Redraft 2009: Griffin still No. 1

Former Oklahoma star a consensus top pick, but opinion varies on next best

Updated: May 13, 2014, 1:54 PM ET
By David Thorpe and Amin Elhassan | ESPN Insider

Blake Griffin, Stephen Curry AP Photo If the 2009 NBA draft was redone today, where would Blake Griffin and Stephen Curry be selected?

Like most drafts, the 2009 version featured a few guys who look like they will contend for All-Star status for years (having already been named thus for a few seasons) and some others who will be strong rotation players for a decade or more. Not every draft has multiple players who have the potential to be "transformative" guys, players who can change the fortune of their franchises just by being on that team.

The 2009 draft has no less than three such guys, putting this draft class ahead of many and probably most of the others in the past decade. The depth is still average, though, which is why we only redraft the lottery.


1. Los Angeles Clippers | Actual Pick: Blake Griffin
Amin Elhassan's pick: Blake Griffin | David Thorpe's pick: Blake Griffin

Elhassan: He was the consensus No. 1 pick on draft day 2009, and my feeling hasn't changed one bit. A unique combination of power and grace in a powder keg of athleticism, he's gotten better every year in the league.

Thorpe: Salient points, Amin. He might be the best combination in league history as a power forward with both elite bucket-getting skills and athleticism. Very Amar'e-like. I think his passing is underrated, too.


2. Memphis Grizzlies | Actual Pick: Hasheem Thabeet
Elhassan's pick: Stephen Curry | Thorpe's pick: James Harden

Thorpe: You think of what Memphis is right now and add Harden to the mix. That is maybe the top team in the league. His disinterest in defense would be covered by their other guys, and perhaps if he was there from day one he'd be more focused on D, anyway.

Elhassan: Even with Mike Conley manning the point, I just can't pass on the player we thought was another Steve Nash when scouting him at Davidson. In addition to being arguably the best shooter ever, Curry is the sort of transformative talent who inspires and influences teammates in a way that Harden never could.