Talk about producing something out of nothing. This was a Stone Soup draft, whether or not the Thunder hits the mother lode with Aldrich.
The mother lode would be Kendrick Perkins. That's who the Thunder brass hopes Aldrich can become. The 6-foot-10 Perkins is the Celtics' rugged paint protector; one of the league's best defensive centers.
Aldrich is listed at 6-11 and measures 6-9, but either way, he's only an inch difference from Perkins and comes into the league with much more expectation and experience. Perkins was a high school entry, drafted 27th overall in 2003 by Memphis for Boston. He didn't play much his first two years but has been an underrated cornerstone of the Celtic Renaissance.
If Aldrich is Kendrick Perkins, hurry up, OKC, and build that downtown park. We're going to need it for an NBA title celebration.
Of course, I'll be happy if Aldrich just becomes another Nick Collison.
Collison went 12th overall in the loaded 2003 draft of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Chris Kaman, Kirk Hinrich, David West, Boris Diaw, Travis Outlaw, Leandro Barbosa, Josh Howard and Perkins.
So Collison clearly came into the league as ballyhooed as Aldrich. And the hard-nosed Collison, maybe the ultimate Presti player, is a Thunder favorite.
If Aldrich can just be another Collison, the Thunder will be fine.
Presti seems to be lining up replacements for the second generation Boomers. Durant, Westbrook and hopefully Green figure to be around a long time, but Presti now has drafted potential eventual replacements for Nenad Krstic (Byron Mullens) and Collison (Aldrich).
Plus he's got Surging Serge Ibaka and the hope that Aldrich is more Kendrick Perkins than Collison.
The plan remains on track.
Berry Tramel: 405-760-8080; Berry Tramel can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.