Almost a month has passed since the Thunder’s season is over and not much happened if we exclude Russell Westbrook becoming a father and also he being named All-NBA first team.
The next important moment for the Oklahoma City Thunder will be June 22nd, the 2017 Draft night. As we all know, the Thunder own the 21st pick in the upcoming draft and they can not trade it until they have selected a player. It will be very interesting to see what Sam Presti does with it. You can create different scenarios for what might happen. Let’s have a look.
Keep the pick
This, in the eyes of many draft experts, is supposed to be a very deep draft so it might be possible that some good prospects fall to the 21st position where the Thunder will select. What Oklahoma City really needs right now is a backup point guard who can also play alongside Westbrook if needed, and/or a small forward who can be average good on both ends of the floor. Based on the mock draft on draftexpress.com this type of players (Donovan Mitchell, Frank Ntilikina, OG Anunoby, Justin Jackson) will be probably gone by the time the Thunder select. If there is no player left that the organization likes at that point, Presti might think about a different solution.
Trade and Move Up
To be sure to draft the player and the talent needed by the Thunder, Sam Presti could decide to create a package with (possibly) Kanter plus the 21st pick and try to move up in the draft. A package like this could be interesting for teams like the Sacramento Kings and the Charlotte Hornets. The Californian team has 2 picks (5 and 10) and, since the departure of Cousins, they are missing a solid post scoring presence (Kanter would be a great fit). Obviously, the 5th pick is out of the discussion but the 10th could offer a good range of possible players to select. Same situation for the Charlotte Hornets. The team owned by Jordan has only one pick (11th) but like the Kings, they are missing a solid low post scoring player.
Trade For Experience
This season, Oklahoma City had the youngest roster in the playoff and one of the top 5 youngest rosters in the whole league. So, instead of looking for a new rookie, the Thunder might want to add a player who has been in the league for a few years. Presti could try to add some experience while developing the young players already on the team. As mentioned before, what the Thunder need are a solid backup point guard and a small forward who can be an offensive threat and not a disaster on defense. In order to make this happen Oklahoma City will need to probably to let Kanter go (he is the only player who will be always in a trade conversation due to his big contract) alongside the 21st pick after draft night.
It is also important to notice that more players might be involved in the trade as a filler to make the exchange possible to happen.