stephen Curry
(Originally selected Hasheem Thabeet)
A couple of years prior, the Grizz traded away Pau for the rights to Marc Gasol. Z-Bo was in the organization, they also had 2 solid Guards in O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay with a younger Kyle Lowry and a veteran Iverson. They could’ve actually made some noise for years with Curry in the lineup being guided by Allen Iverson.
First year in the league Steph posted 17.5 PPG and 5.9 AST and we all know what’s become of him since, with career averages like 22.8 PPG / 6.8 AST / 4.4 REB / 1.8 STL and a best coming in 2015-16 with 30.1 PPG / 6.7 AST / 5.4 REB / 2.1 STL. I can only imagine what could’ve been in the 2015 Playoffs. Steph 28.3 PPG / 6.4 AST / 5 REB / 1.9 STL – Gasol 19.7 PPG / 10.3 REB / 4.5 AST / 1.7 BLK – Z-BO 15.6 PPG / 8.5 REB
3. Oklahoma City Thunder select Blake Griffin
(Originally selected James Harden)
Hometown boy and possibly could’ve prevented his rookie season delay due to injury in the preseason by playing with another team. Blake is one to improve, not at a rapid pace like Harden, but enough to be a proficient scorer.
With a career stat line 21.5 PPG / 1 STL / 4.1 AST / 9.4 REB and from that, one of his few 80 game season without injury he’s played in came in the 2013-14 season where he averaged 24.1 PPG / 1.2 STL / 9.5 REB / 3.9 AST and multiple poster dunks. Surprisingly he’s a huge contributor in the Playoffs with 21 PPG / 1.1 STL / 3.9 AST / 8.5 REB and playoff best season 2015 through 14 games 25.5 PPG / 1.1 BLK / 1 STL / 6.1 AST / 12.7 REB.
4. Sacramento Kings select DeMar DeRozan
(Originally selected Tyreke Evans)
All I have to say is DeMar and DeMarcus and maybe that combo would’ve solidified the Kings back into contention. The first year in the league was no big deal, but the following year his stats doubled.
In this season they were through the roof at 27.3 PPG / 5.2 REB / 1.1 STL and with Boogie posting 27 PPG and 11 REB I can’t imagine the Kings not being in the playoffs and still trading away Cousins, no doubt they would’ve had potential to build and work around.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves select Jrue Holiday
(Originally selected Ricky Rubio)
I’m not saying Jrue is better than Ricky, actually yes I am. Only because he can score a little better and can also distribute the ball just as well, most importantly is his ability to remain healthier than Rubio.
It’s no mystery the Wolves are a team of the future with Wiggins and KAT, they need a consistent PG and Jrue can help offensively. Boasting a career 14.1 PPG / 6.1 AST / 3.5 REB / 1.4 STL he’s also proven to perform in the Playoffs 14.1 PG / 5.1 AST / 4 REB / 1.5 STL.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves select Taj Gibson
(Originally selected Jonny Flynn)
Man the Wolves messed up that pick and could’ve had Curry – Wiggins – KAT – Gibson. What ever happened to Flynn? Shaky career. Taj Gibson undoubtedly is a better pick up with his intense energy and hustle, he’s a very solid contributor 9.4 PPG 6.4 REB 1.2 BLK with a career high in 2013-14 of 13 PPG 6.8 REB 1.4 BLK.
He seems to wake up when it counts the most which is the Playoffs and in 2014 through 5 games he posted 18.2 PPG 6.2 REB 2.4 BLK OKC 9.8 PPG 3.6 REB 5 games and he can score as a starter or off the bench.
7. Golden State Warriors select Tyreke Evans
(Originally selected Stephen Curry)
Hard to replace Steph, but a team like the Warriors could manage with a player like Tyreke who adds speed and spacing if and when healthy. First year in the league he was off and running, dropping 20.1 PPG, 5.8 AST and 5.3 REB with 1.5 STL, unfortunately he couldn’t maintain that level of play without injury.
With 4 playoff games under his belt, he has shown the ability to perform under brighter lights.
8. New York Knicks select Ty Lawson
(Originally selected Jordan Hill)
During the regular season Ty is just an average and ordinary player, but come playoffs he elevates his game up a notch. His career best came in the 2013-14 season when he averaged 17.6 PPG / 8.8 AST / 3.5 REB / 1.6 STL. What about the Playoff you ask? Well, that came in 2013 with Denver where he averaged 21.3 PPG / 8 AST / 3.3 AST / 1.7 STL.
The Knicks at that time were not the dysfunctional Knicks we know now, as a matter of fact Nate Robinson was the star in the organization and far from playoff contention so any help would’ve gone unnoticed.
9. Toronto Raptors select Jeff Teague
(Originally selected DeMar DeRozan)
Originally picked 19th by Atlanta, Jeff started his rookie season off the bench. Following years he adapted and become a crafty player, finding ways to create plays and space.
In the 2014-15 season, he remained confident and must’ve figured something out because he was looking comfortable while helping the Hawks to a franchise record 60 wins. During the playoffs of that year he posted 19.3 PPG / 5 AST / 3.7 REB / 1 STL all the way to the conference finals.
10. Milwaukee Bucks select Wesley Mathews
(Originally selected Brandon Jennings)
Wesley went undrafted, but the team that gave him an opportunity (Utah) should’ve kept him longer. He went on to play in Portland for 5 years posting 15.4 PPG and playing in 250 consecutive games before being forced to sit out due to an injured hip. He was involved in an altercation with the Warriors and suspended, but the sad thing was he had scored 23 points in 25 minutes that night. Later became the Blazers All-Time 3 point leader.
He is a really big threat in the Playoffs, a career 13.5 PPG 1.3 STL 1.3 AST 3.4 REB with Utah, Portland and Dallas.
11. Brooklyn Nets select Brandon Jennings
(Originally selected Terrence Williams)
Right off the draft, he played strong and in his 7th game vs the Warriors, he erupted for 55 points. His best season came the year of the Lockout (2011-12) where he averaged 19.1 PPG / 5.5 AST / 1.6 STL. Jennings originally wanted to be drafted by the Knicks as they were his favorite team, he was upset they passed on him later went on to drop 37 points as a sign of revenge.
Now that he played in that organization I’m pretty sure he doesn’t regret being passed up by them.
12. Charlotte Hornets select Ricky Rubio
(Originally selected Gerald Henderson)
He arrived in the League already a proven talent and was received as one by the T-Wolves. Unfortunately, talented as he may be, this has been one of the few seasons where he’s remained healthy, maybe because his contract is coming up and needs to show up to get paid.
None the less, a career 10.3 PPG / 8.5 AST / 2.1 STL kind of guy is worth the risk at a fairly young age.
13. Indiana Pacers select Darren Collison
(Originally selected Tyler Hansbrough)
He is undoubtedly a great backup or role player on any given team. When CP3 was injured Darren stepped up and held his own, twice.
A career 12.6 PPG / 4.9 AST / 1.1 STL guy he remains fairly consistent during the Playoffs at 8.7 PPG.
14. Phoenix Suns select Marcus Thornton
(Originally selected Earl Clark)
Traded on draft night, he’s worn more jersey’s from multiple teams than a sneaker head. A solid scorer with 11.9 PPG career-wise, his career high coming in the 2010- 11 season with 21.3 PPG / 4.7 REB / 1.7 STL, I am very shocked he hasn’t found a home!
15. Detroit Pistons select Gerald Henderson
(Originally selected Austin Daye)
I’m not saying he is a franchise player, but he is a key scorer. Although he played with “worst record of all time” Bobcats, he managed to score 15 PPG that season along with 15.5 the following, not to mention he can still bring it during the Playoffs.
16. Chicago Bulls select Patrick Beverly
(Originally selected James Johnson)
Originally Drafted by the Lakers, the next day was traded to Miami for a 2nd round pick and cash. He had a shaky career; spent time in Euro league on and off and when he finally did come back to the states Beverly went to the D-League. After a few stints, he was called up but was plagued with injuries. This is his 2nd year with 60+ games played and has been a real contributor with 9.5 PPG and 5.9 REB while stealing 1.5 per game and remaining consistent in the playoffs.
17. Philadelphia 76ers select Danny Green
(Originally selected Jrue Holiday)
A journeyman through the D-League, the Cavs didn’t give him much of an opportunity, but the Spurs did and can’t say they regret that pick up. A career 8.8 PPG in the regular season and the Playoffs he’s remained equally as consistent throughout all stats. Guard the ball because he’s a pesky player always looking for a steal.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves select DeMarre Carroll
(Originally selected Ty Lawson)
He started off very slow, eventually assigned to the D-League and was waived by 5 teams in 6 seasons. Another player that can be a key off the bench and even more valuable during the playoffs. A high came in the 2014-15 season where he averaged 12.6 PPG 5.3 REB / 1.3 STL during those Playoffs he averaged 14.6 PPG / 6.1 REB / 1.1 STL
19. Atlanta Hawks select Omri Casspi
(Originally selected Jeff Teague)
You might remember him from that blockbuster trade that sent DeMarcus to Pelicans because he was part of that deal. He’s been relatively noticeable since his 2015-16 season where he averaged 11.8 PPG and 5.9 REB and becoming the highest scoring Israeli player.
20. Utah Jazz select James Johnson
(Originally selected Eric Maynor)
A noticeable play of his career was a game winning 3 vs the Knicks. Even more was his dunk on Drummond which 1. Set off a melee and 2. The catchphrase “I cocked that joint back and banged on him”. He was huge in that Miami run of 2016-17 because he contributed 12.8 PPG / 1 STL / 1.1 BLK just missing the playoffs.
21. New Orleans Pelicans select Jordan Hill
(Originally selected Darren Collison)
He necessarily isn’t a bust, but surely not top 10 pick. What he does bring is high energy and toughness in the paint and can rebound with the best of them. His high came in the ’14-15 season where he averaged 12 PPG and 7.9 REB.
22. Portland Trail Blazers select Wayne Ellington
(Originally selected Victor Claver)
Another intricate part of that Miami Heat winning streak turned out to be a career high in scoring for Wayne with 10.5 PPG. After Dallas where he averaged 10.4 PPG he had an off year, then with the Lakers he had 10 PPG. He’s been a steady scorer with 7.5 PPG, but next season might be an off year.
23. Sacramento Kings select Jodie Meeks
(Originally selected Omri Casspi)
With very little playing time he was traded to Philly and made his contributions in the playoffs. His best season came as a Laker in 2013-14 where he averaged 15.7 PPG and 1.4 steals per game, he moved on to Detroit with a better opportunity and has been a valuable part of that organization since.
24. Dallas Mavericks select Patty Mills
(Originally selected Byron Mullens)
He had the highest scoring average of 2012 Olympics with 21.2 PPG and in 2016 Olympics he had 21.3, but is a career 7.9 PPG in the NBA. In the 2015 Playoffs, he averaged 10.1 PPG through 7 vs the Clippers.
25. Oklahoma City Thunder select Toney Douglas
(Originally selected Rodrigue Beaubois)
He’s been traded time after time and never really had a place to call home after New York. A 7.8 PPG career average and a season high in 2010-11 with 10.6 PPG / 3 REB / 3 AST / 1.1 STL he is solid during the Playoffs with 10.8 PPG / 3.3 REB / 2.3 AST.
26. Chicago Bulls select Byron Mullens
(Originally selected Taj Gibson)
Career 7.4 PPG and a high in 2012-13 10.6 PPG / 6.4 REB.
27. Memphis Grizzlies select Rodrigue Beaubois
(Originally selected DeMarre Carroll)
Career 7.1 PPG and a high in 2011-12 8.9 PPG / 1.1 STL.
28. Minnesota Timberwolves select Chase Budinger
(Originally selected Wayne Ellington)
For the first 3 years of his career, he was fairly solid scorer with 9.4 PPG, after he was traded to Minnesota his playing time decreased and so did his career.
29. Los Angeles Lakers select Tyler Hansbrough
(Originally selected Toney Douglas)
We really expected more from Tyler Hansbrough, but after three solid seasons with the Indiana Pacers, he wasn’t so good in Toronto and Charlotte. This season he had only 2.4 PTS and 2.0 REB per game.
30. Cleveland Cavaliers select Joe Ingles
(Originally selected Christian Eyenga)
He had a great season with the Utah Jazz, averaging 7.1 PTS, 3.2 REB and 2.7 AST per game. This summer he is a free agent, and he will probably stay with the Utah Jazz.