Posted tagged ‘new york knicks’

Pac-10 players drafted in the NBA Draft

July 6, 2009

The 2009 NBA Draft passed last week and many of the best Pac-10 players experienced a night they will never forget; filled with feelings of excitement, optimism, and disappointment the night entailed the realization of many’s of the player’s childhood dream of playing in the NBA. Many were chosen where expected, many were picked better higher then expected, and many waited in agony as they waited for their named to be called. Here are my thoughts on where the players of 2009 Pac-10 class were selected and how they will stack up on the teams they will be playing for.

3. James Harden (OKC Thunder): No curve balls were thrown to start the night off and like expected, Harden was selected third to the OKC Thunder. The first player picked from the Pac-1o, Harden will have an immediate impact on the Thunder and should star alongside Kevin Durant, Jeff Green,  ex-UCLA star Russell Westbrooke on a very young Thunder team.

8. Jordan Hill (NY Knicks): The New York fans booed Hill when his name was called instead of  Stephen Curry’s, but what the

Jordan Hill, picked 8th by the Knicks, shaking NBA commisioner David Stern's hand. (Dave Bergman/SI)

Jordan Hill, picked 8th by the Knicks, shaking NBA commisioner David Stern's hand. (Dave Bergman/SI)

Knick fans don’t know is that Hill’s explosive up tempo game will fit perfectly under Mike D’Antoni’s run-n-gun system. With David Lee out, Hill will likely play right away and have early struggles adjusting to the better competition of the NBA; still, expect D’Antoni to develop Hill into a fine NBA player in the future.

9. DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors): Add DeRozan to the list of talented players on the Raptors roster that will likely only tread the waters of their potential and go unnoticed in the NBA wasteland known as Toronto. With Marion likely gone to free agency and Bosh likely to bolt in 2010, expect DeRozan to have a large role on the Raptors for years to come which, in circumspect, should allow him to grow and develop into the player that he has the potential to be.

17. Jrue Holiday (Philadelpia 76ers): When the 76er’s called his name 17th, Holiday shushed all the talk of being the big slip of this year’s draft. Question’s still loom over Holiday’s durability but it looks like the 76er’s and Holiday should be an excellent fit. Holiday should move back to his natural position of point guard and his style of play should compliment the athletic abilities of 76er’s very well for a long time.

21. Darren Collison (NO Hornets): Collison being drafted 21st to the Hornets seems to be one of the bigger question marks in this year’s draft. Even though most believed that a less then stellar season with UCLA this year would have Collision falling on most draft boards, Collison still managed to get pick solidly in the first round. With Chris Paul as the point guard of the future for the Hornets, expect Darren Collison to be the backup.

26. Taj Gibson (Chicago Bulls): It was no suprise that Gibson was picked as a late  first round pick, but what was a suprise was the team who traded to get him: the Chicago Bulls. Though Gibson has a lot of upside and potential, with the Bulls loaded with front court players Brad Miller, Joakim Noah, Tyrus Thomas, one must wonder how another player big like Gibson will find the place and minutes to contribute.

31. Jeff Pendergraph (Portland Trailblazers): Similarly to Taj Gibson, Pendergraph was picked where expected but will struggle to find a role on the team that he was drafted by: the Portland Trailblazers. Like Channing Frye this year, Pendergraph has the ability to contribute but will not have the opportunity to stuck behind stars Greg Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge, Travis Outlaw, and Joel Pryzbilla.

44. Chase Budinger (Houston Rockets): With no doubt, Budinger was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, slips of this year’s draft. All mocks had Budinger being picked at least in the first round, some even lottery, but none had him falling to the middle of the second round. Though his lack toughness seemingly caught up to him, with Artest gone to the Lakers and McGrady’s future uncertain, the Rockets look like a good place for Budinger to play and get minutes immediately.