First off, let me say Oklahoma City have made amazing moves since the debut of the franchise. Russell Westbrook at 4, adding prospects teams would like to have ( BJ Mullens, DJ White, Eric Maynor) and even adding players who fit certain role ( Thabo Sefolosha)
But IMO, I think Oklahoma City missed two really good opportunities.
The 1st one was the 3rd pick in the draft in 2009. I really think Oklahoma City should have taken DeMar DeRozan. No, DeRozan wasn't the 3rd pick in the draft but he has that Kobe type size and built. He's also a longer, lanky defender with good defensive potential. I like James Harden but how good will he be in 3 seasons? I think not only does DeRozan could have been that potential dynamic scorer but a strong combo defender next to Durant and Westbrook.
The 2nd was from the 2010 draft. I REALLY think the Thunder should have moved up and taken DeMarcus Cousins. Oklahoma City could have moved Jeff Green and the couple 1st round picks and filler to get the 4th pick for DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins in my eyes is a potential superstar Center. He reminds me of a more mobile Andrew Bynum.
I don't think this will hinder OKC's chances to win a title in the next 5 seasons because they are a smart team but one wonders how good a lineup of Westbrook-DeRozan-Durant- White- Cousins would have been.
Can't dwell on the shoulda coulda woulda's. OKC still has a solid young team and I'm sure they are more than happy with their picks.
I think Harden was the better fit and he still have not shown he full skills. Also I think if OKC could have moved up they would have to get Cousins, I am sure they tried with Minny but Kahn was like no because he like Johnson over Green and some other solid young players. Sac would not do the trade. Also New Jersey and Philly may not have wanted to as well.
Derozan is years behind Harden in development...and he's also about 3 weeks OLDER then him. I think you may be the only person in the world who thinks Derozan is a better prospect then Harden. I watched around 30 Raptor games this year and Derozan just looked lost out there, couldn't defend, couldn't create his own shot, he's a project, something Harden is not.
Maybe Cousins would have been nice, but teams don't often trade out of a top 5 draft pick, sorry. Aldrich is probably a much better fit, Cousins is pretty immature and has a long way to go before he can be a reliable player on a winning team, which is what OKC is.
I also think it's kind of funny that a knicks fan is talking about 'coulda, shoulda, woulda' on drafting, when the knicks could of had Jennings and Brook Lopez on the Knicks and which would have drastically increased their chances of getting more then just Amare this summer...
Come on now..what does being a Knick fan have to do with ANYTHING.
I disagree on DeRozan to Harden because Harden had better talent around him. I think DeRozan was thrown in to be a scorer. Put DeRozan in OKC and I believe he would be able to come down and slow down his play IMO
Derozan was the 5th option on the starting lineup...most of his buckets were alley-oops, putbacks, garbage buckets, or in transition. He's just not very skilled as of now.
Hindsight is 20/20 and we haven't even seen Cousins or Aldrich yet to make judgments, even Derozan for that matter. I mean if the Hawks just drafted the way the analysts projected it, they'd be the champs by now. They took Childress the pick before Iguodala and Deng. They took Marvin Williams when they had the choice of Chris Paul and Deron Williams. They took Shelden Williams the pick before Brandon Roy. They took Acie Law over Thaddeus Young a home town kid and athlete that fit the system. They took Jeff Teague when the next 2 picks were PG's Darren Collison and Eric Maynor.
Realistically this could have been the Hawks if they drafted the way draft experts predicted:
PG: Deron Williams/Darren Collison
SG:Joe Johnson/Brandon Roy
SF:Andre Iguodala/Thaddeus Young
PF: Josh Smith
C: Al Horford
Derozan is a beast don't get me wrong but Harden was the best fit of OKC. OKC already has Durant, Green, and Westbrook. They needed a steady guy that can just blend in. Derozan is not that guy.
ghetto that let's you know that ATL general managers really sucked and now make Kahn look good.
Demar is a player that if you want to be good, need to give him minutes and not being 4th or 5th string in OKC. Harden is a way better fit for that team and say if what you said could've happened, the Thunder would have a weak 3 point shooting starting line-up.
How would DeRozan be 4th or 5th string?
Sorry, I meant option.
Obviously would have been a massive reach and isn't realistic considering many were surprised he was picked as early as 11, but Terrence Williams would have been the perfect fit with KD. Still Harden's going to be a good one for them.
I agree Harden will be alright but I wonder like what's his ceiling?
Also, Harden wasn't a reach? I seen him floating in the 5-9 range in alot of pre mock drafts
A lot of people thought OKC was going to take Rubio or Thabeet, while Sac was pretty set on Evans. Minny was salivating for Harden to drop to 5th, but that obviously didn't happen. So 5/6 was his floor. But OKC was pretty clear that they were going to stick with Westbrook as their PG, so most still saw that Harden was going to OKC since they won the 3rd pick.
Twill would have been a good fit too, but he's a lot like Thabo, except he has those good play making skills, but having a pure scorer for their bench was probably the best decision.
You are right on about the Hawks.
That's why Billy Knight was one of the worst GM.
In 2005, Chris Paul was arguably the best player in the draft. Bogut got the top spot because he's a big man, but there is no excuse to take on Marvin Williams with the #2 pick and missed out on both Deron Williams and Chris Paul. Marvin Williams was just a 6-th man on his own college team. He got potential, but why would the Hawks drafted a SF when their team is consisted of good swingmen?
They had Josh Childress, Josh Smith, Joe Johnsonn. All 6-8 t 6-9 and the Hawks got a big hole at PG and C. The best decision was to draft Chris Paul (he was more hyped than Deron Williams back then).
In 2006, it was even more laugable. Taking Sheiden Williams with the 5th pick when everyone projected him to be a mid-teen pick. That draft they went with position instead of the BPA and the worst part is that Williams was 6-9, a super undersized center.
I was laughing at Billy Knight because he was trying to build a starting line-up of 6-8 to 6-9 back in the days.
How do you not say Evans???
You guys are wanting the players that played the best this past season and now looking to fitting into the team. Harden is versatile, athletic, can shoot the 3, can pass, can defend. He can spot up put the ball on the floor. I can't see a more perfect fit for them to be honest. He played off the bench but still got over 30 minutes a lot of games. They were bring him along slowly because they already have a solid core and did not know how he would mesh. He could possibly start this season. OKC has been pretty solid on all of their moves. They rebuilt this team pretty fast which does not happen too often and they still have cap flexibility and loads of talent. You can't beat that.
@ knickboy You are nip picking man.
He was a good pick. He is a very smart basketball player, and I think he has a higher ceiling than DeRozan because of his overall offensive talent. He is a complete player who can complement Durant well. DeRozan would be a big reach.
You guys are kidding yourselves when you say Harden has a higher ceiling than DeRozan. DeMar is so much more athletic and is just raw talent. Harden is not nearly as fast nor explosive. DeRozan is a better defender as well.
Evans is ball dominant. He would be a poor fit for the Thunder. He wouldn't fit well with Durant and Westbrook. Curry would be a better pick for a combo guard as he is a great shooter who doesn't need to to be a big scorer, and Westbrook could allow him to defend pgs. Harden was a good pick in my opinion, though.
Derozan definitely has a higher ceiling because of his freak physical attributes. Still that doesn't mean he'll end up a better player than Harden. Harden has skills that Derozan probably will never develop. If Derozan had Harden's skills given Derozan's physical prowess, that would be an allstar player. It's a matter of choice. Skill+polish vs potential+athleticism. Personally for what the Thunder are trying to do and for the role they want their SG to encompass Harden is still probably the better pick. Anyways it's not even that realistic that the Thunder would have taken Derozan at 3. Scouts were really down on him after a disappointing freshman season especially compared to what OJ Mayo had just done, I even thought 9 was a bit earlier than I expected. I thought Derozan would drop mid first like Nick Young. If the Thunder hadn't gone Harden they probably would have gone Reke or Jordan Hill. As amazing as Reke and KD would have been, not sure how that would work together.
OKC needed a wing player who could knock down the 3 but most importantly SCORE OFF THE BALL, and defend. The best player in the draft at doing those two things at the wing is Harden. Mission accomplished.
In the end, we will see.
I never said Harden was a terrible pick, down the road I can see DeRozan becoming something special. That is all.
The dreaded "potential" word, what if DeRozen unds up being another Desmond Mason? I like the Harden pick, he's gonna be a great fit for that team down the line.
OKC should have taken Tyreke Evans.
I don't want to hear about the best fit for the team theory because NBA rosters change so quickly that the core of your team may be completely different two years from now. Harden will be a good player while Tyreke will become a perennial all star.
Most smart basketball people subscribe to the theory of taking "the best player available", especially when you're drafting in the top 3.
Harden compilments Durant and Westrook, plus he is a OKC type of player (high bball IQ, humble, quality defender)...
rtbt Tyreke Evans was not the bpa during the draft. So many GM's and draft analysts were not high on Evans. Many publications didn't even have Evans as a top 10 pick. Now obviously he's turned out to be a terrific player but at the time Evans was not the bpa, it was somewhat a surprise he went as high as he did. From the end of the college season Harden was pretty much the consensus #2 behind Blake Griffin and Thabeet went #2 simply on need. Rubio and Curry were definitely higher rated prospects coming out than Evans. It's easy to say now that Reke and KD would be sick but at the time I don't think it was heavily considered at all. Just like how everyone says the Hawks passed up Chris Paul for Marvin Williams. Not entirely true because FO already said they had Deron over Paul, so you can't really say the Hawks took Marvin instead of Paul because they never really considered him.