SLAMonline Mock Draft: Jrue Holiday, No. 14
Suns ignore need. Take best player available.
With the 14th pick in the 2009 SLAMonline Mock Draft, the Phoenix Suns select…
Jrue Holiday. It’s absolutely astonishing that Holiday has fallen this far, given the numerous sources that insisted that he would not fall out of the top ten. While the Suns’ had more of a need in the frontcourt and took a hard look at James Johnson, it was too hard to pass up on a player rated so highly on the draft board at this point. Goran Dragic showed promise as a second round pick for the Suns in 08, but remains the only other point guard on the roster besides Steve Nash. The addition of Holiday gives the Suns depth at both guard positions, along with the outstanding perimeter defender that they so desperately needed.
The selection of Holiday still leaves the Suns with a lack of depth in the frontcourt, but there is a definite method behind this madness. It is clear that the Suns are not going to be winning a championship anytime soon with this group and this very well may be the last push that they make for a few years. They gave up their future and a considerable amount of cap relief with their trade for Jason Richardson. However, the Suns have expiring contracts of Shaquille O’Neal, Amare Stoudemire, and Steve Nash for the summer of 2010 which total approximately 40 million dollars. This puts the team in a position to sign a very nice building block, even if they are able to retain Amare Stoudemire at a max contract. Holiday gives the Suns flexibility at the guard position to allow the aging Nash to pack his bags if he is unwilling to lessen his contract demands.
Even more interesting for the Suns though is the depth of the power forward position for the 2010 NBA Draft. Though Phoenix traded their pick for 2010 to Oklahoma City in the Kurt Thomas trade, obtaining a pick in the mid to late first round should be quite easy. The position offers significantly more depth next year and will likely boast the names of Ed Davis, Al Farouq Aminu, Donatas Montejunas, John Henson, Craig Brackins, Greg Monroe, Patrick Patterson, Larry Sanders, Devin Ebanks, and Jarvis Varnado. In comparison, there are only a few desirable point guard prospects that will be available outside of John Wall in 2010. The chance of landing one of those big fellas if they are able to grab a first rounder in 2010 makes the decision to draft Holiday much easier, despite the thin front court in the valley of the Sun.
Holiday himself is a very interesting player who found himself caught in a system at UCLA that didn’t exactly cater towards his style of play. With senior Darren Collison running the helm, the freshman was forced to play off of the ball for the majority of his time on the hardwood. His numbers definitely aren’t going to blow you away, but anyone who has seen this kid play for an extended period of time can understand why he stepped into the college game with such high expectations. In efforts to retain Holiday for next season, Ben Howland made it clear that he would put the rock in his hands from day one and let him run the show.
At 6’4, Holiday is one of the bigger playmakers that this draft had to offer. His size, length, and quickness allowed him to straight put the clamps on people defensively. That same size, along with his ability to put points on the board, allows him to slide over to the two guard slot in the bat of an eye. Yeah he’s a tweener, but in a good way. This Hollywood star can play both guard positions equally well, which will give him the opportunity to get more burn as a rookie in the NBA.
The newest Phoenix Sun may take his fair share of bumps as a rookie, but he’s only 18 years old and will be learning under one of the savviest point guards the game has ever seen. It’s tough to pass on a glaring need up front, but this guy was too good to pass on. Howland’s handcuffs are off, and Holiday will now have the opportunity to show fans the talent that made him a consensus top five high school baller nationally.
|2009 SLAMonline Mock Draft Results|
|1||L.A. Clippers||Blake Griffin|
|2||Memphis Grizzlies||Hasheem Thabeet|
|3||Oklahoma City Thunder||Ricky Rubio|
|4||Sacramento Kings||Brandon Jennings|
|5||Washington Wizards||Jordan Hill|
|6||Minnesota Timberwolves||Demar DeRozan|
|7||Golden State Warriors||James Harden|
|8||New York Knicks||Stephen Curry|
|9||Toronto Raptors||Tyreke Evans|
|10||Milwaukee Bucks||Jonny Flynn|
|11||New Jersey Nets||DeJuan Blair|
|12||Charlotte Bobcats||Terrence Williams|
|13||Indiana Pacers||Earl Clark|
|14||Phoenix Suns||Jrue Holiday|