The 2022 NBA Draft is just two days away, and things are beginning to heat up in the draft stratosphere.
Reports of mutual and one-sided interest, along with dozens of potential trade candidates eying specific spots. And with an unprecedented cache of draft assets, OKC is always a player in trade talks.
In a recent mock draft, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony has Oklahoma City taking two lengthy swings in the lottery, but gave a caveat that the team is aggressively pursuing trade conversations:
No. 2 Chet Holmgren | PF
In this mock, the Orlando Magic selected Auburn’s Jabari Smith Jr. first overall. Givony said “any other scenario would be a major surprise to league executives.”
At no. 2, Givony has Oklahoma City selection Gonzaga big man Chet Holmgren.
Just two days out from the draft, all signs point Holmgren landing with the Thunder. There’s legitimate and likely mutual interest, and his fit as a defensive-minded play-finisher alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey is tantalizing.
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Givony gave a bit more insight into the relationship between the two: “Holmgren, who has worked out for only Orlando and the Thunder, seems comfortable with the idea of being selected here.”
There’s also been major movement in odds for Paolo Banchero to be the No. 1 overall selection, meaning general manager Sam Presti could have his choice of Smith Jr. or Holmgren.
No. 12 Ousmane Dieng | SF/PF
For now, Givony has Oklahoma City selecting lengthy international project Ousmane Dieng with their second lottery pick.
Dieng fits Presti’s ethos for the last several draft cycles, but Givony made sure to note that OKC has been aggressive in trade talks with this pick.
“The Thunder are said to be aggressively pursuing trade conversations for this pick, seeking to package it with future assets or existing OKC players in order to move into the mid-lottery, with players including Jaden Ivey and Shaedon Sharpe believed to be among the potential prospects they covet. “ Givony wrote.
The Thunder are going to have a wide range of options, and Thursday will assuredly have fireworks.