SLAMonline Mock Draft: Victor Claver, No. 24
Portland continues its raid of Spain’s hoops talent.
With the 21st pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Portland Trail Blazers select…
It was the night before the draft and Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard still didn’t know how to complete that very sentence. Sleep was impossible as he tried to determine who to select with pick No. 24. Suddenly a large, ancient-looking man appeared in his room.
“Oden, is that you?” Pritchard called out.
“No, Kevin,” the voice boomed. “I really am 500 years old, I don’t just look that way. I am the Ghost of NBA Draft Past. I am here to remind you of the errs of your team’s ways Kevin.”
“What do you mean?” asked the GM. “We’re known as a great drafting team. Didn’t you see me grab Greg Oden with the No. 1 pick?”
“We’ll talk about Oden later,” the ghost replied. “Apparently I need to refresh your memory, Kevin, of your franchise’s past draft sins. LaRue Martin instead of Bob McAdoo and Dr. J. Wally Walker instead of Adrian Dantley, Robert Parish and Alex English. Mychal Thompson instead of Larry Bird. Sam Bowie instead of Michael Jordan, John Stockton and Charles Barkley. That’s nine Hall of Fame players that your team passed on Kevin. Need I continue?”
“No, no, please – that’s enough,” Pritchard pleaded.
“Good Kevin,” the ghost chuckled. “Luckily, due to recessionary budget cuts, I’m also now the Ghost of NBA Draft Present and NBA Draft Future, so I can help you not make the same mistakes this year. Who are you considering taking?”
“Well, we still need to solidify our point guard position, so I think Jeff Teague is our man,” explained Pritchard.
“WRONG!!” yelled the ghost. “Teague will never be a quality NBA point guard – he is an undersized two guard. And DO NOT ever draft depending on your team’s current needs – draft the best potential player available.”
“Ok – who should we take then?” asked the GM.
“Victor Claver will be your choice this year,” proclaimed the ghost.
“Claver?!” Pritchard said with surprise in his voice. “Isn’t he that Spanish kid Rudy and Sergio keep bugging me to pick? I thought they were hyping him up just because he was from Spain.”
“No, Kevin,” said the apparition. “Claver is the real deal – behold.”
With a snap of the ghost’s fingers and a wave of his cape Pritchard and the ghost were suddenly in the audience at the 2012 NBA Finals. Portland was laying a beating on Cleveland, and Claver was playing Nowitzki-esque. The 6-10 combo forward was knocking down threes, taking his man off the dribble and soaring above the rim.
“WOW!! We’re playing in the NBA Finals – and Claver is playing terrific,” exclaimed Pritchard.
‘You see, Kevin,” said the ghost as he waved his cape and sent them back to the GM’s bedroom. “Victor Claver will fit in great for your team. He would have gone in the lottery in the 2009 draft if he hadn’t hurt his knee. Just leave him in Europe for a couple of years to develop – don’t forget he still only 20. He will be able to help you out at both of your forward positions and maybe even center once he fills out his frame. Players with his size and skill level aren’t normally on the board at pick No. 24. Take advantage of it.”
“We definitely will,” promised Pritchard. “Thanks – Claver is definitely our pick this year.”
“You’re welcome Kevin,” said the ghost. “Now I have to get down to Memphis and Oklahoma City – I heard they are both thinking of passing up on Ricky Rubio.”
“One more thing before you go,” Pritchard said as the ghost began to vanish. “I noticed when we were playing in the 2012 Finals that Greg Oden wasn’t around. Where was he?”
“Kevin, do you just think it is just a coincidence that Oden looks as old as he does AND always is injured?” the ghost asked.
“But Greg told us he is only 21-years-old,” replied the confused GM.
The ghost laughed evilly as he vanished into the night.
|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|
|15||Detroit Pistons||B.J. Mullens|
|16||Chicago Bulls||Sam Young|
|17||Philadelphia 76ers||Ty Lawson|
|18||Minnesota Timberwolves||Eric Maynor|
|19||Atlanta Hawks||Patty Mills|
|20||Utah Jazz||Gerald Henderson|
|21||New Orleans Hornets||Wayne Ellington|
|22||Dallas Mavericks||Austin Daye|
|23||Sacramento Kings||Omri Casspi|
|24||Portland Trail Blazers||Victor Claver|