Mitch McGary selected by Thunder with No. 21 pick in NBA draft
The Thunder selected Mitch McGary with the No. 21 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday. Here’s a look at McGary and how he fits with Oklahoma City:
Bio: Michigan | Sophomore | Center/Forward
Vitals: 6-10, 263 pounds
2013-14 stats: 9.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.9 steals, 0.8 blocks, 54.5 FG%
Strengths: McGary played only eight games last season because of a back injury, and if he had returned to Michigan he would have faced a year-long suspension for testing positive for marijuana. But the positives that made him a potential lottery pick not long ago remain the same: He’s a well-built, physical big man with a high motor who will be able to bang with NBA opponents. A good finisher around the rim, McGary doesn’t need his number called to be effective, as he’s aggressive on the offensive glass and converts his chances. He ran the floor for layups and moves surprisingly well for a guy his size, becoming a useful pick-and-roll option.
Weaknesses: McGary hasn’t displayed much of a jumper, and his brute force might not be quite as effective in the pros. He’s big with good defensive instincts, but he’s not a shot-blocker or rim protector. After taking a prep year out of high school, McGary is already 22 and has only one full year of college basketball under his belt.
Team fit: Oklahoma City, which is set to be a championship contender again next season, picked up one of the most NBA-ready players in the draft. McGary won't be much of a shot creator in the pros, but he won't need to be with the Thunder. Playing with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson will give McGary his fill of finishes off pick-and-rolls and offensive rebounds, as was the case for Steven Adams last season. Day by day, Kendrick Perkins becomes all the more expendable.