Harden and Evans the Saviors of Basketball in Minnesota

micheal malcolmCorrespondent IJune 24, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 14:  Guard James Harden #13 of the Arizona State Sun Devils looks on after losing to the USC Trojans in the Pacific Life Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament Championship Game at the Staples Center on March 14, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Due to an amazing trade, or a very stupid one depending on your opinion, the Minnesota Timberwolves have an opportunity to shape their franchise for years to come. Now this often moribund franchise can make the logical two picks in the draft: Tyreke Evans and James Harden.


Why these two players you ask? Very simple. Besides the fact that I am highly sold on Harden’s profile and his overall game, the Wolves need to re-tool and these two players would be an excellent place to start. Both players fit a need now that the trade between Washington and Minnesota has been finalized.


Harden is a player, he has no real strengths, but no real weaknesses. He’s 6’5 and a mean productive scoring machine. I believe that Harden is this year’s NBA-ready player both from a maturity and physical ready standpoint.


Evans is a sleek 6’5 SG who the Wolves will have to put at PG. He is also another player that isn't as prepared as Harden to contribute right away, but his learning curve will be a short one. Based on video I have seen, Evans has shown willingness in workouts and competitive games to show that he has the making of a top-flight scoring PG. While there have been debates if a team can win with a high scoring PG, Evans is a great pick here for the Wolves.


Let me take the time to say I am not a Hasheem Thabeet fan, nor do I think the Wolves should waste a draft pick on him. This is based on the current lineup the Wolves have which includes undersized C, Al Jefferson. With Evans and Harden on this Wolves team there will not be as much pressure for Jefferson to do everything and he will have help in second year player Kevin Love on the offensive and defensive glass (Love was among the league leaders in offensive rebounds per minute last year).


At this point the Wolves have an extremely strong core of Jefferson-Love-Harden- Evans. All that needs to happen is Corey Brewer needs to step up, or Ryan Gomes continues to emerge.


Minnesota GM David Khan clearly has placed his stamp on this team, which has been in need of several overhauls over the years. While I personally believe that he gave up too much for this pick (I think that Miller\Telfair or Miller\Brewer could have got the job done), it’s refreshing to see a GM make a daring move in a draft filled with uncertainties.


Let this be the resurrection of Minnesota basketball. All that is needed are some veterans and strong leaders to teach these younger players the ‘right way’ to play the game and how to approach the NBA. The building process may be long and tough, but today is yours Mr. Khan. Do not squander the fruits of your labor.