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Thursday, June 25, 2009
Liveblogging the 2009 NBA Draft


We're live from Madison Square Garden where there is a ton going on.

As the evening unfolds, this is where you can read TrueHoop's liveblogging, via Twitter, of anything and everything.

A few links for the moment:

And TrueHoop Draft Coverage:

Henry Abbott: Welcome!

Henry Abbott: Chad Ford's instant analysis of the first pick: "Congratulations to the Clippers for not screwing this up." (http://insider.espn.go.com/nbadraft/draft/tracker/round?draftyear=2009)

Henry Abbott: Vince Carter is making north of $16 million, and the Magic have big salaries committed to lots of players in a bad economy. There are noises that they may be ready to spend more than ever, having tasted the Finals, but having talked to several people, I think the best guess is that if Hedo Turkoglu wants to make a lot of money, he'll do so somewhere besides Orlando.

Henry Abbott: With Oklahoma City on the clock, FWIW, the TV cameras are mainly trained on Ricky Rubio, James Harden, Stephen Curry.

Henry Abbott: Chad Ford starts out three-for-three in a tough draft.

Henry Abbott: My bet here is that Sacramento will take Tyreke Evans, although Chad Ford feels it'll be Rubio.

Henry Abbott: Evans it is. And Philly is in the house. Huge cheer for him.

Henry Abbott: Rubio gets to go to Minnesota. "Too cold!" he said, jokingly yesterday. But I think it's the best team for him.

Henry Abbott: Occurs me that if the 'Wolves now take Curry, they could have the two players with the highest ceilings in this draft.

Henry Abbott: The 'Wolves have Sebastian Telfair, Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio. None of those guys are shooting guards. You have to wonder if there could be a trade in the works.

Henry Abbott: Andrew Bogut, on Twitter, offered a Gatorade cooler and some towels for that sixth pick, but I guess Minnesota decided to keep the pick instead.

Henry Abbott: Can't remember who said it. But somebody said to me today: Doesn't it seem like Brandon Jennings and the Warriors are meant to be together. Seems right! Although I don't think the Warriors will pick him here.

Henry Abbott: Kevin Arnovitz points out: Russell Westbrook is the happiest man in America right now. The Thunder didn't pick a point guard, and especially not Ricky "you trippin'" Rubio.

Henry Abbott: I suppose the Knicks now take Jordan Hill. The other good players available are DeRozan, Jrue Holiday. Any one of those is likely booed by Knick fans.

Henry Abbott: If the Knicks are, as advertised, one of those teams crazy for Rubio, and if Minnesota isn't going to keep all those point guards, could be they're picking for the Timberwolves right now.

Henry Abbott: Jrue Holiday said something yesterday about how he'd be happy to go to the Knicks if he lasts that long. Now here is still on the board at ten. Of the players in the top three tiers Chad Ford created last week, he's the last left.And there's some chatter that Brandon Jennings could be the tenth pick.

Henry Abbott: Echoing that notion, Andrew Bogut tweets: "My Tweople seem to think Holiday Vs Jennings?"

Kevin Arnovitz: Jennings   Skiles = Oy

Henry Abbott: Not to beat a dead horse, but the T-Wolves don't have a single shooting guard.

Kevin Arnovitz: Fun T-Will piece from Luke Winn: http://tiny.cc/OlyHu

Kevin Arnovitz: Jrue

Henry Abbott: You know what's interesting here? With a model that's probably more sophisticated than the stats most NBA teams use, John Hollinger calls Ty Lawson the most likely to succeed NCAA player in this draft. Other analyses confirm it. But 11 teams and counting passed. If Lawson has a standout career ... people will be asked about that.

Henry Abbott: Energy is getting a little lower in the room. Time for a huge trade ...

Kevin Arnovitz:  MJ reportedly preferred Johnson here.

Kevin Arnovitz: Really thought Jrue Holiday was the logical pick here.

Kevin Arnovitz: Holiday -- a solid, defensive, rebounding guard with the capacity to play point for a team where Granger frequently has the ball in his hands. Does this not sound like a Pacer need?

Kevin Arnovitz: Jennings with the theatric entrance.  Nicely done.

Kevin Arnovitz: Jennings: Drama King. Brand Manager. Stellar.

Kevin Arnovitz: PHX makes an outstanding selection. Clark a nice offensive fulcrum at the 3 for them.  And if the Suns happen to move Clark, he can slide over in Gentry's system.

Kevin Arnovitz: Daye is thin as a rail.  He and Tayshaun Prince are combined 275 pounds.

Kevin Arnovitz: Daye can also pass from the high post and shoot it.  But Pistons will need some complimentary muscle to compete.

Kevin Arnovitz: The Bulls are interesting.  Desperate at no single position, but in need of an upgrade at several.  Gives them a lot of flexibility with this pick to go with best guy on the board. Question:  Who would that be?

Kevin Arnovitz: Blair would be a sensible pick for CHI.

Kevin Arnovitz: And Mullens would be the gambler's pick.

Kevin Arnovitz: Holiday: One of those blessings in disguise for an overlooked player.  Ends up in a solid situation for a team that has desperate needs at the 2 and a 1 who might not be around much longer.  He suffers for an hour as one of the last gu
ys in the Green Room, but gets to go to one of the most guard-desperate teams in the league.

Henry Abbott: Timberwolves on the clock with lots of PGs available. They can't possibly take another one.

Henry Abbott: WOWOWOW. The Timberwolves are 100% point guards and power forwards. Talk about taking the best available player, instead of drafting for need. Irony is, the guy they took 18th might be the best point guard of the three this year.

Henry Abbott: Ricky Rubio, not exactly schmoozing the people of the Twin Cities.Q. Are you excited to go to Minnesota?A. I'm excited to come to the NBA.He was also asked about whether being picked by the 'Wolves might inspire him to stay in Europe. He said:"I don't know yet. I have to think about that ... I'm going to talk to my agent about that and we're going to see."

Kevin Arnovitz: Mr. Abbott: I see DeJuan in the Blazers' future.  What's the all-time record for team rebounding rate?

Henry Abbott: Blazers I think will take DeJuan Blair or possibly Omri Casspi.

Henry Abbott: I don't think the Blazers traded up two picks for Victor Claver. This doesn't seem like plan A. I could be wrong. I knew they liked him, but thought he would make more sense at 31.

Kevin Arnovitz: Terrence Williams on being close to New York and the center of the fashion industry: "This is a great market, trust me, for a lot of reasons.  If you love to shop -- I love to shop -- NY is right across the bridge..." He then thanks a reporter who compliments him on his suit. And that he'll tell his girlfriend. Williams is a beaut.

Henry Abbott: One more quick thought about Claver: That may be a sign that Portland has other plans for that roster spot. If Claver stays in Europe, he'll have a cap hold on the books, but frees up a roster spot for whatever other plans the Blazers may have. Also, he's a big who can shoot, coming off a pretty serious leg injury. Portland loves bigs who can shoot. Insert your own joke about leg injuries.

Henry Abbott: Interesting thing from Chad Ford's tiers. Players from tiers 5 (Casspi and Collison) and 6 (Claver) have been selected. But tier 4 guys DeJuan Blair, DaJuan Summers and Sam Young are still on the board.

Kevin Arnovitz: Blair would've been a nice choice for CHI at 16, and he's certainly a nice choice at 26.

Henry Abbott: Rodrique Beaubois was not in any of Ford's six tiers. Thunder take the title from Portland for Euro-reach of the night. My thought is, if you're going to Euro-reach, why not take Nick Calathes, who is ranked as one of the best PGs in college by all kinds of meaningful measures, and has a contract to play in Greece?Marc Stein has sources saying that Beaubois is actually going to Dallas (with a future second-rounder), and Mullens will go to the Thunder. He's said to be a long and active defender at point guard, who may stay in Europe.

Henry Abbott: In less than ten minutes there will be another Timberwolves pick. Just for fun, I really really really hope they take another point guard. Patrick Mills, anyone?

Kevin Arnovitz: I know the analytics don't support his game, but Douglas is a very, very nice player.  Defensive player of the year in ACC.  Coach K went on record as saying he hated playing against the guy.

Henry Abbott: Nate Jones, who works for the Goodwin brothers who represent Patty Mills says Mills had a great workout for the Cavaliers yesterday. Maybe he's the pick at 30.

Henry Abbott: DeJuan Blair could be an Anderson Varejao replacement, if that's what the Cavaliers want to do.

Henry Abbott: Cavaliers take Christian Eyenga with the 30th pick. Get this: THEY DON'T HAVE A NAMEPLATE FOR HIM. The 30 slot on the big board is blank. Anyone got a marker?

Henry Abbott: FIXED! A little into the second round, Eyenga has a nameplate. Phew!

Henry Abbott: TrueHoop reader Brian with fascinating insight from Minnesota: It was clear very early in the evening that the crowd piled into the Target Center was rooting for Ricky Rubio. They started cheering as soon as Sacramento took Tyreke Evans at #4 and didn't stop until the Jumbotron finished showing Ricky Rubio highlights (which were met with considerable ooh-ing and aah-ing). The selection of Jonny Flynn at

Kevin Arnovitz: The first palendromic pick of the night.

Henry Abbott: Spanish report quoting Ricky Rubio's dad saying his son will now likely stay in Europe another year or two: http://bit.ly/18MnVr(Via Hoopsype's Twitter feed.)

Kevin Arnovitz: Blair will be deprived of the 1st round guaranteed contract, but ends up in a terrific place.

Kevin Arnovitz: ...Not only a class organization, but one with rebounding needs up front

Kevin Arnovitz: The Blazers have territorial rights on the entire Pacific Northwest.

Henry Abbott: Every expert you can talk to insists Dejuan Blair is one of the absolute best players in this draft. He has health worries, based on some high school surgeries. But the knees he played really well on all last year are the same ones he's bringing to the NBA. He vastly outplayed Hasheem Thabeet. He's ready to play. And now: Big chip on his shoulder.

Kevin Arnovitz: Terrific piece from Bryan Roy of Celtics Hub (and the Daily Wildcat) on Budinger: http://tiny.cc/l7T9C

Henry Abbott: The Timberwolves got ANOTHER point guard. This is tremendous. Nick Calathes joins Sebastian Telfair, Bobby Brown, Ricky Rubio, Jonny Flynn ... and for a while they had Ty Lawson, who is now a Nugget. They don't really have a center, and the only shooting guard is Wayne Ellington.

Henry Abbott: The Suns have been killed for selling those first-round picks. One of them was Sergio Rodriguez, who tonight was a throw-in in a swap of second-round picks. Suns saved $3 million, plus Rodriguez's salary, plus luxury tax. On the other hand, on their team, maybe Rodriguez would make a difference.