College, NBA Draft / May 29, 2009 / 5:26 pm

NBA Draft ’09 update: Harden going Top-5; DeRozan > Vince Carter

James Harden (photo. Bruce Yeung)

James Harden (photo. Bruce Yeung)

Some news from this week’s Chicago pre-draft camp:

* Arizona State SG James Harden has reportedly canceled all workouts with teams picking outside of the Top-5. This comes on the heels of a widespread rumor that the OKC Thunder have targeted Harden with the No. 3 overall pick. With Harden at the two and Kevin Durant at the three, OKC could have one of the League’s top scoring wing combos for years to come. (Or at least until KD bolts the pasture as soon as possible to play in a big market.)

* Southern Cal SG/SF DeMar DeRozan has often been compared to a young Vince Carter due to his sheer hops, athleticism, and knack for making highlights. Asked about the VC comparisons while in Chicago, DeRozan said, “I think I can jump higher than Vince did.”

Pressed to see if he really meant he could fly higher than 1999 Vince or 2009 Vince, DeRozan clarified: “Vince now. Yeah, you caught that. Vince now.”

DeRozan is projected to go anywhere from 5th to 11th, but no matter what team he’s on, you might as well book his flight to Dallas right now for All-Star Weekend 2010, as he’ll be a lock for the dunk contest.

* If the Wizards don’t grant Caron Butler‘s wish and trade their No. 5 pick for a veteran, they could be looking to add some firepower to their backcourt alongside Gilbert Arenas. Two of the top prospects on their board appear to be Memphis’ Tyreke Evans and Davidson’s Stephen Curry, both of whom could play either PG or SG in the pros, with Arenas moving wherever necessary.

“I’m a combo guard,” Tyreke told the Washington Post. “I think I’d fit perfectly. If (the Wizards) get healthy, they’ll be back as one of the top teams in the NBA. I wouldn’t mind playing behind Gilbert, watching, learning from him. I’m not the type of player that’s going to go in there and complain about playing time. If I have to wait my turn, I’ll wait my turn.”

Curry also told the Post he could share the rock with Arenas in the backcourt.

“I see myself as a true point who can score. I’ve evolved my game the last year to do that,” Curry said. “If they can move (Arenas) to the two again, me and him being a one-two combo would be fun.”

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    yeah im glad demar checked himself on that one. demar’s hops are pretty close to circa 2000 vince, but vince is still the standard when it comes to dunking period.

  • spike

    Curry to the Wizards? nah…hes gonna be good though…at worse he could be a chris duhon…seriously other then the elites, how many point gaurds could put up numbers that steph put up?

  • http://deleted Luigi

    Damn. id like to get a combo guard..but also id like to get Amare/Bosh for that 5th pick

  • Kobeef

    I really like the idea of Harden in OKC but with now that the numbers are in I think Griffin’s stock stayed the same but Harden’s took a big leap. I could see the Clips getting Harden and Green for Griffin now more than before- and it would make some sense for LA since Harden is a play now type talent would would fit very well beside Baron.

    Also, I think now it is very likely that Rubio ends up in Sacramento which would be great for both sides. Apparently the Grizz wanted Thabeet all along anyway and he measured HUGE – 7-6 wingspan.

  • David_Brandon

    this is getting more an more interesting to me. i’m lookin forward to this years draft. i remember last year they were saying tyler hansbrough would be a lottery pick, but dime said that he might go 30th. its gonna be nice to see this develop. but blake’s still going first, no matter what these other reports keep saying. and if someone did skip over him, they deserve to get dropkicked to the side of the head as soon as announced.

  • doc

    I like Tyreke attitude going in.

  • Sanpitch

    Hell I would be saying the same things, “I won’t complain about playing time, I’ll be no problem at all.” They are all blowing smoke up the teams ass that could possibly pick ‘em. No way would you say, “I’m gunning for Gil’s playing time.” That leaves you open to horrible rookie hazings and also you just became the most hated person in the locker room b4 you even step into the locker room.

  • sunni

    did curry and evans forget about nick young

  • D.H.

    Washington does not need more backcourt-me first-shooting guards. They already have Arenas, Young, Crittenton, Dixon, Stevenson, and Mike James (ok, so those last two really don’t count but you know they’ll want theirs). Why on earth would they consider Tyreke or Curry?

    If they don’t trade the pick (they really should) why not draft Jordan Hill? Or trade down and pick up Earl Clark who has really excelled in the pre-draft camps workouts?

  • dung

    terrence williams dunks way better than demar derozan

  • Giacomo

    @ dung
    whatever your smoking hook me up with some asap

  • K Dizzle

    @ Kobeef

    Eric Gordon…

  • http://nbadraftscouts.com Tyler Whitcomb

    Harden 3, that would be a good decision if Thabeet and Griffin are off the board. It would be hard to draft him over Rubio, but not a bad decision at all. Harden will be runner up to Griffin for rookie of the year. As for Derozan jumping higher than Carter, no way!! Derozan is an awesome athlete and can fly and should get Carter comparisons, but nobody that has played in the NBA has ever jumped with Carter.

  • Bron42 aka Had Springs before slamball

    @Giacomo, williams actually did have more creative dunks last year. Derozan is a better leaper but his dunks weren’t that creative.

  • Seven Duece

    If the Clippers trade #1 Griffin for Harden/Green they will be doing the same thing they’ve always done: Trade away a guy they NEED for a couple they don’t. Harden is going to contribute, but Eric Gordon’s offensive game is sickening. His defense will come. Green is aight, but better as a 3. He’s a better option than ‘Jack-it-up’ Thornton, but worth it to trade a true low post beast? The potentials of the two don’t add up to the 1 in this case. Now if the Clips can unload Baron Davis with that trade, I say go for it.

  • LaMont

    @ Tyler Whitcomb

    David Thompson? Stevie Franchise? who finished a very very close second behind Vince in the contest one year and is shorter than Vince. Jason Richardson?

  • Mike C

    No one ever jumped like Vince did in 99. No one.

  • OKCsonics

    Clippers horrible drafting and losing culture is exactly why they won’t give up Griffin, it would haunt them and solidify them as the worst ran franchise in NBA History. OKC (Presti) needs to play head games with these other clowns and get something good for Rubio (Harden & something) and take Detroit up on the 15th pick & Amir Johnson. Add Harden, Amir Johnson, Blair/Mullens at 15, Hansborough/T. Williams at 24…looking good going into offseason w/ extra cash