Pre-draft Quotables Part I: Evans, Harden

I decided to focus on the guards on Thursday, and I will spend some time with the big guys today. But here's what else Tyreke Evans and James Harden had to say. I'll come back with DeMar DeRozan, Jonny Flynn and even Maryland native Ty Lawson.

Tyreke Evans, Memphis

I'm so fast, dudes fall down trying to keep up. (AP Photo/Lance Murphey)

On his natural position: "I think in the NBA, I can play the point or the two, it depends on what the team needs. I just willing to work, whatever the coach wants me to play, I'm willing to play it. I think it's going to come down to the work I put in in the gym. Nobody is going to be able to take that from me. You have to work everyday, go in there with a hard hat on my head."

On when he decided to go pro: "After the Missouri game [a loss in the NCAA Tournament], [Memphis] Coach [John] Calipari, we sat down and talked about it. He said it was time for me to leave. He told me he talked to coaches and they said I would be a top pick."

More on playing point guard: "From playing the point guard at Memphis, I felt comfortable, getting my teammates involved, making other people better. It wouldn't matter to me. In high school, I've been playing the two all my life. Either one of them is perfect for me. I think I'm a better player with the ball in my hands. But it can be the same way as a two guard. I'm a creator, I can make plays for them."

On what players he patterns his game after: "I studied Penny Hardaway who I worked out with at Memphis. Tracy McGrady. I think I'm a Tracy McGrady-type guy. My scoring abilty, the dribble drive offense we ran at Memphis. I have confidence just to drive the ball."

James Harden, Arizona State

I'm more athletic than I look. (David Wallace/The Arizona Republic)

On the best fits for him: "There are a couple of teams. Oklahoma City is young and exciting and they have a two spot that's open. It's a great fit. Sacramento. Washington has a great chance of making the playoffs next year. There are couple of great situations that I can be in."

On the players to whom he would compare himself: "Two players - [Manu] Ginobili and Paul Pierce put together. [Someone who] can find his way to the basket, can shoot the pull up, can shoot the deep three balls. Whatever team needs."

On dealing with a bad performance in the NCAA Tournament: "I wanted to play well, it was my first tournament. I wanted to play well for myself and my teammates. It hurt me, because I figure everybody has bad games, it was just bad timing. It hurt the week after it, but now I have to move on. I took a week and a half to relax and not even think about the tournament. It was hard because this was my last game and I didn't play so well.

On his strengths: "My shooting. I'm strong. Can handle the ball, play defense. My long arms really help me out a lot. I do a couple of things well. I don't think I anything exceptionally well, that just blows your mind away, but I get the job done. I get the job done. that's all that matters."

By Michael Lee |  May 29, 2009; 10:01 AM ET
Previous: Thoughts On Pre-Draft Camp, Cavaliers | Next: Pre-draft Quotables Part II: DeRozan, Flynn, Lawson


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Posted by: Dellis2 | May 29, 2009 11:03 AM

Somebody compared Harden to Mitch Richmond, and I thought that was pretty apt. Evans is an impressive physical specimen -- he'll be able to post people up from the jump. He's an excellent midrange jump shooter (a lost art) but for some reason has been awful from 3 point range. Can't see why he won't be able to fix that.

The thing is, the NBA regular season is no place to learn fundamental basketball, so I have something of a mild bias toward the sophomore over the freshman. Slightly less risk?

Posted by: Samson151 | May 29, 2009 11:21 AM

Derozen shot 10% from three point land last season. He has also been hanging around Master P since he was in middle school. No thanks.

Posted by: dominic10464 | May 29, 2009 11:23 AM

The thing is, the NBA regular season is no place to learn fundamental basketball, so I have something of a mild bias toward the sophomore over the freshman. Slightly less risk?

Not really. Sports is like any other part of college: Just because someone's been in school longer doesn't necessarily mean they've learned more.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 29, 2009 3:39 PM

If we keep this pick and I have to choose between these two, I'd go Harden. Evans is a talent, but he's not what we need. I do feel he could play either guard spot in the league... in time, but we don't exactly have an "in the time," type luxury about us. Harden is NBA ready, at least for what we need at the two. An efficient scorer with range. And not to put too much on the kid, but I think that Mitch Richmond comparison is DEAD-on. Is he the second coming, who knows. But it's one of the better comparisons of a college to pro (past / present) player that I've seen in recent years.

Posted by: LIKWID | May 29, 2009 4:20 PM

Harden will be gone by #5. That leaves Evans, Hill, and probably Thabeet to choose from. All projects.

Posted by: djnnnou | May 29, 2009 5:03 PM

Man... gotta say Hardin seems like a good fit, but he'll probably be gone. I like what Evans has to say, sounds like he has the right attitude. His size and combo skills could make him a really good match with Gil in the backcourt.

Griffin, Rubio, Thabeet, Hardin are looking as the top 4. Seems that leaves either Evans or Hill depending on what we feel we need. We gotta decide if Blatche is our 4 of the future or trade him and bring in Hill.

Posted by: Darnell1 | May 29, 2009 6:59 PM

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