The 2009 class is unknowingly underrated. The class features three superstar players and an abundance of either starting-caliber talent or role players. While NBA championships are lacking from this class, some pieces could be added to contending teams to make a championship franchise.
This class is also known for Hasheem Thabeet going No. 2 overall, Jonny Flynn at No. 6, and Jordan Hill at No. 8. There’s a valid argument that this top-10 is stacked with recognizable busts. With that said, let’s make it right by redrafting the class of 2009.
1. Los Angeles Clippers
Original Pick: Blake Griffin
Re-Draft Pick: Stephen Curry
Curry has some stiff competition for this spot but in the end, he deserves to be drafted No. 1. Curry is the only unanimous MVP, owns three NBA rings, and is closing on on Reggie Miller and Ray Allen as the greatest deep shooter we have ever seen.
When the Warriors selected Curry with the No. 7 overall pick, they were rebuilding their franchise from scratch. The Clippers did the same with Griffin. Can you imagine what could have happened if the Clippers had taken Curry? The team might have won their first NBA title by now.
2. Memphis Grizzlies
Original Pick: Hasheem Thabeet
Re-Draft Pick: James Harden
Hasheem Thabeet is right up there with Kwame Brown and Anthony Bennett as the worst draft picks in NBA history. The Grizzlies were able to save their franchise, in the end, thanks to Mike Conley and Marc Gasol leading their team to Western Conference Finals four years later, but if Harden was apart of that team, we could be talking about a dynasty.
A combination of Conley, Harden, and Gasol in their prime has to be considered a lethal trio. Throw in Zach Randolph into that group and you have a guaranteed shot going in on the first and second try. Harden has led the league in scoring three times, scoring over 30 points.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder
Original Pick: James Harden
Re-Draft Pick: Blake Griffin
Griffin was a great pick at No. 1, by no means are we bashing the Clippers for their selection. At this point, the two best players are off the draft but that leaves the Thunder with a multi-All-Star selection at power forward that would have fit right in with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The trio of Durant, Westbrook, and Harden led the Thunder to an NBA Finals in 2012. This team could have also accomplished that feat too.
When healthy, Griffin is a double-double machine and a high flying dunker. Serge Ibaka would have been in the starting lineup as well. If this group was together, could they take down the LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh trio in Miami?
4. Sacramento Kings
Original Pick: Tyreke Evans
Re-Draft Pick: DeMar DeRozan
How do you look away from the future all-time scorer for the Toronto Raptors? DeRozan has seven straight seasons with over 20 points per game. DeRozan is everything that the Kings hoped Evans would be. When DeRozan left Toronto via trade, he was the all-time leader in points and a four-time All-Star.
Evans scored 20.1 points in his first season but trailed off after that. He hasn’t played since 2018 but had the potential to be great.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves
Original Pick: Ricky Rubio
Re-Draft Pick: Jrue Holiday
In comparison to Rubio, Holiday would have brought more of an offensive game, completed his role as a facilitator, and brought defense that is borderline All-Defensive Team. While Rubio was an international sensation, Holiday would have given Minnesota a franchise point guard that could have provided twice the number of points. Rubio has averaged 11.2 points in his career compared to Holiday’s 15.9.
The worst part is that the Timberwolves needed help right away. Rubio didn’t come to play until 2011.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves
Original Pick: Jonny Flynn
Re-Draft Pick: Wesley Matthews
Flynn is right up there in the biggest busts in franchise history. In his first season, Flynn started all 81 games and averaged 13.5 points but then flaked out ever since. He left Minnesota after the 2011 season, played two seasons for the Houston Rockets that totaled 29 games, and hasn’t played in the NBA since 2012.
Matthews owns a career 38.2% shooting clip from three-point range. He’s averaged 13.1 points per game and continues to play in the league. The Timberwolves were hoping for a serviceable guard that could provide the team with offensive relief.
7. Golden State Warriors
Original Pick: Stephen Curry
Re-Draft Pick: Ricky Rubio
With Curry and Holiday off the board, the Warriors would need the best option available and that would be Rubio, who is a serviceable point guard in the league. Rubio has averaged over 8.0 assists five times in his career and a 7.7 career-average. With Monta Ellis on the team, the Warriors just needed somebody to get him the ball to score.
Altogether, Rubio’s three-point shot is what has held him down all these years. The Splash Brothers would have never lived, even with Klay Thompson in the fold.
8. New York Knicks
Original Pick: Jordan Hill
Re-Draft Pick: Taj Gibson
Hill never turned into the player that the team had hoped when he came out of Arizona. Hill lasted one season, 24 games specifically, in New York. In need of a true power-forward, the Knicks should have gone with Taj Gibson.
Is Gibson considerably better than other players below him? That’s debatable but sometimes it’s about the needs and at the time the Knicks needed a power forward. Gibson was a closer for the Chicago Bulls that brought tenacious defense and strong rebounding. Gibson averaged over 1.3 blocks for six straight seasons.
9. Toronto Raptors
Original Pick: DeMar DeRozan
Re-Draft Pick: Pat Beverley
Since DeRozan would have been gone by now, the Raptors would have turned their heads to some form of a guard. This would have been long before Kyle Lowry’s time, so Beverley would have been the right choice. He could handle the point instead of Jose Calderon.
During this time, Chris Bosh was the man in charge and it would have been fun to see Beverley and Bosh team up on the defensive front. However, the Raptors ended up making a solid pick with their original choice, so no matter what the team would have ended this draft with a smile.
10. Milwaukee Bucks
Original Pick: Brandon Jennings
Re-Draft Pick: Brandon Jennings
At the time, this was the right choice then and it’s the right choice now. The Bucks needed a point guard and teams were wary about Jennings. He was once considered the No. 1 overall prospect out of high school but opted to play overseas which dropped his stock.
For five seasons, Jennings averaged 16.5 points and 5.6 assists per game. In 2012, Jennings averaged 19.1 points and shot 41% from the field.
11. New Jersey Nets
Original Pick: Terrence Williams
Re-Draft Pick: Ty Lawson
Despite never making an All-Star appearance, Lawson turned out to be one of the better prospects in the draft. For the Nuggets, he averaged over 15.0 points four times. He once had two years of 8.8 assists and 9.2 assists per game.
The Nets needed stability at guard and Williams never lived up to that. After 78 games in his first season, he played only 73 games until his career ended in 2012.
12. Charlotte Bobcats
Original Pick: Gerald Henderson
Re-Draft Pick: Tyreke Evans
Evans finished his career averaging 15.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, and, and 4.8 assists. He was a pure shooting guard that averaged over 20 points one time during his rookie season. He was the Rookie of the Year that season in 2010.
Evans hasn’t played since 2018 but he would have been an upgrade over Gerald Henderson. It wasn’t until Year 3 that Henderson averaged over 15 points. To some, you might wonder why Evans dropped so low. For starters, other players shot better than him. Combine that with other team’s needs at the time, specifically the need for point guards and not shooting guards, Evans would have been right around this area.
13. Indiana Pacers
Original Pick: Tyler Hansbrough
Re-Draft Pick: Tyler Hansbrough
The Pacers needed a power forward at the time and Hansbrough would be the best available prospect on the board. In all honestly, picking Hansbrough was not a bad pick anywhere near the back end of the top-10 either. Hansbrough was the first player in ACC history to earn First-Team All-American and First-Team All-ACC honors in each of his four seasons.
Hansbrough finished his career with a league-record 2,872 points and a school-record 1,219 rebounds. He set an NCAA record of 982 free throws. Hansbrough was a productive role player for the Pacers but has been out of the league since 2015.
14. Phoenix Suns
Original Pick: Earl Clark
Re-Draft Pick: Danny Green
The Suns were on the tail end of the Steve Nash, Amare’ Stoudamire, and Shawn Marion years. During those final seasons, the team could use a knockdown shooter for the final parts of the year. Clark played two seasons for the Suns and played a combined 60 games during his tenure. As for Green, he matured into the shooter and defender that he is by his third season.
Green has two championship rings and has contributed as a starter for both teams. Clark left the NBA after the 2014 season and has played professional basketball on the international circuit.
15. Detroit Pistons
Original Pick: Austin Daye
Re-Draft Pick: Joe Ingles
Joe Ingles has one of the best Cinderella stories in the NBA. After going undrafted in 2009, Ingles played internationally from 2009 to 2014. He was a key member of a Euro-League championship team Maccabi Tel Aviv. After that season, he signed with the Utah Jazz.
Ingles has shot over 40% from three-point range in his career and has averaged a couple of double-digit point scoring seasons. He has served as a starter for the Jazz during multiple seasons. As for Daye, he never averaged more than 7.5 points a game and hasn’t played in the league since 2014.
16. Chicago Bulls
Original Pick: James Johnson
Re-Draft Pick: Omri Casspi
First of all, James Johnson has turned out to be a pretty solid player in the league, but Omri Casspi was the better power forward overall. Casspi made immediate impacts during his early years with the Kings. In his first two seasons, Casspi averaged about 10 points per game and 4.4 rebounds in 24.5 minutes per game.
In his first season with the Bulls, Johnson averaged 3.9 points and then was traded to the Raptors in 2010. Thibodeau wasn’t the coach of the Bulls until 2010, so Casspi could have made an early impact during the 2009-2010 season.
17. Philadelphia 76ers
Original Pick: Jrue Holiday
Re-Draft Pick: Jeff Teague
The 76ers were winners of this draft. Holiday qualified for his lone All-Star appearance in 2013, which was his final season with Philly. He has blossomed into an All-Defensive player and won the NBA Teammate of the Year Award in 2020. In this draft, Holiday would have been long gone by now, so that leaves other options for the 76ers at point guard.
In this draft, Philly would have been winners again by grabbing Jeff Teague out of Wake Forest. Teague made an All-Star appearance in 2015 and owns averages of 12.8 points and 5.6 assists. The 76ers needed a point guard at the time, so they would have their wish granted once again.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves
Original Pick: Ty Lawson
Re-Draft Pick: Patty Mills
The Timberwolves eventually traded Lawson to the Denver Nuggets, but it doesn’t disclose the situation that the Nuggets would have needed a point guard. Patty Mills would have still been available by this time. Mills has played for the Spurs since 2012 and was a crucial role player for the 2014 NBA title team. Mills would have brought the borderline starting-caliber play to the Nuggets.
Lawson was great for the Nuggets and owns better career numbers. However, Mills is still playing in the league. Pick your poison at this point.
19. Atlanta Hawks
Original Pick: Jeff Teague
Re-Draft Pick: Darren Collison
Just like the 76ers, the Hawks were winners of this draft. The Hawks found a way to draft a consistent starting point guard in Teague. Maybe, they could have traded up two picks to get him again. For this scenario, the Hawks just missed their guy and had to grab Darren Collison, who was another consistent player in the league.
At this point in the draft, you are hoping to find someone that can provide minutes off the bench and one day become a starter. Collison averaged 12.5 points and 5.0 assists during his career that ranged from 2009-2018. Collison played for the Pelicans, Pacers, Clippers, Mavericks, and Kings. In the end, Atlanta would have found a starting-caliber point guard, which is what they wanted back in 2009 anyway.
20. Utah Jazz
Original Pick: Eric Maynor
Re-Draft Pick: Garrett Temple
At the time, the pick for Maynor was likely to groom the exit of Deron Williams, who eventually left the Jazz for the Nets. The unfortunate truth is that Maynor never became anything close to Williams, or even a serviceable backup in the league. Maynor lasted only 26 games for the Jazz before being traded to the Thunder.
He last played in 2013 and averaged 4.3 points in his career. A safer pick would have been Garrett Temple. Despite playing for 12 different teams in his career, Temple has proven that he can play in the NBA. He is a solid option off the bench and has played over 60 games in a season seven times in his career.
21. New Orleans Hornets
Original Pick: Darren Collison
Re-Draft Pick: Jodie Meeks
At this point, finding a quality guard left in the draft is hard. Lawson, Teague, Mills, and Collison are all gone, so instead of a point guard, the team could draft a shooting guard. New Orleans already had a point guard in Chris Paul at the time, so why not take a chance on a shooting prospect that showed deep range at Kentucky?
In his final season with Kentucky, Meeks averaged 23.7 points and shot 40.7% from three-point range. Imagine Paul drawing the defender away and lining up an open three-pointer for Meeks on the wing. Meeks was still on the board at the time, so this could have happened originally too.
22. Portland Trail Blazers
Original Pick: Victor Claver
Re-Draft Pick: Dante Cunningham
Some of you might be asking who is Victor Claver? That’s a really good question. Claver was a Spanish professional basketball prospect that didn’t make his debut in the NBA until 2012. When he did, he lasted only until 2014 and went back to Europe. Claver averaged 3.2 points in 13.4 minutes per game. This was certainly a bust for the Trail Blazers.
If the team had another chance, Dante Cunningham would have been a nice fit. He could have played right behind Nicolas Batum and challenged Travis Outlaw for minutes. Cunningham has averaged over 20 minutes of playing time in his career and could have played right away.
23. Sacramento Kings
Original Pick: Omri Casspi
Re-Draft Pick: DeMarre Carroll
With Casspi off the board, the Kings would have looked at the best over prospect left. At this point, that would have been Carroll. Despite two injury-plagued seasons at the beginning of his career, he ended up playing until the 2019 season and averaged 8.9 points per game, and was an average defender.
The Kings won their draft pick given how Casspi helped right away. Given that draft situation, it’s not their fault that all of their preferred players would have been taken off the board by now.
24. Dallas Mavericks
Original Pick: Byron Mullens
Re-Draft Pick: Aron Baynes
Mullens was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder and was a complete bust. He played 26 games in two seasons. He had one good season for the Charlotte Hornets, where he averaged 10.6 points and 6.4 rebounds but hasn’t played in the league since 2013.
As for Baynes, he has a similar success story to Ingles. He played basketball in Europe and joined the Spurs in 2013. He played 54 games that season and was a part of the roster during the 2014 NBA championship team. He has cemented himself as a rim protector and a starting-caliber center in the league.
25. Oklahoma City Thunder
Original Pick: Rodrigue Beaubois
Re-Draft Pick: Wayne Ellington
This pick was traded to the Mavericks. Beaubois played all four seasons with the Mavericks and averaged 7.1 points and 2.1 assists in about 15 minutes of action. He has since returned to Europe and hasn’t played in the league since 2012.
Since Beaubois has such a short career, we are going to with someone that has similar career numbers but remains in the NBA. That is Wayne Ellington, who owns career-numbers of 8.0 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 20.9 minutes per game.
26. Chicago Bulls
Original Pick: Taj Gibson
Re-Draft Pick: James Johnson
In this draft, Gibson is a top-10 pick, so who is the best available power forward left on the board? How about the man they drafted with the No. 16 overall picks? Johnson has made himself a journeyman playing for nine different teams but his numbers are always consistent. He comes off the bench, provides close to eight points and four rebounds, and cheers on his teammates.
This is the king of production that you would expect from the No. 26 overall pick in the draft. He’s on the board, so this time the Bulls wouldn’t have to buy high on him.
27. Memphis Grizzlies
Original Pick: DeMarre Carroll
Re-Draft Pick: DeJuan Blair
Carroll played 71 games during his rookie season but got injured his sophomore year and left the Grizzlies after seven appearances. If the Grizzlies wanted someone to play a little longer, they could have taken DeJuan Blair. Blair had a solid career at Pittsburgh. In his sophomore year, he averaged 15.7 points and 12.3 rebounds. He made the All-Rookie Second Team in 2010 for the Spurs after averaging 7.8 points and 6.4 rebounds.
Blair hasn’t played in the NBA since 2015 but he had a good seven-year career given that he was a late second-round pick. He is one of the better prospects left at this point, so the Grizzlies would need to take the best available player.
28. Oklahoma City Thunder
Original Pick: Wayne Ellington
Re-Draft Pick: Gerald Henderson
The best available prospect at this point would be Henderson given that the Thunder were wanting to draft a forward. Henderson averaged 11.1 points and 3.9 rebounds for the Hornets, Trail Blazers, and 76ers from 2009 to 2016. Henderson once averaged 15.5 points in 2012. When the Thunder were making their run to the NBA Finals, those points off the bench would have been pretty nice.
29. Los Angeles Lakers
Original Pick: Toney Douglas
Re-Draft Pick: Toney Douglas
The only catch for this pick is that the Laker do not trade him to the Knicks for a second-round pick and $3 million. Douglas was a lockdown defender that could score double-digits from here to there. During this time, the Lakers had a foundation at guard with Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher, but this could have provided the team some defensive relief.
30. Cleveland Cavaliers
Original Pick: Christian Eyenga
Re-Draft Pick: Jonas Jerebko
Eyenga played 44 games for the Cavaliers during his rookie season. After that, he played seven games in 2011 and left the NBA. He has since played basketball overseas. Jerebko averaged 6.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in 17.8 minutes of play during his career that ranged from 2008 to 2018. After winning an NBA championship with the Warriors in 2018, he returned to the EuroLeague. For the last first-round pick, this would have been a steal.