I decided to make a thread in which I break down 1 player each day leading up to the draft. I'll discuss their abilities, their stock, what teams I see them fitting in with, what their best case/worst case scenarios are, and a comparison if possible. The guys I will not
discuss are Brandon Jennings, Ricky Rubio, Gani Lawal, Marcus Thornton, and Omri Casspi, as well as any other international players because I know very little about them.
The players will be chosen at random and in no particular order. So to start it off...
James Harden, SG, Arizona St.
James, put in the right situation, could be the player in the draft most ready to contribute now
. A crafty lefty, Harden has an uncanny ability to get into the lane and to the free throw line whenever he pleases. His slashing ability tops out in this draft at his position by far and he has a way of finishing difficult shots around the basket. His passing from a 2 guard position is above average, though sometimes he can get into trouble if his drives to the bucket are cut off and the defense collapses on him, leading to a turnover.
Harden's biggest weakness as of now is shooting off of the dribble. When he receives the ball on the perimeter, his only options are to isolate and try to get to the bucket, catch and shoot, or pass. If his lane to the bucket is cut off in isolation chances are he's going to miss the jumper. Part of this could be because he doesn't get much elevation on his jumper, therefor barely getting it over his defenders hands.
The closest, and no not an exact comparison, that I can come to is Manu Ginobili. Both left handed, similar size, great driving ability to get to the basket and similar as stand-still shooters. What Manu has that Harden doesn't is mentioned above, the ability to shoot off the dribble. If Harden can develop this ability his offensive arsenal could be lethal.
Best Case Scenario: 21 ppg, 2nd option on a team
Worst Case Scenario: 6th Man
Stock: No higher than 3, no lower than 12
Best Fit Situations: Thunder (3), Raptors (9), Bobcats (12)