The 2009 NBA Draft is looking worse and worse for big men. After No. 1 pick Blake Griffin broke his left kneecap in an October preseason game against New Orleans, the No. 2 pick Hasheem Thabeet has been relegated to the National Basketball Development League (NBDL).
Griffin was the unanimous No. 1 pick every team wanted, and after the Clippers won the draft lottery, it was clear that a number of guys could go anywhere from No. 2 to No. 10.
Well, the Grizzlies picked wrong.
Thabeet, who earns $4.46 million this year, averaged just 10.3 minutes per game, 2.5 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, before getting sent to play for the frigid Dakota Wizards.
He's the highest-ever draft pick to play in the NBDL, which has served as the NBA's minor leagues since its inception in 2001.
RidiculousUpside.com was the first to break the news. Even more shocking than the fact that the No. 2 pick was sent to the D-League is the fact that there is a site dedicated to breaking NBA D-League up-to-the-minute information.
The 7-foot-3 rookie was a solid if unspectacular player at UConn, averaging a surprisingly un-flashy 14 points and 11 rebounds per game as a junior before declaring for the draft.
Strangely, guards in the 2009 Draft have flourished in their rookie seasons.
No. 3 pick James Harden has averaged 9.8 points per game as the Oklahoma City Thunder's sixth man.
No. 4 pick Tyreke Evans may be the NBA Rookie of the Year frontrunner right now, averaging 20.3 points, 5.4 assists and 4.8 rebounds for the lowly Sacramento Kings. The 20-year old is leading the team in scoring and assists.
No. 6 pick Jonny Flynn is averaging 13.8 points and 4.3 assists per game for Minnesota. He has started all 59 games despite the T-Wolves' 14-45 record.
No. 7 pick Stephen Curry is putting up gaudy numbers for Golden State, averaging 15.5 points, 5.3 assists and 4.2 rebounds for the Warriors. He's in the hunt for NBA Rookie of the Year and has become a permanent starter in Golden State's rotation despite having the body of Calista Flockhart.
No. 9 pick DeMar Derozan has become a viable scoring option for Toronto, averaging 8.2 points and 3.0 rebounds per game for the Raptors.
No. 10 pick Brandon Jennings has been another gem in the hindsight-is-20-20 draft, scoring 16.4 points and adding 6.1 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game for Milwaukee.