The 2009 NBA draft has gone down as one of the best draft classes of the last two decades. With many of its top players still in the league, the reputation of the ’09 class continues to grow.
Headlined by current stars such as Stephen Curry and James Harden, it’s easy to remember the best of the best. However, this draft also had some monumental busts, and if teams could go back and do it all over again, how would it turn out?
1. Los Angeles Clippers
Original Pick: Blake Griffin
New Pick: Stephen Curry
Blake Griffin was by no means a bad pick. Despite injury concerns at the beginning of his career and as of late, the former Oklahoma product is an All-NBA mainstay.
However, in this re-draft, there’s no way the Clippers would pass up on the best shooter of all time and a two-time MVP in Stephen Curry.
2. Memphis Grizzlies
Original Pick: Hasheem Thabeet
New Pick: James Harden
The Grizzlies took a big swing and missed badly back in 2009 when they drafted 7-foot-3 center Hasheem Thabeet out of UConn. While replacing Thabeet with a big like Griffin may make sense, it’s difficult to pass on James Harden.
You can argue that Harden is the best scorer in today’s NBA and probably would’ve developed into a star quicker in Memphis than he did in OKC.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder
Original Pick: James Harden
New Pick: Blake Griffin
The Thunder would’ve loved to snag Griffin back in 2009 as he was the consensus No. 1 pick at the time. Well, in this re-draft, OKC is able to get the hometown kid and fans get to see the five-time All-NBA selection develop next to Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.
4. Sacramento Kings
Original Pick: Tyreke Evans
New Pick: DeMar DeRozan
A year after this draft, it looked like the Kings were the biggest winners as Tyreke Evans wound out being the Rookie of the Year after one of the most impressive first seasons in NBA history. However, Evans was unable to reach those same heights since.
Instead, the Kings get a four-time All-Star in DeMar DeRozan who has averaged 20 or more points in each of the last seven seasons — including a career-high 27.3 per game in 2016-17.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves
Original Pick: Ricky Rubio
New Pick: Jrue Holiday
The hype for Rubio was immense, but the Spanish phenom failed to live up to those very high expectations despite still being a solid player.
The T-Wolves were consistently one of the worst defensive teams in the league during the Kevin Love era, so adding an All-NBA defender in Holiday who can also score and facilitate makes perfect sense.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves
Original Pick: Jonny Flynn
New Pick: Wesley Matthews
Yes, the Timberwolves drafted two point guards back to back in 2009 and, no, neither of them were Steph Curry.
There are flashier players and bigger names still left on the board, but Wesley Matthews — who originally went undrafted in 2009 — has carved out a really nice career for himself over the best decade as a strong three-and-D guy.
7. Golden State Warriors
Original Pick: Stephen Curry
New Pick: Jeff Teague
It’s safe to say that the Warriors would be quite a different franchise today if they didn’t land Curry back in 2009. Still, if Golden State still wanted to go with a point guard to team up with Monta Ellis, there are still quality ones available.
It’s easy to forget but Jeff Teague actually made the NBA All-Star team back in 2014-15.
8. New York Knicks
Original Pick: Jordan Hill
New Pick: Taj Gibson
The Knicks swap out one undersized big man for another with the eighth overall pick. Gibson has never been an All-Star caliber player, but he has been a consistent rebounder and defensive presence for many teams.
Gibson’s 838 career blocks are nearly 300 more than anyone else in the 2009 drat class, and in a draft dominated by guard talent, Gibson slips into the top 10.
9. Toronto Raptors
Original Pick: DeMar DeRozan
New Pick: Tyreke Evans
This one might be controversial as, despite solid numbers throughout his career, Evans’ impact on teams is generally devalued compared to other players on this list.
However, after now missing out on DeRozan, the Raptors need to take a risk and no prospect left had the potential that Evans had. Perhaps if he was utilized correctly, he could’ve developed into the star he was supposed to be.
10. Milwaukee Bucks
Original Pick: Brandon Jennings
New Pick: Darren Collison
After dropping 55 points in only his seventh NBA career game, it looked like the Bucks had found a future superstar in Jennings. However, a lack of consistency and injury problems later on held Jennings back from ever reaching his true potential.
On the other hand, Collison has been a positive and consistent player for the majority of his career and has been much more efficient than Jennings ever was.
11. New Jersey Nets
Original Pick: Terrence Williams
New Pick: Ricky Rubio
Rubio wouldn’t make his debut until the 2011-12 season and even then, it was a bit of a mixed bag for the much-hyped prospect.
Still, while Rubio has never been a very good or efficient scorer, the 6-foot-3 point guard is an elite facilitator, strong rebounder for his position and a great perimeter defender.
12. Charlotte Bobcats (later Hornets)
Original Pick: Gerald Henderson
New Pick: Danny Green
Green’s 40.3 career 3-point percentage trails only Curry in the 2009 draft class, and he has been an integral part of two championship runs throughout his career. Not to mention, he has been an elite defender on the wing.
13. Indiana Pacers
Original Pick: Tyler Hansbrough
New Pick: Patrick Beverley
Speaking of elite perimeter defenders, Beverley has been just that for most of his NBA career. While the former Arkansas star may never give you much in the way of scoring, Beverley has made a name for himself as an absolute pest to deal with — a player that all teams need in order to be successful.
14. Phoenix Suns
Original Pick: Earl Clark
New Pick: Ty Lawson
Unlike some players still available, Lawson has been out of the league since 2017. Still, while the former UNC star had his troubles on and off the court from about 2011 to 2015, Lawson was seen as an All-Star caliber guard.
Yes, Lawson’s prime was short-lived, but during that time, the undersized guard put up 16.4 points, 8.0 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game.
15. Detroit Pistons
Original Pick: Austin Daye
New Pick: DeMarre Carroll
Daye played with five different teams over his six NBA seasons and eclipsed 5.1 points per game just once.
On the other hand, this pick was a toss-up between Carroll and San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills. Both players are excellent defenders and shooters. However, Caroll seems to have a higher peak than Mills’.
Perhaps most known for being an integral piece of that 60-win Atlanta Hawks team back in 2014-15, the undersized forward has carved out a real nice career thus far.