THUNDER'S TOP 5 DRAFT CANDIDATES
1. F Nikola Mirotic (Spain), 6-10, 226: Could be the Thunder's draft-and-stash candidate. Plays for Real Madrid (8.1 ppg; 3.8 rpg; 17.0 mpg last season). Great size and length. Can defend No. 3 or 4 position. Good shooter, passer and efficient offensively. Contract with massive buyout clause figures to scare away teams, but not OKC, which is in a position to be patient for his arrival.
2. F Kyle Singler (Duke) 6-9, 228: Several mock drafts have him not being selected until the second round, but Singler certainly looks to be worth the No. 24 selection because of his potential upside. He is a player with outstanding character, fits the Thunder's unselfish profile and has versatility at the 2, 3 and 4 positions. Good shooter and passer. Smart, with good size and hits the boards.
3. F Kenneth Faried (Morehead State), 6-8, 225: Led the nation in rebounding last season at 14.5 per game. Also averaged 17.3 points, 2.3 blocks and 1.9 steals. Hard worker, 7-foot wingspan and good leaper. Offense needs polish, but the Thunder already has players who can score. If he can man the boards and keep opponents off the offensive glass, he's exactly what OKC needs.
4. F Justin Harper (Richmond), 6-9, 228: Plays the stretch 4 position, which always comes in handy in the NBA and allows oversized frontcourt teammates to stay closer to the basket. Shot 44.8 percent from 3-point range last season and 53.4 percent from the field. Quick and athletic and loves to get out and run. A little early to select him at No. 24, but Thunder can mold him.
5. G Marshon Brooks (Providence), 6-5, 195: With his freakish 7-foot-1 wingspan, he would give the Thunder another condor on the wings. Is more of a scorer (24.6 ppg last season) than a shooter, but could bring a nice offensive lift off the bench. Is quick, has good court sense and likes to penetrate. A rebounding guard (7.0 rpg). Stock has skyrocketed and might not be available.
Others on who the Thunder will select with the No. 24 overall pick:
aol.sportingnews.com: F Tobias Harris (Tennessee), 6-8, 226
basketball.about.com: F Davis Bertans (Latvia), 6-10, 211
draftsite.com: F Nikola Vucevic (USC), 6-10, 240
hoopshype.com: F Tyler Honeycutt (UCLA), 6-8, 187
mynbadraft.com: C Lucas Nogueira (Brazil), 7-0, 225
nbadraft.net: G Nolan Smith (Duke), 6-3, 189
realgm.com: G Jordan Hamilton (Texas), 6-9, 228
- John Rohde