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By Ryan Feldman
rfeldman@thehoopsreport.com

Monday, June 22, 2009

Based on information gathered from various sources, The Hoops Report is confident enough to reveal four different guarantees that teams have given players for the 2009 NBA Draft.

*****

Austin Daye will not get past the Minnesota Timberwolves at No. 18.

It had already been evident that Daye had a guarantee in the top 20 and I confirmed that rumor. Then, I was told by sources that he was a lock to go in the top 18. After researching this scenario, I discovered that the team that gave him a guarantee is the Timberwolves at No. 18.

This certainly makes sense because the Timberwolves have a history of drafting big-time college players from well-known schools, and because of the team's youth, Minnesota can afford to gamble on players with a lot of potential. And they can certainly do so this year, as the Timberwolves have three first round picks. Daye, Al Jefferson, Kevin Love, Randy Foye and whichever guard they select with the No. 6 pick could form an exciting young lineup over the next few years.

There's certainly a chance Daye could be picked before No. 18, but it is more likely that Daye will end up in Minnesota.

*****

According to sources, Earl Clark has received a promise from the Phoenix Suns at No. 14 that they will take him if he's available.

Clark was already one of the favorites to be selected by the Phoenix Suns at No. 14, but now it's a virtual lock if he's still available. Clark pulled out of his scheduled Sunday workout with the Bulls, who hold the No. 16 pick, after working out for the Suns on Saturday. He said it was because he was injured, which may or may not be the case, but it's more likely not the case. There was no report of him injuring himself during the workout and he didn't talk about that to reporters after the workout.

Steve Kerr had nothing but positive things to say about Clark after the workout, discussing how verstaile he is and how well he moves for a 6-foot-10 player. The Suns clearly need a small forward, and they brought in Clark along with fellow small forwards Austin Daye and James Johnson on Saturday. Clark has been abusing Daye with his strength in most of the workotus the two have faced each other in. Johnson did not look good in his first workout in Phoenix, but was much better this time around. He is a possibility if Clark is off the board at No. 14, but Clark is the Suns' man right now.

Clark is likely done with his draft workouts. The top of his draft range wasn't much higher than No. 14, so getting a promise there is good enough for Clark.

*****

Jodie Meeks received a guarantee early in the second round, and after verifying with sources, I am now confident that the promise was given by the Denver Nuggets at No. 34.

Many people were wondering why Meeks opted to remain in the NBA Draft after the June 15 withdrawal deadline. He said all along that he needed a first round guarantee to remain in the Draft. While that doesn't seem to be the case, it seems that he was confident enough with an early second round guarantee.

After June 15, Meeks has only worked out for one team: the New Jersey Nets, who only own the No. 11 pick. The reason Meeks may have still opted to participate in that workout is because of the strong possibility that the Nets trade down in the first round to get two picks. The strongest rumor has been that the Nets will trade their No. 11 pick to the Bulls for the No. 16 pick and the No. 26 pick. If this happens, Meeks was auditioning for that No. 26 pick.

This scenario makes sense for the Nuggets. They would like an additional guard to contribute off the bench. The Nuggets like to put up as many points as possible, and Meeks is a player who can definitely light up the scoreboard.

While it's still strange that Meeks stayed in the Draft, especially since he had a chance to be a major part of a Final Four team at Kentucky next season, it appears that Meeks is confident with an early second round promise.

*****

After doing lots of research and talking with sources, I have learned that Jon Brockman has received an early second round guarantee.

Nobody has been able to figure out where Jon Brockman has been throughout the draft workout process. He didn't show up to the Chicago Draft Combine. He hasn't participated in any individual team workouts. Nobody has been able to contact him or his agent.

Brockman performed exceptionally well at the Portsmouth Invitational and gained some interest from NBA teams. He knew that there was a very small chance that he could be drafted in the first round, so all he was looking for was a second round pick and a contract. Apparently, he knows that he will get his wish.

It's still not perfectly clear which team gave him the guarantee, but I've narrowed it down to two teams: the Detroit Pistons and the Portland Trail Blazers. Both teams have multiple picks early in the second round and both teams could use a power forward. The Pistons need a lot of frontcourt help, and the Blazers need a backup power forward.

Whichever team it is, the Pistons or the Blazers, Brockman should be off the board by No. 44 at the latest. Portland owns the No. 33 pick and the No. 38 pick, while Detroit will draft at No. 35, No. 39 and No. 44.


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