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Posted: Thursday June 25, 2009 11:23AM; Updated: Friday June 26, 2009 10:14AM

SI.com's NBA draft day blog (cont.)

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Omri Casspi promises to bring a toughness, and a strong Israeli following, to the Kings.
AP

10:14 p.m.: My well-connected colleague Ian Thomsen just spent the last couple of minutes chatting with ESPN's Michael Wilbon and NBA commissioner David Stern. (I'm lucky if SI's Chris Mannix will say hello to me.) I'll say this: Wilbon has a nice suit -- no tie, but a crisp yellow shirt and shiny black shoes. Ian has on black and gray sneakers. Very fly, Thomsen. -- Richard Deitsch

10:10 p.m.: Gonzaga small forward Austin Daye (who went No. 15 to Detroit) may be slight (he's only 192 pounds) but the son of former pro Darren Daye thinks he'll have an impact in the NBA. "I [think it's] because I have a unique skill set," Daye said. "I'm 6-11 and can handle the ball, pass and shoot. I think I bring a quality not a lot of tall big men have. I think what Rashard Lewis did for Orlando created a lot of mismatch problems in the playoffs and that helped them advance."

Daye said he had a very good workout in Detroit and knows he's going to have to put on some muscle to compete in the league. "I'm definitely going to have to bulk up but I think there have been some frail guys who have a had success in the league, including Kevin Durant and Tayshaun Prince," he said. "They were able to adjust, but I will put on some weight."

Daye said he's spoken often with former Gonzaga star Ronny Turiaf to get a sense of what the next level will be like. "He said it's a tough jump, but I can do it," Daye said. "He said my skill set will help at the next level. It's a lot of different than college going in, and I think I understand that. I've prepared my game more for the NBA game because of my ability to get my shot off." -- Richard Deitsch

10 p.m.: Some quick notes from the draft, courtesy of the handsome folks at NBA communications:

• Blake Griffin is the first player from Oklahoma to be selected with the top overall pick. The late Wayman Tisdale went No. 2 in the 1985 draft.

• Since joining the league in 1995, the Grizzlies have never had the top overall pick but they've picked second four times: Mike Bibby ('98), Steve Francis ('99), Stromile Swift (2000) and Hasheem Thabeet ('09).

• Sacramento's selection of Tyreke Evans at No, 4 was the team's first top-five pick since '91, when the Kings took Syracuse's Billy Owens -- Richard Deitsch

9:55 p.m.: Wish Dell Curry a happy birthday if you see him Thursday night because the father of Stephen and Seth turned 45 today. But make sure you do it quietly. Like most people of a certain age, the senior Curry didn't want to acknowledge it was his birthday when SI.com asked him about it. His wife, Sonya, though, shook her head and smiled affirmatively. In case you forgot, Dell went No. 15 in the 1986 draft to Utah. Steph topped him by eight picks. -- Richard Deitsch

9:49 pm: The Kings' selection of Omri Casspi, the 6-9 forward from Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel, got one of the loudest roars of the night. Some in the crowd waved Israeli flags; others danced in the aisles. New York City has a large Jewish population. The ultra-aggressive forward is a Matt Harpring-type, though not as good a shooter. Ian Thomsen likes the pick. Says Casspi plays "really hard and has a lot of energy." -- Richard Deitsch

9:40 p.m.: We check in with SI's Ian Thomsen for a quick analysis of the first 21 picks. Says Thomsen: "My first thought is that spending hours and hours trying to do a mock draft is a big waste of time. Most of the picks are not surprising because they were all serious options. I heard from one general manager yesterday and today that Oklahoma City was going to take James Harden, but most people around the league seemed to think Tyreke Evans or Ricky Rubio would go at No. 3.

"What's clear is that Minnesota has extended the draft by taking three point guards, though it looks like Ty Lawson is going to Denver. Regarding the other two point guards, I think Rubio would be likely to go because he has the highest value. I think he's clearly not happy to be in Minnesota.

"Out of the top 10 picks, the guy who I think will exceed expectations is Knicks pick Jordan Hill. Mike D'Antoni compares him a little bit to Amar'e Stoudemire -- soft hands, catches the ball well, and he can score in a variety of ways. I just think in that offense, the kind of space a big man receives, he'll be able to do very well."

"Stephen Curry at No. 7 was a surprise because everybody thought Hill would go No. 7. But it makes sense because Curry is a Don Nelson-type of player. I had been thinking for weeks that Curry would not get by Golden State. He was their kind of guy, but then I got talked out of it by everybody. But I always thought of Curry as a Nellie type of player." -- Richard Deitsch

9:29 p.m.: Brandon Jennings, who went to the Bucks at No. 10, has a huge fan in DeMar DeRozan. "Who would I take besides myself? I have to say one player who will be a good pro is Brandon Jennings," said DeRozan. "He would have been the best point guard in college this year, hands down. Just how well he creates, and how good a scorer he is, he's one of those players that can bring excitement to the floor." -- Richard Deitsch

9:23 p.m.: After selecting point guards Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn with the fifth and sixth overall picks, the Timberwolves immediately told anyone who would listen that they planned not only to keep both players but see themselves playing the two in tandem eventually. David Kahn, the team's new president of basketball operations, talked about the old Celtics (Dennis Johnson, Danny Ainge) and Pistons (Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars), and how labels like "point" and "shooting" didn't matter.

Kahn also shared with fans attending a draft rally the possibility that Rubio might not be playing in Minnesota next season at all. It was an odd place to raise the specter that the teenager from Spain might not buy his way out of his European contract -- the Wolves need to generate as much excitement and sell as many tickets as they can before dampening the enthusiasm.

The hunch around Target Center was that Rubio was too valuable an asset to pass up, still sitting there at No. 5, even as the Wolves love Flynn's game more at the moment. -- Steve Aschburner

9:21 p.m.: Before the draft, Sixers pick Jrue Holiday thought the Knicks would be a good fit because of his defense. "Why should teams draft me? Because I'm a point guard if that's what you need," Holiday said. "I'm a team leader. I can run a team. I can dish it to the players. I can create my own shot or create a shot for someone else. One of the biggest things is defense. I lot of players don't really play defense but coming out of UCLA, that's something I can do." -- Richard Deitsch

9:16: My colleague Ian Thomsen predicts that the Timberwolves picked Ty Lawson at No. 18 for another team. Let's see. -- Richard Deitsch

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