Following the NBA Draft Lottery, every team around the league knows exactly where they'll be selecting next month. With a couple of shakeups in the order, several teams are now better positioned than expected entering the 2022 NBA Draft.
One of these teams is the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The odds were in the favor of Oklahoma City at the lottery, as the franchise landed the No. 2 and No. 12 overall picks. This gives them the chance to add two more stellar pieces to their young core.
At top of mind for Thunder GM Sam Presti will be selecting a franchise-altering talent near the top.
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Oklahoma City will be the only team in the upcoming draft with two lottery picks, which makes the future of the franchise look even brighter. If Presti is able to hit on even one of these lottery selections, a big three in OKC will officially be formed.
David Cobb of CBS Sports released a mock draft for the 2022 class following the lottery, which gives insight into where some of the top players in the upcoming rookie class could land. His projection has the Thunder selecting two high upside forwards that would play legitimate minutes from day one as rookies.
1. Orlando Magic: Jabari Smith Jr. (Forward | Auburn)
2. Oklahoma City Thunder: Chet Holmgren (Center | Gonzaga)
3. Houston Rockets: Paolo Banchero (Forward | Duke)
4. Sacramento Kings: AJ Griffin (Forward | Duke)
5. Detroit Pistons: Keegan Murray (Forward | Iowa)
6. Indiana Pacers: Jaden Ivey (Guard | Purdue)
7. Portland Trail Blazers: Shaedon Sharpe (Guard | Kentucky)
8. New Orleans Pelicans: Ochai Agbaji (Guard | Kansas)
9. San Antonio Spurs: Jeremy Sochan (Forward | Baylor)
10. Washington Wizards: Bennedict Mathurin (Guard | Arizona)
11. New York Knicks: Nikola Jovic (Guard | International)
12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Tari Eason (Forward | LSU)
13. Charlotte Hornets: Ousmane Dieng (Forward | International)
14. Cleveland Cavaliers: Malaki Branham (Guard | Ohio State)
Holmgren and Eason both certainly have things to improve upon if they're going to be legitimate contributors at the NBA level, but have the upside to be tremendous prospects in the Thunder system. With Holmgren specifically, Oklahoma City could have a new face of the franchise.