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Thunder Insider: OKC needs to draft big

by Darnell Mayberry Published: June 14, 2010

The pressing needs for the Thunder going into the June 24 NBA Draft are clear.

Oklahoma City must upgrade its size and its shooters. It's that simple.

What isn't as obvious is who the leading candidate is at both positions. But with two first-round picks, there is no doubt the Thunder should target a big man with its first selection.

This year's draft is considered to have one of the deepest pools of power forwards and centers the league has ever seen. The first tier of post players — Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins, Georgia Tech's Derrick Favors, Georgetown's Greg Monroe, Wake Forest's Al-Farouq Aminu, Kansas' Cole Aldrich and North Carolina's Ed Davis — are expected to be long gone when the Thunder makes its first selection at No. 21.

But OKC could have plenty of options remaining with at least a few in the next tier — Baylor's Ekpe Udoh, Florida State's Solomon Alabi, Kentucky's Daniel Orton and Patrick Patterson, Virginia Commonwealth's Larry Sanders and Marshall's Hassan Whiteside — potentially being available. And unless a more talented wing player slips to 21, it will be a shocking turn of events if the Thunder passes up one of the aforementioned names.

Off all the young talent in Oklahoma City's stable, only Serge Ibaka, Byron Mullens and D.J. White are big men. Only Ibaka currently deserves to be mentioned as a mainstay.

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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