Inevitably, NBA general managers will goof in Thursday night's draft and allow impact players to slide out of the first round or go undrafted altogether.
For myriad reasons — scouting departments zeroing in on what players can't do rather than what they can do being the leading cause — late-round selections find success each year. That's the case in drafts that are deemed weak, and it certainly will occur in this year's draft, one that is considered strong and deep. With the Thunder holding two second-round picks, the 32nd and 51st selections, OKC is in a great spot to strike gold on one of the overlooked prospects. Here are five potential steals to keep an eye on come Thursday.
Artsiom Parakhouski→School: Radford. →Position: Center. →Age: 22. →Height/weight: 6-11, 270. →2009-10 averages: 21.4 ppg, 13.4 rpg, 2.1 bpg, 1.1 apg. →The skinny: He played in a weak conference and dominated against inferior talent in the Big South. But he shined against the nation's elite as well, scoring 23 points with 14 rebounds and three blocks against Duke and center Brian Zoubek, while also netting 21 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks against Cole Aldrich and Kansas. Parakhouski, a native of Belarus, also led his team to an NCAA Tournament two seasons ago. He was coached by Brad Greenberg, a former NBA executive and player personnel director for Philadelphia and Portland. He's doesn't possess great athleticism but does have prototypical size to be a true center. →Projected: Mid-to-late second-round.
Dwayne Collins→School: Miami →Position: Power forward. →Age: 22. →Height/weight: 6-8, 230. →2009-10 averages: 12 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.1 bpg. →The skinny: A hard-nosed, blue-collar player, Collins can make a living by simply rebounding and dunking.