In addition to those prospects, the Thunder could have its pick of players such as Connecticut’s Shabazz Napier, Syracuse’s Tyler Ennis, Wichita State’s Cleanthony Early and Duke’s Rodney Hood.
But should history hold the Thunder is likely to find some type of gem. Many teams have found players in the 20s, and every year quality players seem to slip.
Last year it was Gorgui Dieng (21), Mason Plumlee (22) and Tim Hardaway, Jr. (24).
In 2012, Jared Sullinger fell to 21 and Miles Plumlee dropped to 26.
In 2011, Kenneth Faried was taken 22nd.
In 2010, Quinicy Pondexter, Jordan Crawford and Greivis Vasquez went back-to-back-to-back at 26, 27 and 28.
The list goes on and on.
Taj Gibson was selected 26th in 2009, Nicolas Batum went 25th in 2008, Aaron Brooks, Arron Afflalo and Tiago Splitter went back-to-back-to-back at 26, 27 and 28 in 2007, Rajon Rondo (21) and Kyle Lowry (24) were late first-rounders in 2006.
Tony Parker was selected 28th in 2001.
There’s plenty of evidence that proves there is still great value in the back of the first round.
The talent is there every year. Now it’s simply a matter of what the Thunder wants.
And whether OKC can do it again.