10 min read

2009 Live Draft Diary

This is like… exciting. With the conclusion of this draft, we will OFFICIALLY wrap up the first year of professional basketball in Oklahoma City. And we will also have a new player or two in Thunder blue. I hope it’s the guy you really want. Unless his name is Hasheem Thabeet.

6:01 p.m. CST: Yes. My favorite part of any anticipated broadcast. Thirty minutes of talking about things were already know. I can’t wait to hear Jay Bilas tell me Hasheem Thabeet is long and that Blake Griffin is good at basketball. I’m really looking forward to it.

6:06: For some reason, people really care about the suits these guys wear. Rubio looked extremely sharp, Blake Griffin has a purple shirt on and James Harden is wearing a bowtie. How funny! A bowtie! That’s so ironic!

6:11: I can’t decide what I was more nervous for – the lottery or the draft? The lottery was a slap in the face. It happened so quick. The draft is such a process. And why am I nervous about David Stern calling some guy’s name over a microphone to send him to Oklahoma City? I have no idea.

6:13: Shutup, shutup, shutup everybody! Jay Bilas is going to tell me who his top five players are! I’m sure glad I haven’t been looking at that huge graphic on the side of the screen that says, “Jay Bilas’ Best Available” for the last two hours. Talk about a spoiler alert!

6:19: I guess ESPN thought we might forget who Jay Bilas’ top five guys are, because he’s telling us again. What’s that? You like Tyreke Evans as the third best player in this draft? News to me.

6:23: Most awkward interview of the night award already goes to Mark Jones and Ricky Rubio. Nothing is topping it. Well, I forget that Stuart Scott is in the building and has a microphone in his hand. So it’s probably too early to be crowning anyone.

6:29: Is Hasheem Thabeet wearing a silver trash sack? And also, why is Dick Vitale talking to me? A nice did you know about Vitale: Out of eight ESPN writers last fall, he’s the only one that didn’t have Blake Griffin on his pre-season All-American team. Better yet, he didn’t have Blake on his second team. But yet this man is supposed to be educating me about the draft. Awesome.

6:31: (Summons Mike Goldberg) And. Here. We. Go!

6:34: Why is David Stern talking so much? I want to know who the No. 1 pick is! So much anticipation. L.A. has five minutes to make their pick and Mike Dunleavy is on the phone pretending to be talking to someone. Could he? Would he? Nah….

6:39: I can’t believe the Clippers just took Demarre Carroll! Oh, nevermind. I was just assuming. Blake Griffin to the Clips (officially). It’s not your fault Blake. It’s not your fault. It’s not… your fault.

6:42: And now we wait for Memphis. Their pick could entirely swing this draft. They take Thabeet and then OKC is picking between Rubio and Harden. They go off road and take Rubio or someone else and then we’re sent scrambling.

6:44: Blake evidently went to the Mark McGwire school for answers to tough questions. “I’m not looking at the past, but ahead to the future.” I mean what are you supposed to say? “Yeah, they’ve totally sucked and I’m pretty freaking worried they’re going to ruin my career, but whatever, they drafted me and they’re going to pay me.”

6:47: And the Grizzlies select… Hasheem Thabeet. Wow. Color me happy. I got that rock out of my shoe and no longer have to worry about Thabeet on my team. Thanks Chris Wallace. Your Christmas gift is already in the mail.

6:48: Oh crap. I just realized we’re officially on the clock. I believe in Sam Presti. I believe in Sam Presti. I believe in Sam Presti. I believe in Sam Presti. I believe in Sam Presti. I believe in Sam Presti.

6:51: Stuart Scott just said we started 3 and 23 (which I guess we did…) when I’m sure he meant 3-29, Mark Jackson called Russell Westbrook “Brian” and Jeff Van Gundy said, “Durant. Kevin Durant of the Thunder” as he stammered through some sentence. This is going well.

6:52: James Harden baby. Lock it up. Celebrate Kings fans, you can have your man. I think we’ll be happy with ours.

6:54: Hey Russ, you happy? Also, we just drafted the guy wearing the bowtie. Is that good or bad? And Harden tells us “I’m not the fastest guy, I’m not the most explosive guy…” Oh, and Harden’s hat is over his ears. The James Harden era is off to a great start.

6:56: OK, let me put on my “I’m being honest with myself” hat. I’ve been calling for James Harden since the very beginning. So I am obviously happy. I think he can step in right away and start. We improved right away with him. But secretly, I kind of wanted Rubio. He’s so flashy, so exciting and so… cool. But I’m happy. I really am.

6:57: Holy Tyreke Evans. Sacramento passes on their man and takes Evans. Ricky Rubio continues to slip. I’m thinking he doesn’t get past Minny though. No way. Right?

7:06: And the classy Knicks fans are chanting U-S-A! as Rubio walks to the podium. Way to go guys. Watching Rubio walk up there to shake David Stern’s hand wearing a Minnesota hat is like seeing an ex-girlfriend that you liked get married. Sure you may have a new girlfriend that is potentially better, but you always had a thing for that other chick. And now she’s with that other guy forever.

7:10: The first major shock of the night. The Wolves take Jonny Flynn with their second top 10 pick. Something tells me they want to trade one of these two guys. What sense does it make to have Flynn and Rubio together? Both are locked into their positions and don’t have the versatility to move to the 2-guard. If they keep them both, that means Minny drafted a backup with a top 6 pick. I just don’t understand that.

7:14: I love how all the analysts immediately have to go into Justification Mode as soon as a pick is made. David Stern could have said, “With the sixth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Minnesota selects… Longar Longar!” and Jay Bilas would have said, “You know this is a great pick. It fits with what Minnesota is trying to do and gives them an interior presence that they desperately need. Maybe they could have taken a guy that would fill a position that they actually need help at, but regardless, I’m telling you how this is a wonderful pick.”

7:17: Stephen Curry to the Warriors. Over/under amout of shots Curry takes next year: 8,983.

7:21: Ouch for Jordan Hill. Probably the biggest moment of your life, you get booed and you haven’t done anything yet. That’s probably not the best feeling. I think it’s a nice pick for New York. In my mind, he’s the second best big man in this draft and you got him at No. 8. That’s a pretty good value if you ask me. Did I just pull a Jay Bilas?

7:24: I’m pretty sure DeMar DeRozan is getting his name called in about two minutes. I’m actually almost certain of it. Can I work for Draft Express now?

7:26: Rachel Nichols just asked Donnie Walsh what he wanted to do with the 29th pick. His shocking response: “Well we’re going to take a look at what we want to do. We’re not sure right now.” That’s journalism everybody!

7:29: And I nailed the Raptors pick with DeRozan. I guess I can’t work for Draft Express.

7:33: I was not expecting to hear Brandon Jennings’ name called there. I guess the Bucks aren’t that confident about re-signing Ramon Sessions. Also, an unrelated question: Since when is Fran Fraschilla the “international expert?” Does ESPN basically just take a guy that’s an analyst and stick a moniker next to him and make him an expert?

7:39: The Nets take Terrence Williams at 11. Something tells me Williams is going to be a nice player. And I’m glad I got to see Rick Pitino clapping. That was AMAZING.

7:44: OMG JORDAN TOOK A DOOK PLAYERZ!?!?11 I think Henderson gets the award for most well-defined hairline in this draft. Word on the street is that Henderson is going to hit MJ with an elbow to the nose when he shakes his hand.

7:50: Some big news here from an inside source: Oklahoma City evidently has ANOTHER pick in this draft. I didn’t know either. I turned my TV to 16 and Pregnant but now I’m back. Close one.

7:52: Knick fans chant “Over-rated” as Tyler Hansbrough walks to shake Stern’s hand. Jay Bilas is not phased. He will fight through and spend the next 30 seconds telling us what a “worker” Hansbrough is and why he deserved to be picked over DeJuan Blair. Atta boy Jay.

7:56: What an awkward moment with Brandon Jennings. He didn’t think he’d get picked in the lottery so he didn’t want to sit in the green room and get humiliated. So when he was taken at 10 by Milwaukee, he sprinted to MSG so that he wouldn’t miss his moment in the sun. Brandon Jennings folks! No ego here, no way.

8:04: Austin Daye goes to the Pistons. I think he had to buy a women’s suit because nothing else would fit his trim frame. We’re just 10 picks away from the Thunder’s next one. I have my eye on Ty Lawson, Eric Maynor, Rodrigue Beaubois and Patty Mills right now.

8:06: YES! Dickie V is here to give me more great info! He predicts Stephen Curry to be the Rookie of the Year and calls out Oklahoma City for not taking him. So is Curry going to be Rookie of the Year kind of like Blake Griffin was going to be an honorable mention All-American? Dick Vitale: Basketball Expert. Value what he has to say.

8:14: Hey, remember that one time Doug Gottlieb had Oklahoma City taking Jrue Holliday at three? Yeah, there he goes to Philly at 17. And oh yeah, he had Jennings going 23rd. No more letting Doug play with the cool touch-screen thing. I think he got distracted by all the pretty colors and bright lights.

8:16: And there goes Ty Lawson. To the Timberwolves. WHAT IS GOING ON!?!?!?! Are the Wolves the new Detroit Lions? Hey guys, with No. 28, I hear Eric Maynor could be available. Then trade Al Jefferson and Kevin Love for Chris Paul and you’re set.

8:20: OK, Ric Bucher with some common sense. Minnesota is moving Lawson to Denver for a future pick. Dang. I was kind of excited to see how they would manage to work in three point guards. Because quite honestly, I’m trying to figure out how they’re going to work in two point guards.

8:25: I just realized DeJuan Blair has not been picked yet. Shhhhhhh. Don’t tell any of the other GMs. It would make me happy for him to fall into our lap at 25.

8:33: Hey B.J. Mullens, just an FYI – if your name is called with the 25th pick I’m just letting you know you’re going to need to spend about 180 hours at the tattoo parlor. Otherwise, I don’t think we’re really going to like you all that much. We’re not that big on tall guys that don’t contribute anything but don’t have body ink covering every square inch of their skin. That little mustache just isn’t going to cut it here.

8:36: I think the trades are about to start swinging. Reports are Stephen Curry could be headed to Phoenix as part of that Amare Stoudemire deal. And there’s another report that says the Knicks are close to reaching a deal with Minnesota that brings Rubio to New York. And then Minnesota will trade Jonny Flynn for future pick from Cleveland and be left with nothing. OK the last one’s not true.

8:40: Let’s go to our international expert Fran Fraschilla! Tell us about Victor… uh, uh, Cla-ver? (I would also just like to point out I nailed that pick in our Lost Ogle/Daily Thunder mock. I’m waiting for my congratulatory phone call from Chad Ford.)

8:43: Lots of great options potentially sitting at 25 – DeJuan Blair, B.J. Mullens, Sam Young, Rodrigue Beaubois, Patty Mills, and more. Great choices. I continue to believe in Sam Presti.

8:50: And there goes B.J. Mullens. That’s twice tonight a team has probably done us a huge favor of taking a big man bust, preventing us from even having to think about him. So now we’re back on the clock. I’ll put my vote in for DeJuan Blair, Sam. I know you’re following along. And I know you care what I think.

8:55: Well kick me in the nards and call me Suzy. Just when we thought we were out of the B.J. Mullens forest, we got sucked back in. Presti flips Beaubois for Mullens. Sammy must really have a thing for the guy. He’s kind of going out on a limb here.

8:57: Reader Kev summed up the B.J. Mullens acquisition pretty awesomely: “Hi Mullens, I’m the Gatorade jug – enjoying the game???”

9:01: Now the Mullens-Beaubois deal isn’t officially done yet, but if it’s a straight swap, color me confused. Why didn’t Dallas just pick Beaubois when he was there? To save a little money because Beaubois is the 25th pick, not the 24? Really? I don’t get it.

9:14: No lie, I typed this in advance of Wayne Ellington being picked 28th by the Wolves. “Here’s what Bilas will say when Wayne Ellington is picked: ‘Ellington is a GREAT value at this spot. He can score and get to the rim and and shoot from anywhere. Him slipping this far is a bit of a surprise, but this guy is going to make a nice NBA player and he’ll contribute to a team for a long time.'” You know how I knew he’d say that? Because he’s said it for every other player so far.

9:18: Hey Orlando, you guys jealous of all of us draft people? See how much fun we’re having? I bet you wish didn’t trade your picks so that you could get just a runner-up trophy.

9:23: Someone should let David Stern know there’s a second round to this thing. He just said, “With the 30th and final pick of the 2009 NBA Draft….”

9:25: Evidently DeJuan Blair’s knee concerns were totally serious. Because a guy that some had going as high as 10 has slipped out of the first round. Something tells me were going to be sitting here in a few years wondering how he fell out of the first 30.

9:27: Well let me tell you, that was fun. I’m putting away the live diary for the rest of the night because OKC doesn’t have a pick in the second round. Of course if the Thunder jump in there and grab someone I’ll have something. Thanks everyone for following along and hopefully you enjoyed tonight as much as I did. Now let’s spend the next few weeks talking about what happened tonight.