Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Oklahoma City Thunder Team Needs

Oklahoma City Thunder

Draft Picks
- #24

Team Needs - Offensive Big, Bench Scoring, Combo Forward

Draft History Under Presti (picks that were kept)
2010 - Cole Aldrich (#11), Tibor Pleiss (#31), Latavious Williams (#48), Ryan Reid (#57)
2009 - James Harden (#3), BJ Mullens (#24), Robert Vaden (#54)
2008 - Russell Westbrook (#4), Serge Ibaka (#24), DJ White (#29), Devon Hardin (#50)
2007 - Kevin Durant (#2)

Current Projected 2011-12 Roster

PG - Russell Westbrook/Eric Maynor/Nate Robinson
SG - James Harden/Thabo Sefolosha/Royal Ivery
SF - Kevin Durant
PF - Serge Ibaka/Nick Collison
C - Kendrick Perkins/Cole Aldrich/BJ Mullens

The Thunder have had a fair amount of success drafting, starting with grabbing their superstar in Kevin Durant. Their main goal since then has been to surround Durant with players that compliment his style. They have gone after high character players that dont mind doing the dirty work, while having the physical profiles to play great defense. Ibaka, Aldrich, Westbrook, and Sefolosha all fit that description. Harden was the perfect "do-it-all" wing to place alongside a superstar. The Thunder now feature a championship caliber roster, with a core that should be in place for years to come.

When looking for team needs, you can cross out a defensive-minded big. With Ibaka, Aldrich, Collison, and Perkins on the team, they are in no need there. However, they could look to find a big man to mix it up with a different kind of offensive game. A big who can space out the floor would be welcomed. Richmond's Justin Harper should draw interest.

They could also look for a combo forward type of big in the mold of Jeff Green. Jereme Richmond, Tobias Harris, Jimmy Butler, Kyle Singler, Nikola Mirotic, and Chandler Parsons all fit that mold.

Richmond provides the most potential, it would be like their pick of BJ Mullens in the late first round a few years ago - all or nothing.

Singler and Butler are more of small forwards who can step in and backup Durant and play solid team basketball. Both have the kind of character the Thunder are built around.

Mirotic may be the most talented, but has contract issues. At #24 though, Mirotic is worth the risk whether he comes over or not. The Thunder have a strong history of taking Euros.

Chandler Parsons probably isn't the best fit of the group. He isnt a scorer, shooter, or defender. He is a facilitator type that the Thunder can do without.

There has been lots of Tobias Harris hype as of late that may carry him out of the Thunder's range. His high character and role playing ability make him an ideal Thunder player, but like Parsons, he isn't exactly what they need. He also has trouble shooting and defending. If he does slip, though, he will have to be considered.

By focusing on defense for so long, the Thunder's roster is a little dry in terms of scoring. With Harden likely moving with the first unit next season, they are going to need a scoring wing to spice up the second unit when playing with Maynor and Sefolosha. There is a chance that either Jordan Hamilton or Marshon Brooks falls to the 24th spot. Brooks has the ridiculous length the Thunder like and is also one of the best scorers in this draft. Hamilton has cleared up some character issues and would be instant offense off the bench.

Thunder Big Board
1. Jordan Hamilton
2. Tyler Honeycutt
3. Nikola Mirotic
4. Justin Harper
5. Marshon Brooks
6. Jereme Richmond
7. Jimmy Butler

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