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Taj Gibson

Taj Gibson

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Bulls take forwards James Johnson, Taj Gibson in NBA draftComments June 25, 2009 SUN-TIMES STAFFThe Bulls selected Wake Forest forward James Johnson with the 16th pick and USC forward Taj Gibson with the 26th pick in the first round of the NBA draft tonight.

The Los Angeles Clippers took college player of the year Blake Griffin of Oklahoma with the No.

1 pick.

Johnson, a 6-8, 235-pound sophomore who also is an undefeated kick-boxer with one MMA match under his belt, has plenty of upside.

He averaged 15 points per game and, according to this scouting report on, "has shown flashes of a complete repertoire.

His ball-handling skills look much improved, as you regularly see him grabbing rebounds and taking the ball smoothly coast to coast, and he's become quite a lethal threat creating his own shot in the half-court as well.


Johnson's ability to face-up and attack his man off the dribble makes him a terrific mismatch threat on the perimeter.

He has outstanding footwork and pivot moves in the post, it's hard not to come away impressed with his scoring and overall basketball instincts.

He has great hands and outstanding touch with either hand around the basket, sometimes flicking up pretty floaters around the rim, and looks very comfortable at times operating with his back to the basket as well.'' The 6-9 Gibson played for former Bulls coach Tim Floyd at USC and is described as having a great shot-blocker with the savvy of a veteran and has the potential to see plenty of action as a rookie.

After the Clippers took Griffin the top pick, Memphis selected Uconn center Hasheem Thabeet with the No.

2 pick.

Oklahoma City took guard James Harden of Arizona State at No.

3 and guard Tyreke Evans went to Sacramento with the fourth pick.

Minnesota had the next two selections, and the Timberwolves used them to take point guards Ricky Rubio of Spain and Jonny Flynn of Syracuse.

With the No.

7 pick, Golden State took guard Stephen Curry of Davidson.

At No.

8, the New York Knicks tabbed Arizona power forward Jordan Hill.

The Toronto Raptors took USC guard DeMar DeRozan with the ninth pick, and Milwaukee took point guard Brandon Jennings, who skipped college and played a year in Italy, with the 10th pick.

After New Jersey took Louisville guard Terrence Williams with the 11th pick, Duke guard Gerald Henderson went to the Charlotte Bobcats at No.


The Indiana Pacers selected North Carolina forward Tyler Hansbrough with the 13th pick.

With the No.

14 pick, the Phoenix Suns small forward Earl Clark of Louisville, and forward Austin Daye of Gonzaga went to Detroit at No.


After Philadelphia took UCLA point guard Jrue Holiday with the 17th pick, Minnesota took another point guard -- Ty Lawson of North Carolina -- at No.


The Timberwolves are expected to trade Lawson since they also took point guards with the Nos.

5 and 6 picks.

At No.

19, Atlanta drafted Wake Forest guard Jeff Teague.

The Utah Jazz used the 20th pick to grab Vanderbilt point guard Eric Maynor, and New Orleans took UCLA point guard Darren Collison with the 21st pick.

Forward Victor Claver of Spain went to Portland with the No.

22 pick.

Sacramento took Omri Casspi of Israel with the 23rd pick, Dallas chose 7-1 Ohio State center B.J.

Mullens at No.

24 and Oklahoma City selected point guard Rodrigue Beaubois of Guadeloupe with the 25th pick.

With the No.

27 pick, Memphis chose forward DeMarre Carroll of Missouri.

At No.

28, Minnesota took North Carolina forward Wayne Ellington.

With the 29th pick, the Los Angeles Lakers selected guard Toney Douglas of Florida State.

Douglas reportedly will be shipped to the Knicks in a pre-arranged deal for cash and a future second-round pick.

With the final pick of the first round, Cleveland took guard/forward Christian Eyenga of the Congo.

In major draft-day trades, the Cavaliers finalized their deal to acquire Shaquille O'Neal from Phoenix, while Toronto sent eight-time NBA All-Star forward Vince Carter and forward Ryan Anderson to Orlando for point guard Rafer Alston, shooting guard Courtney Lee and power forward Tony Battie.,nba-draft-picks-062509.article
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