No surefire stars are believed to be in this year's NBA Draft.
But one thing every draft has is sleepers. And the Thunder is in prime position to potentially get a good one.
With the 24th overall pick, Oklahoma City can possibly come away with the steal of the draft Thursday night. The mid-to-late 20s has historically been a hotbed for players that fall through the cracks before ultimately carving out solid careers.
Each of the past 10 drafts has yielded players in that range who have become valuable role players, elite scorers and even All-Stars.
Can the Thunder find that next gem?
That's the biggest challenge facing the franchise in this year's draft.
But the beauty of picking 24th is there is no pressure to come away with an impact player. The downside for the Thunder, of course, is the possibility of passing on that prospect that turns out to be a big-time player and, thus, botching the draft.
The Thunder can go many ways Thursday. Because of its stacked roster, the Thunder's most likely option seems to be drafting an international player and stashing him overseas for a few seasons. But OKC also can trade up, as it did last season to net Cole Aldrich, trade down to acquire more future assets or trade out altogether. None of those maneuvers would come as a shock.
Standing pat and selecting someone, though, might be the smartest option of all.
Ignoring for a moment the likelihood of a higher-ranked player slipping and falling to 24, there always seems to be overlooked or under-scouted prospects available in the latter stages of the first round who prove worthy of a selection. The Thunder franchise landed that exact guy in 2008 when it selected Serge Ibaka 24th overall.
Although Ibaka was the unquestioned steal of that year's draft, others became great value picks as well. The next three selections following Ibaka were Nicolas Batum, George Hill and Darrell Arthur. All four could have and perhaps should have been selected in the top 20, if not the top 15.
In 2007, Aaron Brooks became the biggest get late when he was taken 26th overall. But Wilson Chandler (23rd), Rudy Fernandez (24th), Arron Afflalo (27th) and Tiago Splitter (28th) have since become key contributors, too.
In 2006, Rajon Rondo was taken 21st overall, and Kyle Lowry was selected 24th.
In 2005, New York snagged David Lee at No. 30. In 2004, Kevin Martin went 26th.
Thunder center Kendrick Perkins in 2003 was taken with the 27th pick and immediately was followed by Leandro Barbosa and Josh Howard.
In 2001, Gerald Wallace was the 25th pick, Samuel Dalembert went 26th and a teenage point guard from France named Tony Parker was taken 28th.
Mock drafts on DraftExpress.com and SI.com project the Thunder to select Duke forward Kyle Singler at 24. ESPN.com predicts the Thunder will take Serbian forward Nikola Mirotic. NBADraft.net has the Thunder taking Boston College guard Reggie Jackson.
Who knows at this point if any of them can play at the highest level let alone pan out into a steal?
But the Thunder is in a great position to add one to the program and find out.
SNATCHING A SLEEPER
The top steals of the last 10 years from late in the first round of the NBA Draft.
Year, Player, Selected, Team
2010, Trevor Booker, 23, Washington
You might remember him torching the Thunder this season with a pair of double-doubles in the two regular season meetings.
2009, Taj Gibson, 26, Chicago
Ironically, the Bulls acquired this pick from the Thunder in the trade that brought Thabo Sefolosha to OKC. Gibson just keeps on getting better.
2008, Serge Ibaka, 24, Thunder
The selection that taught most Thunder fans to stop questioning GM Sam Presti. Ibaka led the league in total blocks in only his second season.
2007, Aaron Brooks, 26, Houston
Lightning quick point guard averaged career highs of 19.6 points, 5.3 assists and 2.6 rebounds in 2009-10.
2006, Kyle Lowry, 24, Memphis
Finally given the keys to the Rockets in 2010-11, Lowry averaged 13.5 points, 6.7 assists and 1.4 steals, all career highs.
2005, David Lee, 30, New York
A double-double machine that saw players like Johan Petro and Wayne Simien picked ahead of him.
2004, Kevin Martin, 26, Sacramento
For the past five seasons, he's been at least a 20-point scorer in Houston and Sacramento.
2003, Kendrick Perkins, 27, Memphis
Perkins is now considered by many to be the best low post man defender in basketball.
2002, Tayshaun Prince, 23, Detroit
The five players picked immediately in front of Prince: Casey Jacobsen, Qyntel Woods, Kareem Rush, Ryan Humphrey and Curtis Borchardt.
2001, Tony Parker, 28, San Antonio
He became a three-time All-Star, a three-time champion and the 2007 Finals MVP. You can't find a bigger steal.