NBA – Before the 2009 Draft

With NBA teams who have new players to sell NBA tickets after the 2008 NBA draft, let's look at some of the top-performing players in the coming year.

Blake Griffin, Forward, Oklahoma: At this point, Griffin is the frontrunner to be the first in the "09" draft. Oklahoma was a great rookie season and probably a lottery player in draft 08 if he did not choose to stay in school. Griffin reminds some of Carlos Boozer's recruits and has both NBA skills and solid heads.

Ricky Rubio, Guard, Spain: Rubio has been playing NBA radar for 15 years. He is a pure scarecrow and a fantastic playmaker. At age 6-4 he has a great position and made a comparison with Steve Nash. Although not the most explosive athletes, basketball IQ is exposed from the boards and has a great place to do.

Brandon Jennings, Guard, Arizona *: Jennings has the opportunity to be a special playmaker. Their athleticism is almost unparalleled and allows them to play much more than the bicycle than a 6-2 player expects. He is a great passer-by, but it seems amazing from time to time, leading to the next level of high traffic speeds. He has received all the talent of the world, but he has questions about his fitness and decision making. He is definitely a player who sells NBA tickets, but he is not sure he is a player and what style he will win.

* Jennings had some trouble that was high enough on his SAT to qualify for a basketball game in Arizona. There were some conversations about sitting for a year or playing in Europe before going to the NBA.

Demar DeRozan, Guard, USC: Derozan's talent becomes the supreme superstar of the NBA. He has all the tools he is looking for in the goal scorer. He is an explosive athlete, his NBA body has a good size and a deep range on jumper. It can indeed end and remind some of Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter's exhibitors. There were some questions about the defensive end and about basketball IQ efforts. He is probably a one-and-a-dozen guy at college level, but he needs to refine the overall game he will become a dominant player in the NBA.

These players may be the first four in the 2009 draft and will help sell NBA tickets in any city they arrive.