Darnell Mayberry: Cody Zeller would fit the Thunder's culture

Darnell Mayberry took questions from readers today, mainly regarding the Thunder's 12th pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.
Oklahoman Published: May 22, 2013

Darnell Mayberry took questions from readers today, mainly regarding the Thunder's 12th pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. Here's the transcript:


Guest 11:00 a.m. who you got your eyes on that would fit for okc in the draft?
Darnell Mayberry 11:02 a.m. No one really. Conventional wisdom says the Thunder will take a big man. But I'm not so sure. If a guy like Shabazz Muhammed or Michael Carter-Williams is on the board at 12, I would think the Thunder would take a hard look at prospects like them.
Charlie 11:03 a.m. Will PJIII get some minutes next year???? I think hes got big time upside!!!
Darnell Mayberry 11:03 a.m. I doubt it. He's stuck behind Durant, Ibaka and Nick Collison. Barring injuries, it could be another year of grooming for him.
Guest 11:03 a.m. Are you surprised by what the Spurs are doing to the Grizzlies. Does it make the Thunder look bad
Darnell Mayberry 11:04 a.m. The Thunder didn't have Russell Westbrook. No, the Spurs winning their first two games at home against the Grizzlies has not made the Thunder look bad.
Sammy 11:04 a.m. NBA Finals: Matchup and prediction. Go!!!
Darnell Mayberry 11:04 a.m. I'd probably say Spurs-Heat at this point. I'll take Heat in 7.
Daniel 11:05 a.m. if shabazz muhammad slipped to the 12th, do u think the thunder will get him. and also any chance thunder will get cj mcCollum from lehigh
Darnell Mayberry 11:06 a.m. They're probably intrigued by both and actually could use both. McCollum more than Muhammed since Reggie Jackson projects to play more with Westbrook next year. Thunder will need a third point guard.
Jimmy 11:06 a.m. So, what's the 66ers' biggest need?
Darnell Mayberry 11:06 a.m. The Thunder's 12th pick.
Mat/BE 11:06 a.m. Hi Darnell, what's your take with this pick? The draft looks heavy on SG/SF and C, positions that would somehow fill a need for OKC.
Darnell Mayberry 11:08 a.m. It's a great pick for a 60-win team to have. It's disappointing that it ended up being the 12th pick when it could have been 4, 5 or 6. But this seems like a draft where the 12th player has as good of a chance at panning out as the fourth player picked. So the Thunder's in a good position. Regardless of who they take, the selection almost certainly won't crack the rotation next year. So fans will have to be patient.
Kevin 11:09 a.m. Is it safe to assume whoever is picked at 12 will most likely be playing in Tulsa like lamb did?
Darnell Mayberry 11:09 a.m. Exactly.
Tyler 11:09 a.m. Darnell are you ok after this past weekend storm and who do you think Thunder will draft with the number 12 Pick.Or will they move up and get someone huge
Darnell Mayberry 11:10 a.m. Yes, Tyler. I'm fine. Thanks for asking...Cody Zeller seems like a Presti/Thunder type guy on and off the court. If he's available it seems like a fit.
Guest 11:10 a.m. if Anthony Bennett is on the board at 12 do you think he would be a good fit for okc
Darnell Mayberry 11:11 a.m. Seems like he would. Highly doubt he'll still be around at 12.
DJ89 11:11 a.m. Who/what do you believe we will do with our picks and who do we replace K-Mart with?
Darnell Mayberry 11:13 a.m. I'd say the 12th pick will be used on a player to join the roster next season. The 29th pick will be either traded or used on a draft-and-stash player, and the 32nd pick definitely will be a draft-and-stash player. As for K-Mart, his replacement already is on the roster. His name is Reggie Jackson. Jeremy Lamb likely will get some of that time as well.
Rafael 11:13 a.m. What needs do the Thunder need to fill on their roster and who do you think would be a good prospect to take?
Darnell Mayberry 11:14 a.m. Rebounding and third point guard. There are prospects available who can develop into contributors in those areas, but nobody that I see who is going to crack the rotation from the start and help from day one.
Guest 11:15 a.m. OK. Best pick at 12.
Darnell Mayberry 11:15 a.m. Three names that I'd jump at if they're on the board at 12: Shabazz Muhammed, Cody Zeller and Michael Carter-Williams.
Guest 11:16 a.m. Any chance we could package the two picks in the first round and move up.
Darnell Mayberry 11:17 a.m. Sure, there's a chance. But two things to keep in mind, 1) the 12th pick might be just as good as the fourth pick. 2) Moving up adds more salary to the already bloated books. It's almost a blessing in disguise that the pick is 12th overall. That means the Thunder would only add $2 million in salary for next season.
scott 11:17 a.m. So who's going to be there at #12?
Darnell Mayberry 11:18 a.m. Here is Chad Ford's latest mock draft: http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/draft2013/story/_/id/9299240/2013-nba-draft-chad-ford-mock-draft-30
Allan 11:18 a.m. Good morning
Darnell Mayberry 11:18 a.m. Morning.
Guest 11:18 a.m. Hello, Darnell
Darnell Mayberry 11:18 a.m. Hello
Captain Ron 11:18 a.m. Thoughts on this being the weakest draft class in years?
Darnell Mayberry 11:19 a.m. Seems like we hear that every year. I don't buy it. I'll bet you there will be some good players.
Dustin 11:20 a.m. Who would be your ideal pick at the 12 spot?
Darnell Mayberry 11:21 a.m. Probably Muhammad.
fred 11:21 a.m. Trade all picks and pj3 for number one pick?
Darnell Mayberry 11:21 a.m. Only if you think Noel/McLemore/Porter are worth all that.
TJ 11:22 a.m. Do you have any advice for a person new to twitter and blogging? Is it useful for journalism purposes?
Darnell Mayberry 11:22 a.m. The more you write the better.
Terppppps 11:22 a.m. Would love to trade up to get Len.
Darnell Mayberry 11:22 a.m. That foot doesn't scare you?
Darnell Mayberry 11:23 a.m. Big men. Bad feet. Bad combo.
scott 11:23 a.m. What about Mannix this morning saying execs around league believe Thunder are going to make big move on draft night?? Are you hearing that??
Darnell Mayberry 11:24 a.m. Most execs around the league don't know what the Thunder will do.
kk 11:24 a.m. Who wont be back next year for the Thunder?
Darnell Mayberry 11:25 a.m. Ronnie Brewer, Derek Fisher and Kevin Martin are the most likely to be gone.
Wil 11:25 a.m. Jonathan Tjarks from SBnation.com mentioned Gorgui Dieng as a viable option for the Thunder. Does that seem like a good fit for the Thunder?
Darnell Mayberry 11:26 a.m. He can rebound, block shots and seems to have a developing offensive game. Sure.
Dustin 11:26 a.m. How do you feel about getting rid of a few picks and trading up?
Darnell Mayberry 11:27 a.m. It can be a wise move if the player you're trading up for is worth it. But trading up just to trade up doesn't make sense.
TJ 11:27 a.m. Does social media influence what you write about?
Darnell Mayberry 11:27 a.m. At times. The time Kevin Durant used Twitter to find a flag football game that happened to be on the campus of OSU is the most prominent example.
overseas okc fan 11:28 a.m. many okc fans from overseas want to know whether the tornado will damage Chesapeake Energy Arena
Darnell Mayberry 11:28 a.m. The arena did not receive any damage.
Darryl 11:28 a.m. Perkins stats have been declining for several years. Is it possible that he is on the decline physically.
Darnell Mayberry 11:28 a.m. He says he doesn't care about stats and he's comfortable with who he is. But it sure looks to be that way.
keith 11:29 a.m. Your thoughts on Traber thinking you weren't covering how terrible Kendrick Perkins really is and burying the worst-PER record.
Darnell Mayberry 11:30 a.m. It was a lengthy article in Sunday's paper that covered it from pretty much all angles...including how PER largely is a measure of offensive performance and doesn’t take into account a player’s defensive impact beyond blocked shots and steals
Kyle 11:30 a.m. What kind of trading options do the Thunder have this offseason? Any free agents you think are worth looking at?
Darnell Mayberry 11:31 a.m. I think you'd better be prepared for a quiet off-season, Kyle. Just a hunch. The team's payroll will be right at the tax line.
Guest 11:32 a.m. Better fit: Plumlee or Olynyk at 12?
Darnell Mayberry 11:32 a.m. Not familiar enough with Olynyk. But Plumlee is a guy who seems like he'll just find a way to make an impact, even if he is relegated to doing the dirty work.
Guest 11:32 a.m. what's reggie jackson's celling i know you been high on him do you think he can be have a impact like jarrett jack or even the guy with the beard that once played for us??
Darnell Mayberry 11:33 a.m. I could see Jackson averaging 16, 5 and 7...Not on the Thunder, of course. But he's got potential to be a stat sheet stuffer.
Choctaw Cory 11:34 a.m. have heard rumors of OKC packaging picks and assets to move way up in the draft. any idea of who they would be targeting? oladipo? @okcsportsguy
Darnell Mayberry 11:35 a.m. Not sure. But I do know this. Victor Oladipo would immediately slide into the All-DM Team along with Reggie Jackson and DeAndre Liggins.
Mel 11:35 a.m. Got a phone number for Dan Gilbert's son? I need him to pick my next lottery numbers. Who do you think the Cavs will take to pair with Kyrie?
Darnell Mayberry 11:35 a.m. There's already talk of the Cavs looking into trading the pick.
Guest 11:35 a.m. you think presti would trade 12 and kevin martin for the number 1 pick
Darnell Mayberry 11:35 a.m. Can't trade K-Mart. He's about to become a free agent.
Matt 11:36 a.m. Chris Mannix from cnnsi.com said in his initial mock draft that the Thunder are looking to make a major move on draft night with their assets (two first rounders, Lamb, PJIII). Is it more likely that the Thunder make a move for a veteran or a higher draft pick?
Darnell Mayberry 11:37 a.m. I'd say neither. The Thunder is not trading Jeremy Lamb. I can say that with confidence and almost complete certainty. It's highly unlikely the team will trade Perry Jones either.
Brian 11:37 a.m. Hey Darnell. You do an awesome job--just saying. You remember how the Thunder lost a draft pick because of Jeff Green's heart condition? Will the Lakers suffer a similar punishment since Bynum missed all season for the Sixers?
Darnell Mayberry 11:38 a.m. Thanks Brian. Doesn't look to be that way. Some out there try to justify it. I don't agree.
Jim 11:38 a.m. Has Daniel Orton showed any signs of being a productive big man?
Darnell Mayberry 11:38 a.m. Generally every time he gets playing time he does something well.
guest 11:38 a.m. fisher will not come back next season?
Darnell Mayberry 11:38 a.m. He may. But I'd be surprised.
Alf 11:38 a.m. Any chance the Thunder, with their love for vet's coming off the bench, could trade for Pierce to come off the bench?
Darnell Mayberry 11:38 a.m. No chance.
Brandon 11:39 a.m. How about Caldwell-Pope if he is around?
Darnell Mayberry 11:39 a.m. There's a guy I know nothing about.
Guest 11:39 a.m. steven adams or gorgui dieng?
Darnell Mayberry 11:39 a.m. I think I'd prefer Kendrick Perkins. Seriously.
tom 11:40 a.m. Boston drafted the rights to Larry Bird and then waited a year to add him to their team - why don't teams use a 2nd round pick on a one and done player and wait? The Thunder is loaded, why not draft Marcus Smart, or that super signee from KU, in the draft and get their rights?
Darnell Mayberry 11:40 a.m. You have to be 19 and a year removed from your high school graduating class to be draft eligible.
harry man 11:40 a.m. HELLO to all in oklahoma..my prayers are with you all. very nice what kevin durant is doing..
Darnell Mayberry 11:40 a.m. Thank you from all of us.
Jerry 11:41 a.m. How many players retire or are dropped each year from the NBA, so that new players have slots to fill? How many new players are drafted and how many ever get to play?
Darnell Mayberry 11:42 a.m. That's a handful, Jerry. To your first question, there isn't an exact number every year. It fluctuates. But 60 players are drafted every year. Some go overseas to play. Others might join the team but spend most of the season in the D-League.
Tommy 11:42 a.m. Since Jackson is a natural PG, why do you see Jackson playing with Westbrook rather than Lamb and Westbrook?
Darnell Mayberry 11:43 a.m. Jackson is a better player at this point, and the tandem of Westbrook and Jackson is better defensively than the tandem of Westbrook and Lamb.
Daniel 11:43 a.m. if serge worked out with hakeem this summer, do u see him becoming an all-star
Darnell Mayberry 11:45 a.m. I doubt it would happen overnight like that. And if it did happen that way, I'd attribute Ibaka becoming an All-Star more to the previous four years of hard work he's put in than a couple of training sessions with Hakeem. With that being said, I disagreed with Brooks and Perk saying the Olajuwon experience is overrated. First of all, no, a player is not going to be able to do exactly what Olajuwon did. That's obvious. But working with him is better than not working with him. There are some things you can learn. Secondly, if LeBron and Kobe can improve from working with him, Serge Ibaka definitely can.
Guest 11:46 a.m. what is Perk's role looking like for next year?
Darnell Mayberry 11:48 a.m. I like how Brooks began using him toward the end of the season (really the end of the Rockets series). Brooks finally started to manage the minutes better, sitting Perk when he wasn't needed. If Brooks does that more next year, he should be a 20-25 minute player and utilized mostly against big men. Enough of guarding point guards 74 feet from the basket just so he can still be on the court.
Daniel 11:48 a.m. do u think shabazz's attitude works out well with okc
Darnell Mayberry 11:49 a.m. I don't know the young man. Hard for me to say. But the Thunder did a lot of scouting at UCLA this past season. So know that if they pick him they didn't come across many red flags.
Duncan 11:49 a.m. Will your boy Liggins be back next year?
Darnell Mayberry 11:49 a.m. We can only hope. I think so, though.
Jarrett 11:49 a.m. What do you think about miles plumlee at 12
Darnell Mayberry 11:50 a.m. There might be better options. But he's a hard worker, an energy guy and he's got a high IQ and a good grasp of the fundamentals. He fits on those levels.
Guest 11:50 a.m. How many minutes will Lamb average next season?
Darnell Mayberry 11:50 a.m. I'm going to say 10.
TJ 11:51 a.m. Why do you think KD donated $1 million to the disaster relief efforts? Why do you think the Thunder organization matched his donation?
Darnell Mayberry 11:51 a.m. The team is a part of this community, and people in the community need help.
Mel 11:51 a.m. I was surprised to see so many Thunder players still in town to help support tornado victims. Are they still here training?
Darnell Mayberry 11:52 a.m. Many will stick around. Some will take off for two weeks and return to work out. This is a dedicated group.
Jim 11:52 a.m. Any chance Tim Hardaway Jr being around with the late first round pick for the Thunder?
Darnell Mayberry 11:52 a.m. It's possible. But I think he'll be gone.
Thunder Vikings 11:53 a.m. What role do you think the Thunder's player development system play in the #12 draft pick? It seems like a lot of the draft discussion is limited only to raw talent/athleticism, and less about how a player might develop in a certain team's system.
Darnell Mayberry 11:53 a.m. Not sure I understand the question. But the Thunder has done a terrific job of developing young players.
Michael 11:54 a.m. What are the chances Derek Fisher is back at the start of the playoffs next year?
Darnell Mayberry 11:54 a.m. This just made me laugh out loud. For real.
Guest 11:54 a.m. Are you saying that Westbrook won't be ready to start next season?
Darnell Mayberry 11:54 a.m. He'll be ready well before the start of training camp.
mil 11:54 a.m. sefolosha's cotract will be ended soon. will thunder sign him back?
Darnell Mayberry 11:55 a.m. Probably so. He's still young and effective. And he's still getting better.
Jim 11:55 a.m. Do the Thunder have a mid level exception, and could they use that to pursue a 2 to replace Kmart? Thoughts or comments?
Darnell Mayberry 11:56 a.m. Yes. But if the team used it, the incoming player would put the team over the tax in addition to not having many minutes available. It doesn't appear to be worth it.
Jim 11:56 a.m. What about a trade of Rjack, pick 29 for a standout 2 guard?
Darnell Mayberry 11:57 a.m. Are you trying to get banned from this chat, Jim? We don't discuss trading Reggie Jackson. :)
Darryl 11:57 a.m. No way Martin is kept at 12.439 million a season. If they get rid of him and amnesty Perkins (8.3 millions a season) would that open up salary cap room to sign a big free agent, particularly the big guy, Pekovic, from Minnesota? Or does the salary cap work differently?
Darnell Mayberry 11:58 a.m. No. The salary cap works differently. Even if the team amnestied Perkins, it would still be at roughly $58 million for next season. That's about where the salary cap is set. So the Thunder wouldn't have room to sign anyone else. They'd still have a few exceptions. But it wouldn't be enough to get the guys you're talking about.
kk 11:59 a.m. do you think Martin will take a lot less money to stay?
Darnell Mayberry 11:59 a.m. No, and with Lamb and Jackson developing I don't think the Thunder thinks it's worth it to retain him.
mil 11:59 a.m. lamb should not traded. he is potenial to be scoring machine.
Darnell Mayberry 11:59 a.m. Oh don't worry. He won't be.
Guest 12:00 p.m. Why do you keep defending Kendrick Perkins??????
Darnell Mayberry 12:01 p.m. Some of us saw what this team's defense looked like before he got here.
Darnell Mayberry 12:01 p.m. By the way, here is my story from Sunday on Perk and the whole amnesty issue: http://newsok.com/okc-thunder-gm-sam-presti-wont-amnesty-kendrick-perkins/article/3826853
Guest 12:02 p.m. How's Russell ? Is he rehabbing here this summer? Will thiunder go pg I draft ? Who's best fit at pg for thunder? Will Russell get back all his quickness this year
Darnell Mayberry 12:02 p.m. He seems to be in great spirits. He is rehabbing here this summer. The team has said Westbrook will be back and better than ever next season.
eeor 12:03 p.m. Wh

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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