Re-draft of the 2009 NBA Draft for the Knicks: DeMar DeRozan
Knicks pick: 1st Round, Pick 8
Actual player selected: Jordan Hill
Leading up to the 2009 NBA Draft, it seemed like Davidson’s Stephen Curry and the Knicks were a match made in heaven. When the Timberwolves passed on Curry twice for Johnny Flynn and Ricky Rubio, it seemed like the Curry dream was coming to fruition.
However, there was one obstacle: the Golden State Warriors at pick seven. They selected Curry, shattered the Knicks’ dreams, and Jordan Hill became a Knick. To be fair, Jordan Hill was considered a top-5 prospect in the draft and the second-best forward behind Blake Griffin.
However, Hill was extremely underwhelming in his rookie season with the Knicks. He did not get much playing time and was not a natural fit next to all-star big man David Lee. He was also a puzzling piece in their 2010 free agency plans. If the team landed Chris Bosh or Amar’e Stoudemire, how would Hill fit? If the team retained David Lee, there was no way Hill would continue to be his frontcourt partner.
Donnie Walsh quickly realized this and dumped him in the Tracy McGrady deal that would free up cap space that summer. With a young core of David Lee, Danilo Gallinari, and Wilson Chandler, the Knicks could have formed an even more enticing core by selecting four-time all-star DeMar DeRozan, who was selected one pick after the Knicks at 9th.
The analytics do not love DeRozan, but he is a valuable scorer that would have fit nicely with the Knicks’ pieces at the time. He had the most star potential of the players remaining (maybe Brandon Jennings) and made more sense for the Knicks on draft night.