By Mike Baldwin
ESPN reported late Tuesday night that the Thunder and Phoenix are rumored to be discussing a trade that would give Oklahoma City two lottery picks Thursday night in the draft.
Ready for the punch line. The Suns want their unprotected pick back that Sam Presti stole from them just a few months on the job from the Kurt Thomas trade two years ago.
According to the report, OKC would get Phoenix’s No. 14 pick while the Suns would get the Thunder’s No. 25 pick late in the first round. It went on to say Presti has an eye on using the pick on Ohio State center B.J. Mullens.
Is it a good deal? It depends.
Phoenix might dismantle. The pick Phoenix would get back could be extremely valuable in the 2010 draft, which figures to be much more loaded with star prospects. What if the Suns tear things apart and have a top 10 pick next season?
If the deal is made, who does Presti select with the final lottery pick?
Mullens would be a project. He was a major disappointment last season as a freshman with the Buckeyes. But many scouts feel he has a lot of upside, although it might be two or three years before you could fairly evaluate someone like Mullens.
But what if Presti ends up using the pick to take someone like Pitt’s beast DeJuan Blair, who might contribute immediately, giving the Thunder some much needed inside muscle?
For now, it’s only a rumor. But if Presti does get Phoenix’s pick it’s a sign he’s confident the team is closer to putting all the pieces together, even if he has to wait a year or two to let someone like Mullens develop.