NBA Draft: A Closer Look At Potential Options For The Thunder - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

NBA Draft: A Closer Look At Potential Options For The Thunder

Posted: Updated:

With the NBA Finals now in the rearview mirror, it’s now time to move on to the next big event on the basketball calendar: the 2017 NBA Draft.

This year’s draft is set for Thursday at 7 p.m. inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

The Oklahoma City Thunder hold the No. 21 pick in the first round, and here’s a quick breakdown of everything you need to know:

Potential Options

Assuming the Thunder stays put and makes its pick in the bottom half of the first round, Sam Presti and the rest of OKC’s decision makers will sort through its remaining options. While the Thunder is in desperate need of a backup point guard and a two-way perimeter player, Presti is known to draft the best player available, regardless of what position they play.

That being said, here’s a look at some guys who could still be around when the Thunder is on the clock:

Justin Jackson, Forward, North Carolina

Jackson opened some eyes this past season as he led the Tar Heels to a National Championship while averaging 18.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. Jackson may not be the best pure athlete in this draft, but the Thunder has a handful of athletic freaks on the roster, and Jackson’s savvy scoring ability would be a boost to OKC’s somewhat stagnant offense.

ESPN’s Chad Ford praises his midrange game and his high basketball IQ, but questions Jackson's motor and overall strength. More than a few people have projected Jackson would land with the Thunder, so he’s definitely a name Thunder fans should keep an eye out for.

OG Anunoby, Forward, Indiana

While many mock drafts project Anunoby to be selected towards the end of the lottery, there’s still a chance the super athletic wing could fall due to a knee injury he suffered this past season at Indiana.

Anunoby has the potential to be an elite perimeter defender seeing he has a 7-foot-2 wingspan despite his 6-foot-8 frame, but his offensive skill set still needs a lot of work. Anunoby can jump out of the gym, but could struggle to score at the NBA level.

If he does figure out how to put it all together, Anunoby could end up as one of the best players in this very loaded draft. Seeing the Thunder has taken chances on similar players such as Andre Roberson and Josh Huestis in the past, if Anunoby is still available when the Thunder is up, its hard to imagine Presti not pulling the trigger.

Justin Patton, Center, Creighton

Patton is another guy projected to be selected anywhere from the lottery to late in the first round, but the late bloomer has a ridiculous amount of potential.

Patton only spent one season in Omaha playing for Doug McDermott’s dad, but the 6-foot-11 big managed to average 12.9 points and 6.2 rebounds in about 25 minutes per game.

Ford profiles Patton as a super-efficient big man, but questions his rebounding and shot blocking ability. With the Thunder already set at the center position with Steven Adams, Patton would be able to grow and develop in OKC’s system while not being rushed out on the court too soon.

Jawun Evans, Point Guard, Oklahoma State

With Semaj Christon’s struggles as OKC’s backup point guard this past season, many Thunder fans throughout the state are clamoring to see the former Oklahoma State Cowboy in that role.

Evans is one of the best distributors in this draft, and his pick and roll decision making is rivaled by few. Many have compared Evans’ playing style to that of former OKC Hornet, Chris Paul, and that comparison may not be very far off.

Evans would fill an obvious need for the Thunder, but OKC may not reach for the former Poke at No. 21 seeing some mock drafts have him falling into the second round. If Presti does indeed go with Evans, it’ll be a popular pick with Thunder fans.

Another Draft Night Trade?

Whether it was trading for Cole Aldrich in 2010, or shipping off Serge Ibaka in a deal for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis last year, Presti is known to be active with trade calls on draft night.

Seeing this draft is touted as one of the best in the last couple decades, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Presti trade up into the top 10 to acquire one of the bigger names.

With guys like Russell Westbrook, Victor Oladipo and Steven Adams signing contract extensions with the Thunder last offseason, the most moveable player on OKC's roster is big man Enes Kanter.

Kanter is set to make $17.8 million in 2017-18 and $18.6 million the following year, therefore the Thunder could shed a good chunk of salary cap space if they decide to include the Turkish big man in a deal to move up in the draft.

Kanter is loved throughout the OKC community and is one of the better post scorers in the league, but he’s been virtually unplayable in the postseason due to his suspect defense.

With many rumors circulating throughout the basketball world, it’ll be interesting to see if Presti gets in on any of the trade action, or simply makes a minor move such as buying a pick in the second round like he did last season when the Thunder traded for Daniel Hamilton.

When Will We Hear From Presti?

Presti is scheduled to hold a news conference at the conclusion of Thursday night's draft. News 9 will stream the availability on our website and on our Facebook page. 

  • ThunderMore>>

  • Thunder Give Up Double-Double To Gobert, Fall to Jazz 96-87

    Thunder Give Up Double-Double To Gobert, Fall to Jazz 96-87

    AP photoAP photo

    Oklahoma City's All-Star trio of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony were bottled up in the first half by an active Utah defense. By the time George and Anthony got going, the come-from-behind climb was too steep. Anthony scored a game-high 26 and George added 22. Westbrook was held to six points on 2-for-11 shooting. He was held to single digits just twice in the two previous regular seasons.

    More >>

    Oklahoma City's All-Star trio of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony were bottled up in the first half by an active Utah defense. By the time George and Anthony got going, the come-from-behind climb was too steep. Anthony scored a game-high 26 and George added 22. Westbrook was held to six points on 2-for-11 shooting. He was held to single digits just twice in the two previous regular seasons.

    More >>
  • Thunder Top Knicks 105-84 In Debuts For George, Anthony

    Thunder Top Knicks 105-84 In Debuts For George, Anthony

    AP photoAP photo

    Russell Westbrook had a triple-double and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the New York Knicks 105-84 on Thursday night in their first regular-season game with All-Star additions Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.

    More >>

    Russell Westbrook had a triple-double and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the New York Knicks 105-84 on Thursday night in their first regular-season game with All-Star additions Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.

    More >>

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

More Sports

  • OU Sooners

    Find the latest sports news, schedules and more for the OU Sooners now!

  • OSU Cowboys

    Get all your OSU Cowboys information from sports highlights to the latest news & videos.

  • TU Golden Hurricane

    Follow the TU Golden Hurricane! Get sports scores, news and highlights.

  • ORU Golden Eagles

    ORU Golden Eagles fans can find the latest news on the team, scores and video here!

  • SportsMore>>

  • Scott Sutton Joins Cowboy Basketball Staff

    Scott Sutton Joins Cowboy Basketball Staff

    AP photoAP photo

    Oklahoma State head basketball coach Mike Boynton has announced the hiring of Scott Sutton, the winningest coach in Oral Roberts history and a former Cowboy, as an assistant on his staff.

    More >>

    Oklahoma State head basketball coach Mike Boynton has announced the hiring of Scott Sutton, the winningest coach in Oral Roberts history and a former Cowboy, as an assistant on his staff.

    More >>
  • AP Top 25: Sooners, Cowboys Each Drop One Spot

    AP Top 25: Sooners, Cowboys Each Drop One Spot

    AP photoAP photo

    As week after a rash of upsets gave the poll a shake-up, the first eight teams in the Top 25 released Sunday were unchanged. Alabama remains a unanimous No. 1 in the media poll. Penn State is No. 2 and Georgia is No. 3. Undefeated TCU and Wisconsin round out the top five.

    More >>

    As week after a rash of upsets gave the poll a shake-up, the first eight teams in the Top 25 released Sunday were unchanged. Alabama remains a unanimous No. 1 in the media poll. Penn State is No. 2 and Georgia is No. 3. Undefeated TCU and Wisconsin round out the top five.

    More >>
  • Thunder Give Up Double-Double To Gobert, Fall to Jazz 96-87

    Thunder Give Up Double-Double To Gobert, Fall to Jazz 96-87

    AP photoAP photo

    Oklahoma City's All-Star trio of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony were bottled up in the first half by an active Utah defense. By the time George and Anthony got going, the come-from-behind climb was too steep. Anthony scored a game-high 26 and George added 22. Westbrook was held to six points on 2-for-11 shooting. He was held to single digits just twice in the two previous regular seasons.

    More >>

    Oklahoma City's All-Star trio of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony were bottled up in the first half by an active Utah defense. By the time George and Anthony got going, the come-from-behind climb was too steep. Anthony scored a game-high 26 and George added 22. Westbrook was held to six points on 2-for-11 shooting. He was held to single digits just twice in the two previous regular seasons.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
News 9
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
News9.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 KWTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.