To understand what type of player the NBA Draft offers at pick No. 24, Thunder fans need not look any further than their own franchise.
In 2008, the franchise came away with Serge Ibaka. A year later, the same selection yielded Byron Mullens. One is on his way to becoming a perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate. The other could be on his way out of town.
That's how much of a crapshoot the draft is when you're selecting 24th, as the Thunder is in Thursday night's draft. Sometimes you get a stud. Sometimes you land a dud.
But there is plenty of value expected to still be on the board late in the first round of this year's draft. The Thunder's challenge is to find that gem and pick it at 24. If the franchise can do that once again this year's selection could join a long list of players selected at 24 who have had successful NBA careers.
Here are the 24 best picks at No. 24 in NBA Draft history, listed chronologically.
Year: Player, Drafted by, Years pro
1953: Cliff Hagan, Boston, 13
A 6-4 guard, Hagan played 10 years in the NBA and scored 13,447 points, an 18-point average. He also averaged 6.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists during his NBA career. His best statistical season came when he averaged 24.8 points, 10.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists during the 1959-60 season. Hagan played another three seasons in the ABA, averaging 15.1 points.
1954: Jim Tucker, Syracuse, 3
He appeared in just 99 games over three seasons with the Nationals and averaged 4.1 points and 3.5 rebounds. But as a rookie, he teamed with Earl Lloyd to become the first African-Americans to play for an NBA championship as Syracuse defeated Fort Wayne in seven games.
1959: George Lee, Detroit, 7
Lee averaged 12.1 points and 6.6 rebounds as a rookie with the Pistons. He averaged 7.5 points and 4.2 rebounds in 297 career games.
1965: Jon McGlocklin, Cincinnati, 11
He won a championship as the fourth-leading scorer behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson and Bob Dandridge on the 1971 Bucks team that won 66 regular-season games and swept Baltimore in the NBA Finals.
1970: Cornell Warner, Buffalo, 7
Warner, a 6-9 power forward/center, averaged 6.4 points and 7.5 rebounds during his career. His best statistical season was 1974-75, when he averaged 7.6 points and 10.3 rebounds for Milwaukee.
1971: Mike Newlin, Houston, 11
Newlin averaged double figures in all but two seasons — his first and his last. He averaged 14.9 points for his career and tallied a career-high 21.4-point average during his second-to-last season with New Jersey.
1972: Steve Hawes, Cleveland, 10
A 6-9 center from Washington, Hawes averaged 8.4 points and 6.2 rebounds for his career. He averaged a career-best 12.7 points and 9.2 rebounds for the Hawks in 1977-78.
1976: Scott Lloyd, Milwaukee, 6
When the expansion Dallas Mavericks finally gave him a chance in 1980, Lloyd averaged 8.8 points and 6.3 rebounds in 30.4 minutes per game. His hustle and affable personality made him a fan favorite in Dallas.
1980: Larry Smith, Golden State, 13
In his first eight seasons, all with the Warriors, Smith averaged at least nine rebounds per game.
1981: Jay Vincent, Dallas, 9
A teammate of Magic Johnson at Michigan State, Vincent played with Dallas, Washington, Denver, San Antonio Philadelphia and the L.A. Lakers. As a rookie with the Mavericks in 1981-82, he averaged 21.4 points, six more than that year's Rookie of the Year, Buck Williams.
1985: Terry Porter, Portland, 17
In his 10 seasons with the Trail Blazers, Porter made two All-Star teams and helped Portland to the NBA Finals twice. He still holds the Trail Blazers record for all-time assists with 5,319.
1986: Arvydas Sabonis, Portland, 7
Limited to 470 career games primarily because of injuries and not starting his NBA career until he was almost 31, Sabonis averaged 16 points, 10 rebounds and 3.0 assists during his best statistical season in 1997-98.
1988: Brian Shaw, Boston, 14
A journeyman guard, Shaw averaged 7.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 942 career games. He also played for four teams that made the NBA Finals.
1991: Rick Fox, Boston, 13
Fox helped the Lakers win three titles. In his best season, Fox averaged 15.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.2 steals for Boston in 1996-97.
1992: Latrell Sprewell, Golden State, 13
A volatile attitude highlighted by an ugly attack on a coach overshadowed his terrific talents. Sprewell averaged at least 15 points in each of his first 12 seasons before averaging 12.8 in his final year. He averaged 18.3 points in 913 career games, made the All-NBA First Team in 1994 and was a four-time All-Star.
1993: Sam Cassell, Houston, 15
Cassell averaged 15.7 points in 993 career games, won three NBA titles, made one All-Star team and scored 15,635 points while dishing 5,939 assists.
1994: Monty Williams, New York, 9
He never amounted to more than a journeyman role player who bounced around, playing with the Knicks, Spurs, Nuggets, Magic and Sixers.
1996: Derek Fisher, L.A. Lakers, 15
A spot starter at point guard throughout his career, Fisher has won five championships and appeared in 1,110 career games. A tough-minded guard with a knack for hitting big shots.
1999: Andrei Kirilenko, Utah, 10
An all-around threat who can score, rebound, pass and defend. Kirilenko averaged 15.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 3.3 blocks and 1.6 steals during the 2004-05 season.
2002: Nenad Krstic, New Jersey, 7
On his way to becoming an All-Star in his third season before a knee injury derailed his career. Krstic averaged 10 points and 5.4 rebounds in 419 career games.
2004: Delonte West, Boston, 7
West has started 225 of 388 games and has made 37.3 percent of his 3-pointers with Boston, Seattle and Cleveland.
2006: Kyle Lowry, Memphis, 5
Blossomed into a starting-quality point guard in his fifth season, when he averaged 13.5 points, 6.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds with Houston.
2007: Rudy Fernandez, Phoenix, 3
A sharpshooter from Spain, Fernandez made 159 3-pointers as a rookie and has averaged 9.1 points on 36.4 percent shooting from downtown in his first three NBA seasons with Portland.
2008: Serge Ibaka, Seattle, 2
In just his second season, Ibaka led the NBA in total blocked shots with 198. In his first 155 games, Ibaka has averaged 8.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks.