USA Today's NBA draft analysis - except Utah Jazz

Jon Saraceno

USA Today

Published: Thursday, June 25 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

Atlanta: With the 19th overall pick, the Hawks selected Wake Forest sophomore Jeff Teague.

Boston: The Celtics did not have a first-round pick.

Charlotte: The Bobcats, needing help in the post, couldn't find what they wanted and drafted Gerald Henderson, a 6-4 shooting guard out of Duke. He is the son of former NBA star Gerald Henderson.

Chicago: The Bulls, with the 16th selection, picked James Johnson of Wake Forest. The 6-9 sophomore forward is very athletic and probably will end up as a small forward.

Denver: The Nuggets did not have a first-round pick.

Detroit: The rebuilding Pistons, looking for help along their frontline, drafted Austin Daye, a 6-11 sophomore from Gonzaga, with the No. 15 pick - the third player selected in the first round who is the son of a former NBA player. As a freshman, he averaged 14.6 points and 8.1 rebounds and was a freshman All-American.

Golden State: The Warriors, with the No. 7 overall selection, went for the best-shooting guard in the draft, Stephen Curry of Davidson, who led the nation in scoring last season as a junior. The son of former NBA star shooter Del Curry can score off the dribble and when off balance. Golden State is loaded with wing players, so the pick did not come as a surprise. New Yorks Knicks fans booed the selection because they wanted Curry in their city.

Houston: The Rockets did not have a first- or second-round pick.

Indiana: Picking 13th, the Pacers' Larry Bird surprised many by selecting North Carolina senior Tyler Hansbrough. Considered an extremely hard worker, the 6-9 power forward, the National Player of the Year as a junior, is the ACC's all-time leading scorer. He knows how to position his body down low to score.

Los Angeles Clippers: The Clippers did not need five minutes, let alone five seconds, to announce the worst-kept secret in the league since the woebegone franchise won the draft lottery last month. But they nearly took all of their allotted time as Commissioner David Stern tried to build some drama into the TV event. But the Clippers predictably took can't-miss prospect Blake Griffin of Oklahoma with the overall No. 1 selection. The serious-minded, athletic power forward is expected to be a 20-point, 10-rebound player.

Los Angeles Lakers: Did not have a first-round pick.

Memphis: The Grizzlies, picking No. 2 overall, decided to draft a potential defensive and rebounding force in Hasheem Thabeet, the 7-3 shot-blocking sensation from Connecticut. He is the first player born in Tanzania selected in the NBA draft.

Miami: The Heat did not have a first-round pick.

Milwaukee: Guard Brandon Jennings was the Bucks' first selection at No. 10 overall. A creative playmaker from Oak Hill (Va.) Academy, Jennings, 6-1, 169, played in Italy; it will be a learning process for him in the NBA. Jennings, 19, watched the draft on television.

Minnesota: The Timberwolves went guard-crazy with three - back-to-back picks at Nos. 5 and 6, and at No. 18.

The drafting of three backcourt players - all point guards - left many observers at the draft scratching their heads, and at least one seems to be targeted to be traded.

First, using the fifth overall selection obtained from the Washington Wizards, they took highly touted 18-year-old point guard Ricky Rubio of Spain, considered the plum of the draft at the one-guard position.

A terrific passer in the mold of the late Pete Maravich, and with floor judgment beyond his years, Rubio, 6-4, has tremendous upside for a rebuilding franchise and a confident attitude to match.

"I'm Ricky Rubio - I'm not like anybody else," he told ESPN after being drafted.

The Wolves then grabbed Syracuse sophomore Jonny Flynn. He's only 6-1, but he's a natural scorer who can penetrate.

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