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

By: 05.29.09  •  18 Comments
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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