A Look Back At The 2009 NBA Point Guard Draft

We here at The Sports Fan Journal have spent a lot of time debating who the best point guard in the NBA is. Anymore, if you don't have a legitimate man running the point, your squad is already doomed. The NBA has become a point guard league.

With that, I thought it would be prudent to look at what I like to call the NBA Point Guard Draft, aka the 2009 draft. The name is more than apt, with an absurd 12 point guards taken in the first round. Hell, 2009 was the draft that made David Kahn infamous, selecting two point guards back-to-back with Minnesota's first two selections. That's why it's the NBA Point Guard Draft.

So without further ado, let's take a walk down memory lane see what these 12 guys have been up to as they embark on year four — at least most of them — of their NBA careers. (Number denotes draft position.)

4. Tyreke Evans
I detailed the trials and tribulations of Tyreke a couple weeks ago. As we all know, Evans, never really a true point guard and now pretty much locked in at shooting guard, took the NBA by storm his rookie season. Selected fourth overall by the Kings, he ran away with the Rookie of the Year, joining Oscar, MJ and LeBron as the only rookies ever to average at least 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists for the season. But ever since, Evans' career has been shaky.

No one really knows what to do with Evans, a guy who clearly has talent but no real position. His career averages have progressively dipped, and so far this season, Tyreke is playing the worst basketball of his life, shooting career lows from the field and from three while also seeing his assists hit an all-time low. We may be reaching a bit of a crossroads for Evans, at least as a key contributor in Sacramento.

5. Ricky Rubio
Taken fifth overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves, Rubio had lost some, but not all, of his phenom status after struggling overseas. Still, David Kahn took him at the fifth spot and held out hope that the kid who looked so poised against Team USA as a teen was ready to become a star. However, Rubio didn't immediately jump over the pond and take his talents to the NBA. But when he finally made his debut last season, he was well worth the wait.

Rubio displayed the kind of jaw-dropping passing and aggressive defense we had come to see on the highlight reels, averaging 8.2 assists and 2.2 steals last season as a rookie for the Wolves. He gave Kevin Love the running mate he had been looking for, and while his shooting stroke still leaves plenty to be desired, the talent of Rubio is evident. Unfortunately, Ricky's rookie campaign was cut short with a torn ACL, limiting him to just half a season, and he's yet to make his debut this season. Here's hoping he makes a full recovery and lives up to the promise he showed last year.

6. Jonny Flynn
Here is where Kahn became infamous, immediately following up his Rubio pick by taking Flynn, another point guard, at sixth overall. This pick made no sense then, and it makes no sense now. In fact, it makes even less sense now, seeing as Flynn turned out to be a complete bust in the NBA to date. How big of a bust? So big that Flynn is not even on a roster following just 29 games split between Houston and Portland in 2011-12. It has been an alarmingly rapid decline for Flynn, who went from starting 81 games as a rookie to just eight his sophomore year to only one more start his entire NBA career. Not good.

7. Stephen Curry
From the day the Warriors drafted Curry to the moment they sent Monta Ellis packing last year, everyone wondered how Ellis and Curry would be able to co-exist. The questions were valid, given that neither was lauded for their defense, and both are scorers first, passers second. But Steph played the role well, continuing to shoot the lights out of the ball from deep and especially the line, while averaging more than five assists a game every year he's been in the league.

Curry certainly isn't among the elite point guards in the NBA, but he's a damn good player. The guy can flat-out shoot it, and he's much more efficient running the point than some people expected he'd be. Of course, last season he was limited to just 26 games due to a nagging ankle injury, and it's certainly affected him early on this year, with Curry posting his worst shooting numbers of his career so far. Something tells me he'll regain his stroke though. Shooters typically don't forget how to shoot, injuries or not.

10. Brandon Jennings
Jennings is another guy I detailed with Evans and the rest of the 2006 Elite 24 crew, and the man taken 10th overall by Milwaukee is easily one of my three favorite players from this draft class. As previously stated, Jennings burst onto the scene as a rookie, showing flair and scoring ability, but he has plenty of room for improvement. In fact, this year is the one in which Jennings really needs to make the leap if the Bucks are to be taken seriously.

Ironically, Jennings is paired with Curry's former backcourt mate Monta Ellis, and the pairing has actually paid off here so far this season. Not only is Jennings thriving, currently averaging 17 points and 8.5 assists (good for fifth in NBA) per game, but the Bucks are 4-2 and leading the Central Division. While his shooting numbers are still not pretty to look at, he's doing a great job as a facilitator in the young season.

17. Jrue Holiday
Holiday, whom the Sixers drafted 17th overall, just christened his fourth NBA season with a four-year, $41 million contract extension. Truthfully, Jrue, while showing promise, had been a bit of a disappointment prior to last year's playoffs, where he broke out. But at just 22 years old and an abundance of talent, the Sixers have put their trust in Holiday, and so far this season that trust is paying off big time.

Now as the official face of the franchise (at least until Andrew Bynum shows up in 2013), Holiday is finally asserting himself and playing terrific basketball. Not only is Jrue leading the Sixers in scoring at 19.1 points per game, but he's also averaging nine dimes a contest, trailing only Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul in the entire NBA. His shooting percentages are up across the board, and he's finally starting to assert himself on both ends of the floor. While he certainly has not had the best career of the point guards in this draft class to date, he is the one playing the best basketball so far in the 2012-13 season, evident by the fact he leads all the point guards from his draft class in points and assists.

18. Ty Lawson
Lawson, along with Jennings and Holiday, rounds out my three favorite players from this class, and truthfully, Lawson may be the best of the bunch to date. While he only became a full-time starter last season, Lawson has been impressive running the very exciting Denver Nuggets, who took him right after Holiday in 2009. While he's off to a slow start this season, Lawson has proved to be a better shooter than people expected, with a career field goal percentage just under .500 and his three-point percentage close to the .400 mark.

His speed and strength have helped him become a handful for anyone, and he's just as adept at taking the ball away as he is at dishing it out. While he has struggled shooting this season, he's averaging a career-high 7.8 assists and career-high 2.1 steals a game. The Nuggets are in good hands with Lawson running things.

19. Jeff Teague
After playing mainly a backup role during his first two seasons, Teague became Atlanta's starting point guard last year and has flourished ever since. Once the Hawks, who took him at 19 overall, inserted him as a starter, they began to play better and resemble something more than Joe Johnson doing things. This year, with Johnson departed to New Jersey, Teague is having his best start yet, averaging career highs in just about everything: 14.3 points, 7.2 assists, 1.8 steals, 2.7 rebounds, 53.1 percent from the field, 50 percent from three, 92.9 percent from the line. Watch out, because Jeff Teague is becoming a legit threat at the point guard position.

20. Eric Maynor
Maynor was drafted by the Utah Jazz, but it was as Russell Westbrook's backup in Oklahoma City where he became known as a really good NBA contributor. He's the perfect compliment to Westbrook's style, allowing the talented OKC lead guard to get a breather or play off the ball for a while. Sadly for Maynor, he missed the run to the Finals last year due to injury, and with his contract set to expire, his days in Oklahoma City may be numbered. No worries though, he'll get a job rather easily no matter where it may be, because this is a quality backup who could very well emerge as a starter the way Kyle Lowry has first in Houston and now in Toronto.

21. Darren Collison
Darren Collison was so impressive his rookie season that some (crazy) people were wondering whether or not trading an injured Chris Paul was a safer option for the Hornets than letting Collison go free. Of course, we all know that's ludicrous, especially now, but make no mistake, Collison was the man his rookie year. He looked exactly the part of the point guard, and that was proven in the fact that his college teammate and fellow draft class pick Jrue Holiday played his one season at UCLA out of position at shooting guard because Collison was the one running the point.

As we know, Collison departed New Orleans and headed to Indiana, where he was supposed to help lead the Pacers to the next level. And while he started the majority of the last two seasons as Indiana emerged in the East, Collison finally lost his spot to George Hill. Now Darren is in Dallas, running the show for Dirk and the like, and is off to a a hot start, averaging career highs in points, assists, steals as well as shooting, three-point and foul-shooting percentage. He's looking more like his rookie self lately, which is a good thing for Mavericks fans.

25. Rodrigue Beaubois
Taken 25th by the Thunder and traded to Dallas, Beaubois is another combo type guard with point guard size. His athleticism and potential have made him intriguing, but for all the salivating the Mavericks were doing over him, it hasn't translated on the court. In limited action as a rookie, Beaubois showed a lot of promise, but since he has struggled offensively and has not been able to get consistent minutes. At 24, he still has time to mature and develop, but he really hasn't shown much outside of athleticism to date.

29. Toney Douglas
Taken at 29 by the Lakers and traded to the Knicks, Douglas has not done much in the NBA. He was the lowest drafted of the bunch for a reason, and it's played out that way. Only Jonny Flynn, who is now without a team, plays less minutes than Douglas these days, who is mostly riding the pine in Houston.

10 Replies to “A Look Back At The 2009 NBA Point Guard Draft”

  1. So far, almost all of those PGs drafted in the first round either at one point started for a team. Which is scary.

    I think Curry, Holiday & Jennings hold up in their positions going forward. If Steph can keep from having Grant Hill (circa 2000)'s ankles, he'll be special. I gave up on Tyreke after his rookie year and having him in that absolute bizarro world that is Sac-Town only hurts even more.

    1. I would add Lawson and Rubio to that bunch, assuming Rubio recovers fully. Lawson is just so quick and smart, plus has turned into a better shooter than expected, even if his stroke is a little difficult to watch.

      And Rubio, man, when you can pass and handle like that, and play great D, you are gonna get your chance to run a team. And hell, as Jason Kidd has shown, you can learn to develop a jumper. May take time, but Rubio seems like such a great talent that he'll get there.

  2. Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner are ready to lead the Sixers into a new era of success. They're not waiting for Bynum to finish growing his hair.

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