Thunder's Sam Presti, Scott Brooks like draft pick Reggie Jackson's versatility

BY JOHN ROHDE Staff Writer jrohde@opubco.com Published: June 24, 2011

Perhaps for an instant Sam Presti considered bluffing, but his immediate smile gave it away.

As the clock crept toward midnight on Thursday, the Oklahoma City Thunder general manager was asked if the NBA Draft board looked the way he envisioned it would when his team was about to make the 24th selection in the first round.

"I wish I could sit here and tell you we knew how things would break out, but it never fails," Presti said of the predictably unpredictable selection process. "The draft is such a fluid thing. Sometimes it makes you wonder if it's worth preparing as much as you prepare for because it never goes the way you think it's going to go and you have to kind of fly around."

For the first time since Presti joined the organization on June 7, 2007, the Thunder didn't "fly around" on draft day.

After no maneuvering and no trades, OKC chose Boston College combo guard Reggie Jackson with its lone selection.

The 6-foot-3, 208-pound Jackson has an astounding 7-foot wingspan and ranked among the best shooters in the Atlantic Coast Conference last season at 50.3 percent from the field, 79.6 percent from the free-throw line and 42.0 percent from 3-point range.

Presti and Thunder coach Scott Brooks said they liked Jackson's versatility.

"He's a guy who can play multiple positions, the 1 and the 2," Brooks said. "He's tough. Defensively, he could be very good. … He's a talented kid. We're exciting what he can bring to our team. He's a rebounding guard and we like that."

Jackson joins a six-man rotation of players capable of playing the 1 or 2 — starter Russell Westbrook, sixth man James Harden, reserve point guard Eric Maynor, plus deep reserves Nate Robinson and Royal Ivey.

A physical setback for Jackson last month could end up being the Thunder's gain.

Jackson had surgery performed May 17 on his right knee. As a result, he missed the NBA's pre-draft camp in Chicago, a group workout with the Minnesota Timberwolves and also canceled workouts with several teams.

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