Commentary

Who's in, who's out of 2009 draft?

Updated: June 16, 2009, 12:53 PM ET
By Chad Ford | ESPN.com

The deadline to withdraw from the NBA draft came and went at 5 p.m. ET on Monday. Earlier today, Gonzaga's Austin Daye, Wake Forest's Jeff Teague, St. Mary's Patrick Mills and Kentucky's Jodie Meeks announced they were staying in the draft. A few others, including UCLA's Jrue Holiday, DePaul's Dar Tucker, Israel's Omri Casspi, and Spain's Victor Claver, made their entry into the draft official this weekend.

Several key underclassmen, including Georgia Tech's Gani Lawal, Texas' Damion James, Maryland's Greivis Vasquez, Notre Dame's Luke Harangody and Tennessee's Tyler Smith, have announced in recent days that they are withdrawing from the draft and returning to school.

A number of international underclassmen, including Artem Zabelin, Vladimir Dasic, Boban Marjanovic, Miroslav Raduljica, Ludovic Vaty, Anton Ponomarev and Nemanja Bjelica have also withdrawn.


In the draft

Patrick Beverley, G, Ukraine
Beverley was a pretty interesting 2-guard at Arkansas from 2006-08. But at 6-1, he didn't have much chance of playing that position in the NBA. So he left Arkansas after his sophomore season and went to the Ukraine to work on his point guard skills. The results have been impressive.

He's really helped his stock in workouts and at the Reebok Eurocamp. I think the he's moved his way onto the first-round bubble.

DeJuan Blair, PF, So., Pittsburgh
Blair is a beast in the paint. The top offensive rebounder in college hoops, he has the body of an NFL player, and his 7-3 wingspan allows him to play bigger than his actual height. He lost weight, is in the best shape of his career, but concerns about his knees have hurt his stock a bit. He's going to go somewhere between 11 and 22.

Derrick Brown, F, Jr., Xavier
Brown is a very interesting prospect. He has elite NBA athleticism, a huge wingspan and an NBA body already. He also possesses skills that can allow him to play both the 3 and the 4 in the pros. While he gets most of his points on dunks, he's also blossomed into a solid perimeter shooter. His production hasn't been dominant, but all the raw tools are there. Brown has been impressive in workouts, but he's not a lock for the first round. I think his range is somewhere between 25 and 40.

Chase Budinger, G/F, Jr., Arizona
Budinger declared for the draft last year and didn't get any first-round interest. After a better junior season, he'll try again. And since this is his second time declaring for the draft, he's in for good.

Budinger is a great shooter and an excellent athlete. But can he defend in the pros? He's had good workouts, but he's a mid-to-late first-round pick right now.

Nick Calathes, G, Florida
Calathes signed a professional contract in Greece, so he's definitely not coming back to Florida. A few teams like the Mavs and Kings also have interest in the first round, and even if he slips into the second, that might not be a bad thing. He'd be released from the rookie salary scale, and a team could pay him more to lure him back from Europe if he excels there.

Earl Clark, F, Jr., Louisville
Clark is one of the most versatile players in the country. His skill-to-size ratio is off the charts. However, he still lacks a consistent perimeter shot. He reminds some scouts of Julian Wright; others of Lamar Odom. He has top-five talent, but his inconsistency and concerns about his work ethic could cause him to slide into the late lottery or mid-first round. I think his range is 10 to 15 right now.

Brandon Costner, PF, NC State
Costner is a bit of a tweener, and NBA scouts are skeptical about him. He put up great numbers as a freshman, had a disappointing sophomore season and bounced back a little as a junior. Still, most NBA scouts feel he doesn't have what it takes to be an NBA player. He's a guy who probably doesn't get drafted.

Stephen Curry, G, Jr., Davidson
NBA executives have mixed opinions on Curry. Some worry that he lacks the size, strength and explosive athleticism to be a great NBA player, while others love his unlimited range, good quickness and big-time basketball IQ. He might not be a pure point guard, but give him a little time and he could be great. Curry has been impressive in workouts and now looks like his range is pretty set between 5 and 8. If he's there when the Knicks pick, I don't think he slips any farther.

Austin Daye, F, So., Gonzaga
Daye has the talent of a lottery pick, and has impressed teams in workouts and at the Chicago combine. However, his lack of physical strength has teams worried (he weighed just 191 pounds in Chicago). Daye's range goes anywhere from 13 to 20 with the Pacers, Suns, Pistons, and Jazz all showing interest.

DeMar DeRozan, G/F, Fr., USC
DeRozan is riding a terrific March back into the lottery. He began his career at USC as a top-five pick but struggled to get much going through much of the season. However, he was great for USC when it mattered most and convinced skeptical GMs that he has what it takes to be a great pro. He showed up again at the Chicago combine, impressing teams with his poise and shooting ability. He looks like a 5 to 9 pick in the draft.

Eric Devendorf, G, Jr., Syracuse
Devendorf has had an up-and-down career at Syracuse. His best season was actually his freshman season in 2006-07. If scouts think he can make the transition to point guard in the pros, he could be an intriguing second-round pick. More likely, I expect he'll go undrafted.

Wayne Ellington, SG, Jr., North Carolina
Ellington had a terrific NCAA tournament, but it's still unclear exactly how much that helped his stock. Last year when Ellington entered the draft, he turned off a lot of NBA GMs with a poor performance at the Orlando pre-draft camp. He diversified his game this season and proved he was more than just a jump shooter, but his lack of size at his position hurts. He is on the first-round bubble despite having a very solid combine. I think his range is 22 to 40.

Chinemelu Elonu, F/C, Jr., Texas A&M
Elonu has an NBA body and is a solid rebounder and shot-blocker at 6-foot-10. He's actually gotten a little bit of love as a potential second-round pick in a draft without big men, but the odds are that he goes undrafted.

Tyreke Evans, G, Fr., Memphis
Evans is coming off an impressive freshman season and had his best performance of the year in the NCAA tournament. His ability to score the basketball is terrific. However, his lack of a jump shot and questionable shot selection hold him back a bit. So did a subpar athletic performance at the combine.

Still, Evans is a hot name right now. His range is anywhere from 2 to 9 right now.

Jonny Flynn, PG, So., Syracuse
Flynn is coming off strong performances in the Big East and NCAA tournaments. He has great quickness and strength, plays with terrific passion, and does a good job of distributing the ball. Teams still worry about his inconsistent jump shot and his lack of size, but he's one of the hottest names in the draft right now. I'd expect him to go anywhere from 4 to 10.

Taj Gibson, F, Jr., USC
The fact that he's a 23-year-old junior pretty much necessitates him testing the draft waters. He's been very productive at USC; the question is whether he really has a position in the pros. He's getting some serious looks in the late first round and should be a lock for the second.

Blake Griffin, PF, So., Oklahoma
Griffin is a lock for the No. 1 pick in the draft. His combination of size, explosive athleticism and toughness makes him a beast on the offensive end of the floor and an elite rebounder. His only weakness right now is on the defensive end, where he can be a bit indifferent. The Clippers have been very up-front about drafting him. He's the one sure thing in the draft.

Daniel Hackett, PG, Jr., USC
Hackett isn't a great NBA draft prospect, but he has an Italian passport and should be able to make a terrific living playing pro ball in Italy. And who knows, maybe an NBA team will fall in love with him? He's got great size for his position and is a crafty player who knows who to get to the basket. He played well enough at the Reebok Eurocamp to get a look. If he were more athletic, he'd be a lock for the second round, but as it stands, most likely he falls out of the draft.

James Harden, SG, So., Arizona State
Harden is arguably the best scoring 2-guard in the country. Rock-solid strong, he has an excellent perimeter game and all the old-school tricks that make him tough to stop. However, a late-season swoon, including a terrible performance in the NCAA tournament, has done some damage to his draft stock.

He's been better in the combine and workouts. He measured bigger than expected and much more athletic. It's not totally clear where he goes in the draft. The Thunder (3), Wizards (5), Wolves (6) and Knicks (8) will all have serious interest.

Paul Harris, G/F, Jr., Syracuse
Harris is really a power forward trapped in a combo guard's body. An explosive athlete, he is a terrific rebounder for a guard and can be a big-time finisher when he attacks the basket. He also can be a lock-down, on-the-ball defender.

His lack of a consistent jump shot is a serious concern for NBA scouts, but Harris has enough raw talent to go late in the first round. However, he is more likely to go in the second round.

Gerald Henderson, SG, Jr., Duke
After two pretty nondescript seasons at Duke, Henderson blew up in the second half of the season, showing a great combination of athleticism and scoring prowess. NBA executives are all over the place on Henderson. He seems to have narrowed his range to 9 to 16. The Raptors like him, but most likely he ends up in Charlotte at No. 12.

Jordan Hill, PF, Jr., Arizona
Hill was one of the most improved players in the country this summer and worked himself from a late-first-round pick into the lottery. He's always been a terrific rebounder with a great motor, but he began to improve his offense this year. Hill is still raw and needs to add strength, but he seems like a lock for the top 10. He could go anywhere from 5 to 10 on draft night.

Jrue Holiday, G, Fr., UCLA
Holiday came into the season ranked as one of the top six prospects on ESPN.com's Top 100 and stayed there for much of the season. Toward the end of the season, however, he struggled and his stock started to dip.

However, he has been very impressive in workouts and looks like a virtual lock for the lottery at this point. I spoke with a number of NBA GMs, and most of them have him ranked somewhere between 4 and 13 on their draft boards.

Brandon Jennings, PG, Italy
Jennings has had a tough year. After failing to qualify academically at Arizona, he jumped to Italy, where he struggled to get consistent playing time or production. But given the uniqueness of his situation, scouts are cutting him a lot of slack: He's still a super-athletic point guard with great size for his position. If he can prove to scouts in workouts that he can shoot the basketball, he'll be a top-10 pick. If he doesn't he could slip into the late lottery. I think his range is anywhere from 4 to 14.

James Johnson, F, So., Wake Forest
Johnson's a great athlete, has an NBA body and is very skilled. He can play multiple positions on the floor and does a bit of everything on the offensive end. But he has some flaws. His basketball IQ is still fairly raw, and he can get out of control at times. Scouts thought he was out of shape at the pre-draft camp, and he hasn't blown away anyone in workouts. His range is 11 to 21, but right now the momentum doesn't seem to be going his direction.

Ty Lawson, PG, Jr., North Carolina
Lawson had a fantastic season and quieted many of his doubters. He sported a terrific assist-to-turnover ratio, shot the lights out and was the biggest reason the Tar Heels won the title.

However, he's struggled to get much buzz in the draft. NBA scouts worry about his lack of size and wonder how he'll fare running a more traditional NBA half-court offense, and there are concerns about a toe injury. I think his range is 13 to 24, but most likely he's somewhere between 17 and 22.

Jodie Meeks, SG, Jr., Kentucky
Meeks was a scoring machine at Kentucky this season. His speed and shooting ability really stood out. So did that 54-point performance against Tennessee. However, his lack of great size or explosive athleticism hurts his stock a bit.

Nate Miles, G/F, Fr., Southern Idaho
On raw talent, Miles has what it takes to be drafted. However, his difficult background combined with the fact that he hasn't played high-level basketball for a year hurt his chances. If he really shows something in workouts, someone might take a chance on him and let him develop in the D-League. But most likely he's an undrafted pick.

Patrick Mills, PG, So., St. Mary's
Mills gained some serious NBA cred in the Olympics and had a solid sophomore season before an injury knocked him out for the last month. He's healthy again and will try to get scouts to remember those Tony Parker comparisons they were using last summer. He has the quickness and speed Parker possesses, but still lacks the consistent jumper and decision-making scouts are looking for. I'm not sure where he goes at this point. His range is somewhere between 22 and 40.

B.J. Mullens, C, Fr., Ohio State
Mullens was projected as a top-five pick at the start of the season but spent the year coming off the bench, limiting his production. While no one in the league feels Mullens is ready for the NBA, he is leaving school because of financial hardship.

He's still a potential lottery pick -- he's got a lethal combination of size and athleticism -- but has a long way to go before he'll be a productive NBA player. And that could cause him to fall into the mid-to-late first round. I see him going anywhere from 8 to 18.

DaJuan Summers, F, Georgetown
Summers got off to a sizzling start this season and there was talk that he might be a mid-first-round pick. He has great size for his position, NBA athleticism and a terrific body and he can shoot from deep range. He is, in many ways, the prototypical NBA forward.

However, his production really dropped off after Georgetown went into the tank. His shooting percentage went down, his turnovers went up and the team seemed to crumble around him. Based on physical talent and abilities, Summers has been helping his stock in workouts and looks like his range now is somewhere between 15 and 25.

Shawn Taggart, F, Memphis
Taggart is a long, athletic forward who hasn't done much to differentiate himself in three years at Memphis. He's a solid rebounder and shot-blocker, but he's already 24 years old. If he doesn't get it by now, when will he? Most of the NBA scouts I've spoken with think he'll go undrafted.

Jeff Teague, G, So., Wake Forest
Teague got off to a terrific start this season, and a number of scouts saw him as a potential top-10 pick in the draft. However, he struggled a bit toward the end of the season and had a horrible game in the NCAA tournament, raising questions about his readiness to play the point in the pros.

It's been a tough road in the workouts for Teague. GMs all like him, but he's struggled to really get separation from the pack. He hurt his MCL in a group workout and lost 10 days trying to get healed from that. I think his range is probably 13 to 19.

Hasheem Thabeet, C, Jr., UConn
Thabeet is the best shot-blocker in college basketball and a dominant defensive presence. He's still a work in progress on the offensive end, but most NBA execs see him as being a potential Dikembe Mutombo-type player. A few, however, wonder if his lack of feel for the game will limit his upside. His range is anywhere from 2 to 8.

Dar Tucker, G/F, So., DePaul
Tucker is a super-athletic wing who drew a lot of praise after his freshman season. While his scoring numbers went up as a sophomore, his turnover rate also went up and his shooting percentages plummeted. If Tucker could ever develop a legit jump shot, he'd be a potential first-round pick. But as it stands right now, he'll be fighting to get drafted in the second round.


Withdrawing (or likely to withdraw) from the draft

Darion Anderson, Northern Illinois
Ryan Anderson, Nebraska
Dominique Archie, G, Jr., South Carolina
Dwayne Collins, PF, Jr., Miami
Kareem Cooper, Texas-El Paso
Kenneth Cooper, Louisiana Tech
Bryan Davis, PF, Jr., Texas A&M
Devan Downey, G, Jr., South Carolina
Osiris Eldridge, SG, Jr., Illinois State
Gary Flowers, Chipola JC (Fla.)
Jonathan Gibson, New Mexico State
Kyle Gibson, Louisiana Tech
D'mond Grismore, Huston-Tillotson (TX)
Roger Guignard, Texas-Arlington
Luke Harangody, F, Notre Dame
Damion James, F, Jr., Texas
Mac Koshwal, C, So., DePaul
Gani Lawal, F, So., Georgia Tech
Tasmin Mitchell, F, Jr., LSU
Ater Majok, C, Fr., UConn
Ronald Ogoke, Paul Quinn College
Scottie Reynolds, Villanova
D.J. Rivera, Binghamton
Terrence Roderick, Alabama Birmingham
Magnum Rolle, Louisiana Tech
Junior Salters, Wofford
Donald Sloan, G, Texas A&M
Tyler Smith, G/F, Tennessee
Jonathan Tavernari, SF, Jr. BYU
Jarvis Varnado, PF, Jr., Mississippi State
Greivis Vasquez, G, Jr., Maryland
Nic Wise, G, Arizona
Michael Washington, PF, Arkansas
Jeremy Wise, PG, Southern Mississippi


International players in the draft

International players younger than 22 who have declared for the draft:

Rodrigue Beaubois, France
Beaubois raised his stock with a solid performance at the 2007 Euroleague camp but still needs more experience in Europe. He has the raw athletic tools to get things done, but still lacks great basketball IQ. He's a potential second-round pick this year.

Nemanja Bjelica, Serbia
Withdrew from the draft

Georgios Bogris, Greece
Withdrew from the draft

Omri Casspi, F, Israel
Casspi could become the first Israeli to be drafted in the first round. He's kind of like Andres Nocioni: a forward with great toughness, a terrific motor and an emerging outside game. A number of teams drafting late in the first round, including the Spurs and Hawks, have shown a lot of interest in him. Most likely he stays in the draft and goes somewhere between 23 and 40.

Victor Claver, F, Spain
Claver is one of the most talented international players in the draft. He missed most of the season due to a leg fracture and is still recovering, but that might help him. A growing number of international players want to be drafted in the second round. Because of their high salaries in Europe, combined with buyouts, they need more money to leave Europe than the NBA rookie pay scale allows in the first round. By going in the second round, Claver can go to the NBA when he's ready and when a team is ready to pay him. Claver is staying in the draft.

Vladimir Dasic, PF, Serbia
Dasic was a potential late-first-round pick, but he pulled out of workouts and withdrew from the draft after the Reebok Eurocamp.

Christian Eyenga, Spain
Super-athletic wing who uses his athleticism and strength to make a difference on the court. His basketball IQ is raw, but teams might draft him in the second round based on his ability to defend multiple positions.

Vitor Faverani, Spain
You're never sure exactly what you'll get with Faverani. One game he looks like an NBA player, the next he looks like a mess. He has the physical tools NBA scouts are looking for, which is good. But does he have the drive to get better?

Sergey Gladyr, Ukraine

Adam Hanga, Hungary
Withdrew from the draft

Baris Hersek, Turkey
Likely to withdraw

Rudy Jomby, France
Withdrew from the draft

Tanel Kurbas, Estonia
Withdrew from the draft

Milan Macvan, Serbia
Withdrew from the draft

Boban Marjanovic, Serbia
Withdrew from the draft

Tim Ohlbrecht, Germany
Withdrew from the draft

Carl Ona Embo, Italy
Withdrew from the draft

Nikolaos Pappas, Spain
Withdrew from the draft

Anton Ponomarev, Kazakhstan
Withdrew from the draft

Paulao Prestes, C, Brazil
Withdrew from the draft

Miroslav Raduljica, Serbia
Withdrew from the draft

Fernando Raposo, France
Withdrew from the draft

Ricky Rubio, PG, Spain
Rubio's agent, Dan Fegan, continues to work on Rubio's buyout. Rubio wasn't thrilled with the way the lottery played out. Neither Memphis nor Oklahoma City is a great fit for him. Sacramento at No. 4 is the most promising. Or he's hoping another team swoops in and makes a deal with either the Grizzlies or the Thunder.

Evangelos Sakellariou, Greece
Withdrew from the draft

Alexandros Sigkounas, Greece
Withdrew from the draft

Ludovic Vaty, France
Withdrew from the draft

Ibrahim Yildirim, Turkey

Artem Zabelin, Russia
Withdrew from the draft

Aboubakar Zaki, France
Has withdrawn from the draft

Chad Ford covers the NBA for ESPN Insider.

Chad Ford | email

Senior Writer, NBA Insider