2009 NBA re-draft: Steph Curry, top 15 overall picks in hindsight
No. 1: Steph Curry to Los Angeles Clippers
Where Curry was drafted: No. 7, Golden State Warriors
Clippers' original selection: Blake Griffin
Six teams passed on Curry during the 2009 NBA Draft and he responded by winning two MVP trophies and three NBA championships with the Warriors. Perhaps the greatest 3-point shooter in NBA history, Curry currently ranks third all-time with 2,495 makes from long range.
The Warriors star point guard has revolutionized the game with his ability to score from anywhere on the court. James Harden is a scoring juggernaut with an MVP trophy and Blake Griffin is a six-time All-Star, but Curry has all of the hardware.
No. 2: James Harden to Memphis Grizzlies
Where Harden was drafted: No. 3, Oklahoma City Thunder
Grizzlies' original selection: Hasheem Thabeet
Harden has more career points and win shares than Curry. He has an MVP and has won the scoring title three straight seasons. But Curry has the rings. Both players have helped change the game, but Curry gets the nod as the best player from this draft.
Joe Dumars and the Detroit Pistons get a bad rap for selecting Darko Milicic with the No. 2 overall pick in the storied 2003 NBA Draft. The 7-footer out of Serbia survived in the league for 10 years and played 8638 minutes in the league. Thabeet played half as many games and a quarter of the minutes that Milicic played, averaging just 2.2 points and 2.8 rebounds per game for his career.
No. 3: Blake Griffin to Oklahoma City Thunder
Where Griffin was drafted: No. 1, Los Angeles Clippers
Thunder's original selection: James Harden
Griffin was a consensus No. 1 overall selection. Teams prayed to the basketball gods hoping to land the top overall pick and the multi-faceted power forward out of Oklahoma. An injury wiped out his first season in the league, which has been a trend throughout his career.
Los Angeles shouldn’t feel bad about passing on Curry and Harden. Griffin has made six All-Star Games and been named to the All-NBA team five-times. He’s close to Hall of Fame status, but his inability to win a ring or stay healthy will hurt his legacy.
No. 4: DeMar DeRozan to Sacramento Kings
Where DeRozan was drafted: No. 9, Toronto Raptors
Kings' original selection: Tyreke Evans
The Kings got a lot of miles out of Evans in his first four seasons in the league. He was the Rookie of the Year after averaging more than 20 points, five rebounds and five assists per game. But he fizzled quickly and is currently out of the league serving a two-year ban for substance abuse.
Sacramento could have done worse here (see pick No. 6, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16...). DeRozan has strung together a very impressive career, including four All-Star appearances and a scoring average of exactly 20 points per game over 11 NBA seasons.
No. 5: Jrue Holiday to Minnesota Timberwolves
Where Holiday was drafted: No. 17, Philadelphia 76ers
Timberwolves' original selection: Ricky Rubio
Holiday made one All-Star team, but he’s a well above average point guard and he’s improved with age. He’s currently one of the leaders of an up and coming Pelicans team that will fight for a postseason berth once the NBA season resumes in July.
After falling to No. 5, Rubio decided to stay in Spain for a few extra seasons. He’s had a solid, but unspectacular career during stops in Minny, Utah and Phoenix. Of the 60 players drafted, Rubio ranks 11th in win shares, but 46th in field goal percentage.
No. 6: Tyreke Evans to Minnesota Timberwolves
Where Evans was drafted: No. 4, Sacramento Kings
Timberwolves' original selection: Jonny Flynn
Evans looked like a sure fire star in his first season, but he was never able to match his rookie production. Injuries played a role in his struggles, but so did his inability to consistently keep defenses honest with his perimeter shooting. After Evans ran over the league as a 19-year-old, teams made adjustments and for whatever reason, Evans never came back with a counter.
Days before the draft Flynn was expected to go around No. 20 in the 2009 draft. He skyrocketed up draft boards at the last moment and was selected by T-Wolves general manager David Kahn here at No. 6. This is one of the worst picks in the last decade. Of the 50 players to make an NBA appearance from this draft, Flynn ranks last in win shares with a negative 1.1. He played a total of 163 games in the league, but 81 of those came in his first season.
No. 7: Jeff Teague to Golden State Warriors
Where Teague was drafted: No. 19, Atlanta Hawks
Warriors' original selection: Stephen Curry
Like Holiday, Teague has an All-Star appearance from his days in Atlanta. He’s faded in the last couple of seasons, but is still a serviceable player, who has made nearly $100 million during his career.
Curry was a skinny kid from a small NCAA college. He had NBA pedigree, but there were a lot of questions about whether he could get his shot off against the best players in the world. Anyone who bet against Curry lost.
No. 8. Ricky Rubio to New York Knicks
Where Rubio was drafted: No. 5, Minnesota Timberwolves
Knicks' original selection: Jordan Hill
Rubio is a serviceable NBA player and a solid distributor. His inability to shoot from the perimeter stunted his growth as a lead guard, but he boasts a career 7.8-to-2.7 assist-to-turnover rate and he averages nearly two steals per game over his nine seasons in the league.
Hill looked like the next Dale Davis coming into the draft. Long and athletic, he had a few moments over his eight-year career, but nothing that would equate to a top 10 selection.
No. 9: Wes Matthews to Toronto Raptors
Matthews was undrafted
Raptors' original selection: DeMar DeRozan
It’s not often the league completely whiffs on a prospect and then sees him earn his way to nearly $110 million in career earnings. Matthews fought his way into the league and has been a very good veteran contributor for years. He wasn’t the same after tearing his Achilles, but he’s still a solid NBA player.
Matthews’ 50.9 career win shares are sixth best out of this draft class, surpassing Holiday, Evans, Teague and Rubio. Maybe he should be higher on this list?
No. 10: Taj Gibson to Milwaukee Bucks
Where Gibson was drafted: No. 26, Chicago Bulls
Bucks' original Selection: Brandon Jennings
Like Matthews, Gibson’s impact on the game goes beyond points and rebounds. His 52.4 win shares is fifth best in the class and he has long been known as one of the better post defenders in the game.
Jennings, the player the Bucks went with at this point of the draft, was flashy, but didn’t have the substance to stick in the league.
No. 11: Darren Collison to New Jersey Nets
Where Collison was drafted: No. 21, New Orleans Hornets
Nets' original selection: Terrence Williams
Collison was overshadowed by players like Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook and Jrue Holiday during his time at UCLA, which is probably why he fell all the way to pick No. 21. The ninth point guard taken in the 2009 NBA Draft, Collison posted 12.5 points and five assists per game over 10 seasons before hanging up his sneakers at the age of 31.
Brooklyn used the No. 11 pick on Terrence Williams, which almost immediately proved to be a mistake. The talented, but troubled forward was out of the league at 25-years-old after seeing time in just 153 games for four different teams.
No. 12: Joe Ingles to Charlotte Bobcats
Ingles was undrafted
Bobcats' original selection: Gerald Henderson
Ingles went undrafted and didn’t make his NBA debut until 2014, but he’s developed into a high-level role player. The Australian-born forward isn’t flashy, but he’s incredibly versatile and is going strong at the age of 33-years-old.
Henderson had some very productive years in Charlotte, but his career was cut short by hip and Achilles injuries before his 30th birthday.
No. 13. Patrick Beverley to Indiana Pacers
Where Beverley was drafted: No. 42, Los Angeles Lakers
Pacers' original selection: Tyler Hansbrough
Pat Bev is one of the league’s tough guys. Known for his physical play at the point guard spot, the Arkansas product has made a career out of defending the league’s best perimeter players. The fact that he fell to the mid second round in the 2009 NBA Draft had a lot to do with the depth at his position.
Hansbrough was a dynamic college player, but for whatever reason it didn’t translate to the NBA. He was out of the league following the 2015-16 season, but has found success playing in China.
No. 14: Danny Green to Phoenix Suns
Where Green was drafted: No. 46, Cleveland Cavaliers
Suns' original selection: Earl Clark
After being waived by the Cavs following his rookie season, Green had the good fortune of finding a home with the San Antonio Spurs in year two. 11 seasons into his NBA career, Green has a pair of championship rings and has made himself into one of the better 3-and-D wings in the league. When he completes his contract with the Lakers next season, he will have career earnings of over $80 million, which isn’t bad for a mid-second round pick.
Clark didn’t pan out as an NBA player. He bounced around the league for six years, but hasn’t played a game since the 2014-15 season.
No. 15: Brandon Jennings to Detroit Pistons
Where Jennings was drafted: No. 10, Milwaukee Bucks
Pistons' original selection: Austin Daye
This was a toss-up between Jennings and Ty Lawson. Jennings came on strong at the start of his career, but was out of the league well before his 29th birthday and he was a non-factor in his final three seasons.
Lawson had a similar trajectory to Jennings. He looked like a major contributor through his first six seasons, but his production fell off a cliff and he was out of the league at just 29-years-old. He’s played the last two seasons in China.
Daye never got his career off the ground. He played his last game in the league during the 2014-15 season and currently plays professionally in Italy.