Oklahoma City Thunder: OKC should turn one NBA Draft pick into two by trading down

This Sam Presti-led franchise has never been about making a sexy pick on draft night. And the decisions work out smashingly for the franchise. Trading down this year would, too.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: June 27, 2013 at 10:00 am •  Published: June 27, 2013
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The NBA Draft cometh.

What should the Thunder doeth?

Stand pat and draft 12th, 29th and 32nd? Package something together and try to move up? Package something together and try to move down?

I say trade down.

Admittedly, that isn't a very sexy option. Doesn't really add much sizzle to draft night, does it?

And we had the hope of some serious sizzle when the rumors started percolating Monday night that the Thunder had expressed interest in the No. 1 pick. Apparently, Cleveland is interested in shopping it, and Oklahoma City was interested in looking at the price tag.

I'm pretty sure the conversation went something like this:

Cavs' front office: “We'll take all your draft picks plus Serge Ibaka.”

Sam Presti: “In your dreams.”

Bye, bye sizzle.

Then again, this Presti-led franchise has never been about making a sexy pick on draft night. The Thunder picked the then-unheralded Russell Westbrook instead of Kevin Love, Eric Gordon or one of the Lopez twins. It went with James Harden instead of Tyreke Evans, Ricky Rubio or Stephen Curry. It zags when most teams would zig.

And the decisions work out smashingly for the franchise.

Trading down this year would, too.

For starters, this is a draft with a lot of good but not great players. The player drafted 12th is going to be about as good as the player drafted 20th or 22nd.

Why not turn one pick into two?

Maybe you get two picks this year. Maybe you get one this year and one next year. Either way, offer No. 12 and maybe even No. 29 and see what happens.

I suspect someone bites.

Someone like Atlanta. The Hawks have the No. 17 and No. 18 picks and have been rumored as interested in moving up the draft board. It's impossible to know what players will still be available when the 17th and 18th picks roll around, but here are a couple possibilities.

Mason Plumlee.

Shane Larkin.

Gorgui Dieng.

Jamaal Franklin.

Reggie Bullock.

Rudy Gobert.

Dennis Schroeder

Giannis Adetokunbo.

All of those are pretty decent options for the Thunder, and most importantly, most of those guys could fill future needs in Oklahoma City.

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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