Outside of their own pick, the Oklahoma City Thunder have two additional picks in the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft. One of these is from the LA Clippers and the other from the Phoenix Suns, being acquired through the separate trades of Paul George and Chris Paul respectively.
The Thunder and Clippers picks will both be in the lottery, while the Suns pick will be outside of it. In fact, that selection is slated to be the last pick in the first round at No. 30 overall. In this range, Oklahoma City could add a complimentary young piece to its core.
Kyle Boone of CBS Sports recently released a mock draft the 2022 class, which gives insight into where some of the top players in the upcoming rookie class could land. His projection has the Thunder selecting a big that dominated college basketball last season.
With the No. 30 pick, there’s not a high chance of landing a player that becomes a star. However, quality role players and complimentary pieces are extremely important for a rebuilding team.
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15. Charlotte Hornets: Mark Williams (Center | Duke)
16. Atlanta Hawks: Tari Eason (Forward | LSU)
17. Houston Rockets: Dyson Daniels (Guard | G League Ignite)
18. Chicago Bulls: Jean Montero (Guard | Overtime Elite)
19. Minnesota Timberwolves: Jaden Hardy (Guard | G League Ignite)
20. San Antonio Spurs: MarJon Beauchamp (Forward | G League Ignite)
21. Denver Nuggets: Kendall Brown (Forward | Baylor)
22. Memphis Grizzlies: Patrick Baldwin Jr. (Forward | Milwaukee)
23. Brooklyn Nets: Blake Wesley (Guard | Notre Dame)
24. Milwaukee Bucks: Kennedy Chandler (Guard | Tennessee)
25. San Antonio Spurs: Harrison Ingram (Forward | Stanford)
26. Dallas Mavericks: Malaki Branham (Guard | Ohio State)
27. Miami Heat: EJ Liddell (Forward | Ohio State)
28. Golden State Warriors: Nikola Jovic (Forward | International)
29. Memphis Grizzlies: Trevor Keels (Guard | Duke)
30. Oklahoma City Thunder: Walker Kessler (Center | Auburn)
It’s still unclear exactly what Kessler’s ceiling is at the next level. He’s fairly limited as an athlete, but has the tools to be an effective backup center or low-end starter.