Friday, June 26, 2009

Not Many Surprises In An Overhyped Draft

What everyone knew going into last night's NBA draft became reality when commissioner David Stern introduced No. 1 overall pick Blake Griffin as newest member of Los Angeles Clippers. (Photo courtesy of NBA.com)

Aside from Blake Griffin, no one quite figured out what to expect from the NBA draft last night. Twenty-four hours later, it's still not easy to analyze each team's strategy and methods from the two-round affair at Madison Square Garden.

After Blake Griffin and Hasheem Thabeet went 1-2 to the Clippers and Grizzlies, respectively, many thought Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio was a lock to go third to Oklahoma City. He ended up falling to the Timberwolves at No. 5 after the Thunder selected James Harden, while Sacramento took Tyreke Evans of Memphis with the fourth pick. After the draft, Rubio's father said in an interview that the 18-year-old point guard may stay in Spain for at least another two years. Minnesota followed the Rubio pick with the biggest shock of the draft, taking Syracuse's Jonny Flynn over Stephen Curry, who went one spot later to Golden State. Curry, the object of the Knicks' affection, will instead play for former Knicks coach Don Nelson in the Bay Area. The Knicks went with Arizona's Jordan Hill at No. 8.

National champion North Carolina was also well-represented at the draft, with Tyler Hansbrough being the highest Tar Heel selected, going at No. 13 to the Indiana Pacers. Ty Lawson was selected 18th by Minnesota, but later traded to Denver. The Wolves took Lawson's backcourt partner Wayne Ellington with their other first-round pick, the 28th overall. Cleveland added Danny Green in the second round.

This year's "Mr. Irrelevant," or last player selected, was Memphis wingman Robert Dozier, who was taken 60th overall by the Miami Heat.

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