2009 NBA Draft Retrospective: The Year of the Point Guard

2009 NBA Draft Retrospective: The Year of the Point Guard

With Blake Griffin out for the season and Hasheem Thabeet becoming the first every lottery pick sent to the D-League, I think it's fair to say that the story of the 2009 NBA Draft revolves around one position, the Point Guard.

KAHN ImageWhen Timberwolves GM David Kahn picked Ty Lawson with 18th pick, every single team in the NBA thought he was absolutely out of his mind. After all, he had already drafted Point Guard's Jonny Fylnn and Ricky Rubio with the 5th and 6th Picks. Of  course, Ty Lawson ended up being dealt to the Nuggets, meanwhile Ricky Rubio cries himself to sleep each night because he didn't get his wishes to play for the dynasty in the making known as the New York Basketball Knicks:'(

Maybe David Kahn could have done things a little differently, but he was definitely right about one thing, the 2009 NBA Draft was stacked with Point Guards. Here's a look at some of the Point Guards that shaped both the hobby and the 2009-10 NBA Season.

1. Tyreke Evans (aka: "The Smooth Operator"), Sacramento KingsTyrekeEvans Image PG
For some reason, the song "Smooth Operator" plays in my head every time I see Tyreke Evans play. The "Smooth Operator" as I like to call him, has easily been the leagues' best Rookie. He's deceivingly explosive! Instead of racing you down the court for the highlight reel jam, he glides effortlessly and finishes with a finger roll off the glass. The crazy part is that the majority of his 20.2 PPG Avg. have been in the paint, meaning he still hasn't learned how to shoot yet! Imagine how good he'll be once that happens.

2009-10 Stats:20.2 ppg, 5.8 apg, 5.2 rpg, 1.5 spg
Key Rookie Cards:

  • 2009-10 Playoff Contenders #104 Tyreke Evans AU RC ($175)
  • 2009-10 Exquisite Collection #46 Tyreke Evans RC ($225)
  • 2009-10 Rookies and Stars #134 Tyreke Evans AU/379 RC ($100)
  • 2009-10 Limited #154 Tyreke Evans JSY AU RC ($100)
  • 2009-10 Topps Chrome #107 Tyreke Evans RC ($40)
  • 2009-10 Threads #104 Tyreke Evans/150 EXCH ($100)

2. Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee Bucks PGBrandonJennings Image
In scoring 55-points in just his 7th NBA game, Jennings seemed a lock for NBA Rookie of the Year. Although he might not have lived up to the post "55-Point" hype he received, he definitely is not the NBA's equivelent of the guy who bowled a 300 game. What might be most impressive about Jennings, is that he has helped turn the Bucks into a team you have to take seriously. If the Playoffs started today, the 41-33 Bucks would be the #5 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Jennings is definitely the flashiest player in the draft, showcasing "And 1" moves on a nightly basis, but it will be interesting to see whether he's the next Jason Williams or the first Brandon Jennings.

2009-10 Stats:15.7 ppg, 5.9 apg, 3.5 rpg, 1.3 spg
Key Rookie Cards:

  • 2009-10 Playoff Contenders #108 Brandon Jennings AU RC ($60)
  • 2009-10 Exquisite Collection #47 Brandon Jennings RC ($150)
  • 2009-10 Rookies and Stars #139 Brandon Jennings AU/379 RC ($100)
  • 2009-10 Threads #110 Brandon Jennings AU/640 RC ($60)

3. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors PGStephenCurry Image
During the second-half of the NBA Season, Curry has had the hottest hand of any rookie in the league. After a slow start, he finally found his shot, averaging a rookie league best 20.5 PPG after the All-Star break. Curry is definitely the most polished and lethal shooter of this bunch, rarely do rookies shoot a whopping 43.1% from the arc! Long term, I would probably take him over Jennings. What does worry me is that his dad, Dell Curry, was a shooter and that's about it. He's a player who could hit his ceiling fairly quick, the only question is whether that ceiling is a Semi-Star or Super Star.

2009-10 Stats:16.5 ppg, 5.7 apg, 4.2 rpg, 1.8 spg
Key Rookie Cards:

  • 2009-10 Certified #176 Stephen Curry JSY AU RC ($80)
  • 2009-10 Exquisite Collection #64 Stephen Curry AU RC ($200)
  • 2009-10 Playoff Contenders #106 Stephen Curry AU SP RC ($80)
  • 2009-10 Rookies and Stars #136 Stephen Curry AU/449 RC ($50)

4. Jonny Flynn, Minnesota Timberwolves PGJonnyFlynn1 Image
Not many Point Guards that enter the NBA are asked to run the Triangle Offense in their first season. If the NBA Draft were held again, I think the Timberwolves would still take Jonny Flynn over Curry and Jennings. Flynn is a gritty competitor, has lightning quick ball skills, and has the type of leadership qualities you want at the Point Guard position. A lot of times a players' numbers will inflate on a bad team, I think the exact opposite has happened to Flynn. Timberwolves Coach Kurt Rambis is trying to do something no team has ever done, which is build a triangle offense from the ground up. At times, this has meant putting Flynn in some extremely uncomfortable situations meant to teach him how to pace himself and run an offense. Flynn is definately a player I think could break-out in a big way next season.

2009-10 Stats:13.5 ppg, 4.4 apg, 2.3 rpg, 1.3 spg
Key Rookie Cards:

  • 2009-10 Exquisite Collection #58 Jonny Flynn AU RC ($100)
  • 2009-10 Playoff Contenders #105 Jonny Flynn SP AU RC ($30)
  • 2009-10 Rookies and Stars #135 Jonny Flynn AU/449 RC ($30)
  • 2009-10 Threads #106 Jonny Flynn AU/625 RC ($40)

5.  Ricky Rubio, Timberwolves Un-Redeamed Redemption PGRubio Image
Rubio was the one player I wanted to the Timberwolves to get going into the 2009 NBA Draft. I clearly wasn't thinking straight, it's easy to forget that Minnesota gets cold in the winter! Like a Tropical Fish, he needs a warm climate like New York or Europe to survive. He also may have been scared off by the presence of actual stars like Joe Mauer, Brett Favre, and Adrian Peterson. I am glad the Wolves weren't bullied into trading him away for nothing. I rarely deal in spite, but I think it would be pretty funny if we just sat on his draft rights, it would be doing every small-market team in the country a big favor.

2009-10 Stats:Didn't play due to Dumarsiphobia (The fear of being Joe Dumars in the late 80's Pistons Back-Court)
Key Rookie Cards:

  • 2009-10 Exquisite Collection #44 Ricky Rubio EXCH ($120)
  • 2009-10 Exquisite Collection #73 Ricky Rubio EXCH ($160)
  • 2009-10 SP Game Used Rookie Exclusive Signatures #RERR Ricky Rubio ($50)
  • 2009-10 SP Signature Edition Signature Rookies #RRR Ricky Rubio ($50)

6. Darren Collison, New Orleans Hornets PGDarrenCollison Image
If you saw this one coming, you should immediately apply for a job as an NBA GM! Collison  has been nothing short of AMAZING filling in for the injured Chris Paul! During Paul's absence the 21st pick in the 09's Draft managed to set the NBA record for assists in a game with18, then broke his own record by dishing out 20 assists a month and a half later. Since the All-Star break, Collison is averaging 19 ppg and 9 apg.

2009-10 Stats:11.9 ppg, 5.5 apg, 2.5 rpg, 1 spg
Key Rookie Cards:

  • 2009-10 Certified #189 Darren Collison JSY AU RC ($30)
  • 2009-10 Exquisite Collection #53 Darren Collison AU RC ($120)
  • 2009-10 Playoff Contenders #119 Darren Collison AU RC ($30)
  • 2009-10 Threads #121 Darren Collison AU RC EXCH /160 ($20)

Here's a few of the "Smooth Operator's" cards on eBay. Feel free to spread the nickname! Am I the only one who thinks that is the perfect nickname for Tyreke Evans?

ebaysmalllogo Image

1614239793694040 1 Image
3909160570234040 1 Image
09-10 Playoff Absolute RPM Tyreke Evans auto jersey ball rc #D426 499 #166 *2548
2516480464404040 1 Image
2009-10 Studio #138 Tyreke Evans RC - NM
3210336452544040 1 Image
PSA 10 2009 Court Kings AUTO #147 Tyreke Evans RC KINGS #d 477 649
3703968913874040 1 Image
Tyreke Evans 2009-10 Topps RC #327
1114634019264040 1 Image
1414074655694040 1 Image
Tyreke Evans 2009-10 Prestige RC'S #204+ #154... LOT OF (2) KINGS
1303753957734040 1 Image

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Brett is a former contributor to The Cardboard Connection.

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