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NBA Draft Class Comparison: 2009 vs 2011 - Which one was better?

ANALYST
Feature
683   //    19 Jul 2018, 10:55 IST

Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets - Game Seven
Stephen Curry and James Harden

The 2009 and 2011 draft classes are considered some of the best draft classes of this century. So many of the high-level NBA talents in the NBA today came from these two draft classes. They're only 2 years apart, which means the players have had about 7 to 9 years of time in the NBA to show their impact to the world.

I was inspired to write this idea after the Kawhi for DeRozan trade. Both of them are note-worthy players from these two draft classes respectively. In my piece, it will be a comparison of these two classes based off of total number of All-Star appearances, total number of awards, and finally total number of championships.

Looking back on any NBA player, these are usually the three categories we use to compare or rate players on the all-time list. In our case, we will be using them to establish which draft class produced more and better talent.

Let's meet the contenders:

Standouts

2009 NBA draft class: Stephen Curry:

The baby-faced assassin is the obvious poster boy for the 2009 draft class. He fell all the way to the 7th pick and has become the greatest shooter of all time. His two MVPs and 3 NBA championships will certainly add value to the 2009 draft class for this battle of draft classes.

James Harden:

The 2017-18 NBA Regular-Season MVP has been one of the best players in the game for the last few seasons and was a part of the stacked 2009 NBA draft class. Will his MVP and multiple All-Star appearances be enough to push the 2009 draft class over the top?

DeMar DeRozan:

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This piece will be the perfect opportunity to shine a light on all of DeRozan's accolades and what the Spurs will be receiving for this upcoming season. He has become an All-Star starter level talent and has been for the last 3 seasons.

Standouts

2011 NBA draft class: Kyrie Irving


Boston Celtics v Golden State Warriors
Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson

The number one overall pick from this draft has definitely lived up to his draft hype. His incredible ball-handling and shooting have made him a top 3 point guard in the league today. Everyone should and will remember the dagger three-pointer he shot in the 2016 NBA finals.

Kawhi Leonard:

The newest member of the Toronto Raptors and probably future member of one of the Los Angeles franchises. Kawhi has become a top 5 player in the league with his elite two-way ability and was the star of the show in the 2014 NBA finals.

Klay Thompson:

If you thought that 2009 would win easily due to the number of championships Curry won, think again. His splash brother, Klay Thompson, is from the 2011 draft class and will help cancel out Curry's championships.


Here is how the points will be given:

NBA championships - 5 points; All-NBA First team - 3 points; All-NBA Second team - 2 points; All-Defensive First team - 2 points; All-NBA Third team - 1 point; All-Defensive Second team - 1 point; Awards - 1 point; All-Star appearances - 1 point

All-Star Appearances:


Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets - Game Seven
Klay Thompson and James Harden

2009 total: 22

2011 total: 19

It's amazing to see some of the names that have come out of these draft classes. Sometimes you may think to yourself, "Oh what?! I didn't know that guy was drafted that year". James Harden leads all of these players with his 6-time All-Star appearance, which is no brainer since after he was traded to Houston he showed he was on an elite level.

Kawhi Leonard's two All-Star appearance may surprise some of you, but remember that Kawhi only broke out relatively recently. Secondly, it definitely should be noted that Isaiah Thomas was the last pick in the 2011 NBA draft and made the All-Star game twice, which should give him a lot of credit for proving the critics wrong. It's also interesting that two point guards from the 2009 NBA Draft only made the All-star game once, and are yet to make their return to the scene.

2009 - 2011: 1-0

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