Denver Nuggets: Revisiting The 2009 Draft

With the No. 17 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers selected Jrue Holiday. At No. 18, the Minnesota Timberwolves took Ty Lawson and traded his draft rights to the Denver Nuggets.

Did the 76ers do right by drafting Holiday over Lawson? Or did the Nuggets get lucky that Lawson fell into their lap? Of course, Holiday is now a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, but it’s always fun to look back at drafts and see who made the right and wrong moves.

Jrue Holiday is fresh off an All-Star appearance while Lawson led his Denver Nuggets to a franchise-record season.  Each player is entering a different role come 2013-14. Holiday is on a brand new team–the Pelicans–and expectations are rising in New Orleans. They seem to be a lot of people’s pick to click, but I have some doubts. On the other hand, the Nuggets find themselves in a funny situation. They didn’t re-sign their award winning head coach and general manager, but didn’t make any major roster changes. It seems like they’re trying to rebuild and contend at the same time. That puts Lawson in a tough situation. With George Karl gone, Lawson is going to have to take a stronger leadership role. This is nothing he is unfamiliar with, as he helped lead North Carolina to a NCAA title in 2009.

Jrue Holiday

How will Holiday do in New Orleans? (Photo by Keith Allison/Flickr.com)

While both Holiday and Lawson are on different career paths, it’s still fun to see who has had the better career thus far. To avoid bias, I took the names out of each players 2012-13 statline.

Player A per 36 minutes stats in 2012-13

17.4 points per game, 7.2 assists, .461/.366/.756 shooting, Per: 17.9

Player B per 36 minutes stats in 2012-13

17.0 points per game, 7.7 assists, .431/.368/.752, Per: 16.7

Player A Sabermetric stats in 2012-13

TS%: 54.9 percent, RB%: 4.4 percent,   AST%: 30.2 percent, TOV%, 14.1 percent

Player B Sabermetric stats in 2012-13

TS%: 49.6 percent, RB%: 6.4 percent,   AST%: 36.5 percent, TOV%, 17.3 percent

I think it’s a toss-up. Both players are slowly developing into All-Star caliber point guards in the NBA. The stats are a wash in my opinion. Player A scores more efficiently and turns it over less than Player B. Player B is a better rebounder and distributor.

Player A is Ty Lawson and Player B is Jrue Holiday. To be honest, they’re pretty much the same player statistically. It seems like neither team made the “wrong” move during the 2009 NBA draft. Both franchises picked winners in my opinion. Now, if the question is who is the better player? Well, the jury is still out on that one.

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