What this draft lacks in star power it may make up in intrigue.
Trade ups, wild rumors, surprising selections and three Thunder picks. Nobody is entirely sure what’s going to happen over the next three-plus hours, but rest assured, whatever goes down could have a lasting impact on a number of NBA franchises, including the one in OKC.
Strap in, people, it’s draft time.
———————————–Draft coverage begins————————————-
-First, let’s get caught up on the latest rumors. Most notably, is this one from Yahoo!’s Adrain Wojnarowski:
-There have been reports of the Thunder trying to move up all week and this just helps confirm that. Sounds like they’re interested in Oladipo and Alex Len.
-Chad Ford, ESPN’s draft guru, has OKC taking Gonzaga center Kelly Olynyk at #12 in his final mock draft.
-Got to think Cleveland’s going with UK’s Nerlens Noel. Also rumored to be considering Alex Len (Maryland), Otto Porter (Indiana) and others. But Noel seems like the safest pick.
-Cleveland is on the clock and David Stern is already getting booed. Ah, the commissioner wouldn’t have it any other way for his final event.
*1st overall – Cleveland Cavaliers select UNLV forward Anthony Bennett*
-Whoa. Now that’s a surprise. Talented, but not really one of the five or so players rumored to go No. 1. Fitting start to what should be a wild draft.
*2nd overall – Orlando Magic select Indiana guard Victor Oladipo*
-Love this pick. He was the guy OKC was rumored to be targeting the last few hours. Seems like the one sure-fire NBA starter in this draft.
-Oladipo on ESPN: “I’m gonna bring a work ethic that they’ve probably never seen before.”
*3rd overall – Washington Wizards select Georgetown forward Otto Porter Jr.*
-Big East Player of the Year. Widely considered the best small forward in this draft. Needs to improve the shot.
-Jay Bilas: “Otto Porter is the most versatile and most complete player in this draft”
-The centers are falllllllllling
*4th overall – Charlotte Bobcats select Indiana center Cody Zeller*
-First seven-footer off the board and it’s not Nerlens Noel or Alex Len. Wow.
-Two Indiana players selected in the top four picks. Before this, the program had only one player drafted in the last seven years (Eric Gordon in 2009).
*5th overall – Phoenix Suns select Maryland center Alex Len*
-Apparently a stress fracture (Len) is less concerning than a knee injury (Noel). Noel keeps dropping, Thunder should think about trading up to snare him.
*6th overall – New Orleans Pelicans select Kentucky center Nerlens Noel*
-Let the Nerlens to NAWlins jokes start rolling in.
-”It’s going to be a shot-blocking party when I get down there” -Noel on playing with Anthony Davis
*7th overall – Sacramento Kings select Kansas guard Ben McLemore*
-Noel-McLemore go 6-7. For a while, it looked like they’d go 1-2.
-Well, so much for that Nerlens Noel-Anthony Davis frontcourt…
*8th overall – Detroit Pistons select Georgia guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope*
-Scorer who has been rising up draft boards the last few weeks.
*9th overall – Minnesota Timberwolves select Michigan guard Trey Burke*
-Jay Bilas: “(Trey Burke) is the best point guard in this draft.”
-Two picks until the Thunder is on the clock.
*10th overall – Portland Trailblazers select Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum*
-Bill Simmons: “OKC wanted one of these guys (Burke or McCollum) to fall to them and they didn’t. The James Harden trade continues to look shaky.”
*11th overall – Philadelphia 76ers select Syracuse guard Michael Carter-Williams*
-Thunder on the clock…
*12th overall – Oklahoma City Thunder select Pittsburgh center Steven Adams*
-Long-rumored target for Sam Presti and the Thunder. Seven-footer from New Zealand. Seems like a project.
Here are some of his highlights:
-That’s a lot of siblings
*13th overall – Dallas Mavericks select Gonzaga center Kelly Olynyk*
But it was really Boston…
*14th overall – Utah Jazz select UCLA guard Shabazz Muhammad*
-Would have been top-five if he was able to come out of high school.
*15th overall – Milwaukee Bucks select Greek guard Giannis Adektokunbo*
-Was rumored as a Thunder target. Talented guard.
*16th overall – Boston Celtics select Brazilian center Lucas Nogueira*
Trades on Trades on Trades
*17th overall – Atlanta Hawks select German guard Dennis Schroeder*
-Got a Rajon Rondo look to him
*18th overall – Dallas Mavericks select Miami guard Shane Larkin*
More teammate love for the Thunder’s newest player
*19th overall – Cleveland Cavaliers select Russian guard Sergey Karasev*
-Sharpshooter who is likely a draft and stash for a year or two. At the draft tonight, has a game in Russia tomorrow.
-Thunder 10 picks away…
*20th overall – Chicago Bulls select New Mexico forward Tony Snell*
*21st overall – Utah Jazz select Louisville center Gorgui Dieng*
-Thunder were likely hoping Dieng would fall to them at 29. Would have been a steal. No dice.
-Also, Dieng is going to Minnesota.
*22nd overall – Brooklyn Nets select Duke center Mason Plumlee*
-Guy I like for the Thunder at 29: Jamaal Franklin, small forward out of San Diego State. Reminds me a little of Kawhi Leonard. Only 6-foot-5, but averaged 17 points and 9.5 rebounds (!!!) in a good conference last year. Versatile.
*23rd overall – Indiana Pacers select Arizona forward Solomon Hill*
-Seems like a reach. And seems like Roy Hibbert wasn’t too pumped about the pick:
*24th overall – New York Knicks select Michigan forward Tim Hardaway Jr.*
*25th overall – Los Angeles Clippers select UNC forward Reggie Bullock*
-Whoa. Thunder must like someone.
*26th overall – Oklahoma City Thunder select Colorado guard Andre Roberson*
-Wow. Seems strange to trade up for a guy who was projected to go in the 30-40 range.
-Roberson averaged 10.9 points and 11.2 rebounds at Colorado last season. Also, had a nice dunk reel, including this one:
*27th overall – Utah Jazz select international center Rudy Gobert*
*28th overall – San Antonio Spurs select French forward Livio Jean-Charles*
-Draft and stash for a while.
*29th overall – Phoenix Suns select Kentucky guard Archie Goodwin*
*30th overall – Golden State Warriors select Nemanja Nedovic*
Breaking in-draft news
*31st overall – Cleveland Cavaliers select California guard Allen Crabbe*
-Thunder up next…
*32nd overall – Oklahoma City Thunder select Spanish guard Alex Abrines*
-Definitely a draft and stash for the Thunder. You knew they weren’t going to add three guys to the roster. Just don’t have the spots.
-Here’s highlights of Abrines:
-Fran Fraschilla compared Abrines to former Portland Trail Blazer Rudy Fernandez. Not a bad comp. But he’ll be overseas for at least a year or two, if not more.
-That’ll do it for me for the night. OKC has no more picks and is not expected to trade back into the draft. Stay tuned to NewsOK.com for plenty of reactionary coverage.