Stephen Curry, James Harden and Blake Griffin have been in the league for 10 years now. But who is the best out of all of them?
The big picture: Celebrating its 10th anniversary, here is a re-draft of 2009 NBA Draft, featuring some of the most decorated players in recent history.
Top Five: The top of the 2009 NBA Draft is absolutely stacked, with numerous All-Stars, MVPs and All-NBA selections.
Here is the new top five:
- No. 1 | Clippers: Stephen Curry, (originally Blake Griffin). Initially drafted seventh overall, Curry shoots (no pun intended) to the top of the draft. A two-time MVP and arguably the greatest shooter of all-time, he is also multiple-time NBA champion.
- No. 2 | Grizzlies: James Harden, (originally Hasheem Thabeet). Only moving up one spot, Harden has solidified himself as one of the greatest one-on-one offensive players in NBA history. After being a Sixth Man of the Year, he won MVP in 2018.
- No. 3 | Thunder: Blake Griffin, (originally James Harden). After missing his actual rookie year due to injury, Griffin won Rookie of the Year in 2011. Overall, he has six All-Star and four All-NBA selections to his name.
- No. 4 | Kings: DeMar Derozan, (originally Tyreke Evans). Drafted ninth 10 years ago, Derozan moves into the top five after nine years with the Toronto Raptors — with four All-Star berths and two All-NBA selections.
- No. 5 | Timberwolves: Jrue Holiday (originally Ricky Rubio). Moving up 12 spots, Holiday cracks the top five after being drafted 17th overall. He has had a solid career thus far, being selected to the All-Star game and the All-Defensive first team.
From six to 14: Although the top five consisted of all-time great talents, the rest of the lottery is also filled with plenty of serviceable and role players as well.
- No. 6 | Timberwolves: Jeff Teague. After only starting three games in his rookie year, Teague has been able to find his groove, becoming an All-Star in 2015.
- No. 7 | Warriors | Tyreke Evans. The Rookie of the Year in 2010, Evans has been around the league, trying to find a team to latch on to after his first stint with the Sacramento Kings.
- No. 8 | Knicks: Taj Gibson. A very dependable big man, Gibson has been to the NBA Playoffs in eight of his 10 seasons in the NBA.
- No. 9 | Raptors: Ricky Rubio. A passing virtuoso, Rubio has struggled shooting the ball but has carved out a niche for himself as an unselfish distributor that you can count on at the free throw line.
- No. 10 | Bucks: Ty Lawson. Formerly a nightly double-double threat, Lawson’s best year came in 2014 when he averaged 17.6 points, 8.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds. Currently looking to get back into the league.
- No. 11 | Nets: Brandon Jennings. A confident shooter, Jennings made Milwaukee Bucks history by scoring 55 points, the most by a rookie. His inconsistency has made it hard for him to find a team.
- No. 12 | Bobcats: Danny Green. One of the biggest leaps in the re-draft, Green finds himself in the lottery after being an All-Defensive second team selection and NBA champion. His “3-and-D” style helped him become one of the more sought-after wings in the league.
- No. 13 | Pacers: Wes Matthews. After being undrafted, Matthews has solidified himself as one of the better 3-point shooters in the league, shooting 38 percent on 5.6 attempts per game.
- No. 14 | Suns: Joe Ingles. Similar to Matthews, Ingles went undrafted but played overseas until the 2015 season, when he was picked up by the Utah Jazz. Currently one of the best 3-point shooters in the league, shooting 40.8 percent for his career.
The Best of the Rest: Furthermore, there were a number of impact players that were either picked late in the first round, in the second round or even went undrafted. Here are some of the best remaining names from the draft:
- Aron Baynes: A dependable big off the bench.
- Patrick Beverly: A gritty defensive player that can start or come off the bench.
- DeMarre Carroll: A “3-and-D” player that can hit timely shots.
- Omri Casspi: A solid 3-point shooter, shooting 36.8 percent.
- Dante Cunningham: A hard-nosed, defense-first player.
- Wayne Ellington: A 37.9 percent sharpshooter from long range.
- Jonas Jerebko: A big that can stretch the floor.
- James Johnson: A jack-of-all trades player.
- Jodie Meeks: Proven shooter from 3-point land, shooting 37.3 percent.
- Patty Mills: A sparkplug off the bench, able to heat up quickly.
- Garrett Temple: A reliable source of energy off the bench.
The bottom line: Taking a retrospective view on the 2009 NBA Draft, one can see that it was filled with incredible talents and even some generational players.
That is the beauty of the NBA: Being able to see players that may have been overlooked and seeing them blossom into truly special players through their hard work and dedication to their craft.