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Realistic Destinations for James Harden and Jeff Pendergraph, NBA Draft Edition


As many of you know, Washington and Minnesota pulled off a fairly significant trade this afternoon, with the Wizards sending their #5 pick, Etan Thomas, Darius Songalia and Oleksiy Pecherov for Randy Foye and Mike Miller. It is now official: Minnesota owns the 2009 NBA Draft, holding the 5th, 6th, 18th, and 28th picks.

It is theorized that the Timberwolves would like to upgrade to the 2nd overall by packaging the 5th and 18th picks, but right now it appears as though Minnesota would do very well for themselves by holding onto their plethora of pickables.

Why, do you ask? Because the draft is chock full of intrigue and possibilities for an openminded GM with the cajones to make tough decisions and look for the big reward.

Imagine the possibilities.

1. Clippers- Blake Griffin

2. Grizzlies- Hasheem Thabeet

3. Thunder- Ricky Rubio

4. Kings- Tyreke Evans

5. Timberwolves

6. Timberwolves

Quite a few talented players left on the market, wouldn't you agree?

Minnesota has quality bigs (Al Jefferson and Kevin Love), but based on the trade of Foye and Miller, is lacking some depth at the wings and running the point.

Why not draft James Harden? He can be immediately slotted into the starting five, giving you minutes of consistent play. With the next pick, why not give him someone to run with (either Brandon Jennings, Stephen Curry or Jrue Holiday). Ideally, Minnesota would pick up Harden and Curry, acquiring two very talented college veterans and some seasoned NBA vets in return for Foye and Miller.

At 18 and 28, it's not out of the question to see the Timberwolves filling their front court even further by drafting Harden's college cohort, Jeff Pendergraph. It makes more sense to fill out the backcourt even further by picking up Ty Lawson/Wayne Ellington, or a PG like Teague from Wake Forest.

Most NBA squads don't overfill their rosters with rookies, so a pick like Nick Calathes would make excellent sense for the 'Wolves at #28. He will be in Greece next season, so let him develop while your core matures stateside.

In the end, where will our ASU alums go?

Harden: Minnesota

Pendergraph: I may be crazy, but I foresee a Oklahoma City Thunder pickup at #25 overall in Jeff's future.

Either way, expect updates on Thursday when their names come off the board.