The 2009 NBA Draft was said to have a weak draft class. As far as top-level talent, that is certainly true, but I feel that the 2009 Draft was solid from pick 1 to pick 60. While it may not have too many future superstars, there should be a fair number of solid NBA players that came out of this draft. I have assembled what I feel could be the All-Rookie team for the draft class of 2009.
PG- Tyreke Evans (Sacramento Kings)
I really believe Tyreke Evans will challenge Blake Griffin for ROY honors this year. Evans is going to handed the starting job immediately for the Kings. I don’t see 19 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and a steal per game out of the realm of possibility for Evans in his first season in the NBA. Evans height will allow him to see the whole court and make easy passes over smaller guards, but still expect a few turnovers per game from him. Expect Evans to get to the line around 10 times per game and hit free throws at a 75-80% clip. Evans won’t help you out in the 3-point category so if you are expecting 3’s from your point guard he is not your guy, he will also hurt you in the turnover category, but should help you in all the other categories. If he can stay away from taking 3’s and taking most of his shots in the paint he could help out in the FG% category as well.
SG- James Harden (OKC Thunder)
The Thunder added James Harden to play in the backcourt alongside Russell Westbrook, forming a fantastic core of 3 young players in Harden, Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Harden won’t get as many shots as Tyreke Evans will in Sacramento, but he will get enough looks to be very fantasy-relevant. Harden should be a great source of 3-pointers and rebounds from the guard position. Harden showed fantastic rebounding ability at Arizona State and an ability to completely take over a game. While he won’t be the #1 option in Oklahoma City, as he was at ASU, he will be a great compliment to Kevin Durant on the wing and should take some of the scoring pressure off of Durant this year.
SF- Terrence Williams (New Jersey Nets)
The Nets now have 3 extremely athletic players to occupy the PG, SG and SF slots. The trio of Devin Harris, Courtney Lee, and Terrence Williams look to start something special together in New Jersey. Terrence Williams was more of a point forward in college than a true small forward, but that can only help his fantasy value. Although Williams hasn’t been named a starter yet, but New Jersey has Williams, Lee, Jarvis Hayes and Bobby Simmons competing for the SG and SF spots. Lee is a lock to occupy one of those starting spots and I expect Terrence Williams to win the other starting spot fairly easily over Hayes and Simmons. Don’t expect an abundance of 3’s to come from Williams but he will make a few, you can expect a few more assists per game out of Williams than other small forwards. Williams will be a serviceable rebounder at the SF slot, I expect him to produce at a slightly above average level for small forwards in every category. He will have a few growing pains in his first year, but should be able to rely on his pure athleticism to bail him out a few times this coming season.
PF- Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers)
Blake Griffin is a beast. Averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds would not be a stretch for Griffin in his first season in the NBA. I wouldn’t draft Griffin and expect 20 and 10 but I wouldn’t be shocked if he put up something close to that. Really not much to say about Griffin, everyone knows who he is and can make their own judgments on what he will do. Expectations for Griffin are high, too high for me, I won’t be targeting him in any of my fantasy drafts, you can expect him to go a few rounds higher than he should based on hype alone.
C- Jordan Hill (New York Knicks)
Look for Jordan Hill to be an exciting player this year for the Knicks. Hill should put up solid numbers this year playing for Mike D’Antoni. In a starting role Hill could average 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game. The Knicks drafted Hill to play the roll that Amare played for D’Antoni in Phoenix. Hill isn’t quite the talent that Amare is and doesn’t have Steve Nash to pass to him, but in D’Antoni’s system the stats are there to be had. If Hill gets solid PT, which all signs point to him getting that playing time, he should provide great value to any fantasy team. The Knicks don’t have many pieces yet, but Jordan Hill is a great piece to build around.