Rohde - Fact. We’ve always thought there are no limitations to what Presti could do. Given his payroll restrictions, however, I believe this is most limited moment Presti has had as general manager.
Tramel - Fact. The Thunder often deals on draft night, but this year, it’s even more likely, because OKC has two first-round picks and really has little space on the roster, even for rookies. I suppose the Thunder could jettison DeAndre Liggins or Daniel Orton, someone like that, but it’s more likely the Thunder trades its two picks and moves up to No. 10 or something in that neigborhood.
Slater - Fact. I don’t expect a big splash (like packaging all three for an established talent). But it’s doubtful the Thunder uses all three picks. They don’t have the roster spots. You could draft and stash an international, but more likely, they’ll ship one or both of the later picks for future assets.
3. Who’s one player the Thunder could realistically snag at 29 or 32 with the best potential to have a good pro career?
Mayberry - Give me Archie Goodwin at 29. I love his athleticism, energy and fearlessness. He needs a lot of work. A lot of work. But if he’s willing to put in the time and the work Goodwin could someday be the steal of this draft.
Rohde - Personally, I’m not sure what the potential is for the first 28 players. The 2000 draft is widely considered the worst ever (1. Kenyon Martin; 2. Stromile Swift; 3. Darius Miles; 4. Marcus Fizer; 5. Mike Miller). This year’s draft has balance, but does it have quality? As for your question, perhaps Giannis Adetokunbo of Greece has the most potential.
Tramel - Maybe it’s because I’m a hopeless romantic, and Rohde’s great story from Sunday is fresh on my mind, but I like Ray McCollum Jr. Just like Little Ray, I played some hoops when I was a kid at the old North Base gym. Unlike Little Ray, I never dunked.
Slater - Recent history is lined with legit rotation players coming off the board around that area of the draft. Draymond Green went 35th last year. Jimmy Butler went 30th the year before, with Chandler Parsons going eight slots later. In this year’s draft, Tim Hardaway Jr. (Michigan), Deshaun Thomas (Ohio State) and C.J. Leslie (NC State) seem like potential steals. But we’ll see.
4. How important is this draft for the Thunder?
Mayberry - On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being vital to the franchise’s future, I’ll say 3. It’s important to continue to add young talent to the roster, and this is as good of a chance as the Thunder might have for foreseeable future. But the Thunder is in a position of strength this year. It’s a luxury to be able to mine this year’s field for a gem, not a necessity to find one.
Rohde - The draft has always been important in terms of finding talent, but now it’s become particularly important financially. The Thunder needs to find players able to contribute while still on their rookie contracts.
Tramel - Oh, no more or less important than any other. If the Thunder finds a superstar at No. 29, then it will be a vital draft. If the Thunder gets a dud at No. 12, then the draft was wasted opportunity. But likely, it will be just another draft.
Slater - Feels pretty huge. The Thunder have little financial flexibility moving forward and, barring unforeseen trades or struggles, won’t have this early a pick for a while. Seems like OKC is one role player away from rounding out a championship-caliber roster. They have two to three chances to possibly hit on one next Thursday.
Cut pounds of stomach fat every week by using this 1 weird old tip.