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Had Toronto just cooperated, Thunder's draft could've been much better

COMMENTARY — Raptors were better than expected, so Thunder picked 12th, instead of higher up in a mediocre draft.
by Berry Tramel Modified: June 28, 2013 at 9:30 am •  Published: June 28, 2013

/articleid/3857107/1/pictures/2146148">Photo - Pittsburgh's  Steven Adams listens during a press availability for NBA basketball draft prospects on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 in New York.  (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) ORG XMIT: NYBM205
Pittsburgh's Steven Adams listens during a press availability for NBA basketball draft prospects on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) ORG XMIT: NYBM205

So now the Thunder embarks on what figures to be a slow, at least for the Boomers, free agency period.

Adams will join Perk, Hasheem Thabeet and Daniel Orton as true centers. If Adams is a big-time project, he better get used to the Turner Turnpike, because he'll spend a bunch of time in Tulsa with the D-League.

If Adams is close to NBA-ready, he could carve out some minutes at the expense of Thabeet. We'll see.

The Thunder also added Colorado swingman Andre Roberson by swapping its 29th overall pick for the 26th, and Alex Abrines, a Spaniard sharpshooter who likely will stay in Europe for now.

Since Colorado went to the Pac-12, I know as much about New Zealand hoops as I do Buff basketball. So I have no idea how Roberson will pan out. There's room for a tough perimeter player in the rotation, if Roberson proves to be that.

So in many ways, this draft was typical of a 60-win team. Draft some guys that probably won't help in the short term and we'll just have to wait and see in the long term.

But it could have been so much better for the Thunder, had Toronto just cooperated.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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