Who should have Okla. City picked at No. 3? - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Who should have Okla. City picked at No. 3?

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Posted: Thursday, June 25, 2009 8:51 pm | Updated: 12:39 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Oklahoma City made a mistake by drafting James Harden with the third overall pick in Thursday's NBA draft. He will be a solid addition, but is not a player with superstar potential.

Harden is solid, but Rubio is a potential star

Oklahoma City made a mistake by drafting James Harden with the third overall pick in Thursday's NBA draft.

He will be a solid addition, but is not a player with superstar potential.

The Thunder should have selected Ricky Rubio, a point guard that would have fit in perfectly with Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook.

I can see why Harden was selected. The Thunder envision Westbrook as the point guard of the future, and Harden fills the hole at shooting guard.

However, Westbrook has the ability to play shooting guard, and Rubio would have added more talent to the squad than Harden does.

Players and their positions will work themselves out, but talent will always reign supreme. Oklahoma City should have gone for the home run.

Kyle Odegard

Harden comes with fewer concerns for an already young team

A lifestyle transition from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City is going to be - how do we put this - a whirlwind for James Harden, but on the subject of basketball, he's landed in the right place.

The Thunder had options at No. 3. They could have gone with Ricky Rubio, Tyreke Evans or Stephen Curry. But in Harden, they've attempted to solidify their shooting guard position between young guns Russell Westbrook (point guard) and Kevin Durant (small forward).

Harden isn't a bull's-eye shooter like Curry or a wizard with the ball like the almost-19-year-old Rubio. The differences with Harden are his outside shooting (The Thunder were 30th in 3-point percentage last season), his on-court versatility beyond scoring, and his ability to play right away - and there's no need to fret about a $6 million buyout from Rubio's team in Spain.

With Westbrook and Durant already youngsters not yet in their prime, the Thunder don't need to wait three years for Rubio to try to evolve at the most important position in the NBA. Harden's (more) ready to roll.

Mark Heller

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