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Oklahoma City Thunder: Sam Presti surprises again with first round selection of Stanford's Josh Huestis

Toward the end of last year’s first round, the Thunder surprised most of the basketball world, selecting a lesser-known defensive specialist from the Pac-12 about 30 picks before he was projected to go. On Thursday night, Sam Presti went back to that same blueprint.
by Anthony Slater Published: June 26, 2014

/articleid/4972927/1/pictures/2835949">Photo - Stanford forward Josh Huestis (24) celebrates after an 83-74 win over UCLA during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Stanford forward Josh Huestis (24) celebrates after an 83-74 win over UCLA during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

“A really good athlete and can rebound,” Bilas said. “This is one of those picks where Oklahoma City looks really smart in this because they got a guy that can come in and play a specific role for them because he can really defend.”

On the surface, this looks similar to the Roberson pick from a season ago, which makes it a bit strange. But Huestis does seem more developed as a shooter.

He’s not great in that area, but somewhat capable. Huestis made 52 of his 154 (33.8 percent) threes the past two seasons.

“He can make open shots,” Bilas said. “I’m not calling him an offensive player, but he makes open threes. He can play. He can really defend. He can really guard.”

Because he was a late first round pick, Huestis comes in on a guaranteed contract next season, a surprising factor of this surprising pick. It was assumed the Thunder would either trade out or use one of its first round picks on a draft-and-stash player to avoid locking up roster spots.

But along with Mitch McGary, Huestis gives the Thunder 12 guys on guaranteed deals. The roster max is 15. Free agency begins July 1.

by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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