The 2021 NBA Draft is fast approaching.
With a loaded war chest of assets, the Oklahoma City Thunder will be looking to make a splash.
With 18 first round draft picks in the next 7 drafts, the Thunder will have the flexibility to move wherever they please this year. The only question is what that move will cost.
Here are SI Thunder’s thoughts on what it will take to nab the 5th overall pick:
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Nick Crain: When it comes to trading into the top five, the fifth pick might be least likely pick in that range the Thunder would trade up for. Moving up just one spot from six to five might not make a ton of sense, especially if Jonathan Kuminga and Scottie Barnes are on the board when No. 5 comes around for the Orlando Magic. Both are fairly similar forwards with high upside but a lot of uncertainty on where their ceilings are. Unless Jalen Suggs falls to five, the Thunder might as well stay put at six. Either way, a future first and second rounder in OKC’s stash of picks would be plenty to move up one slot.
Derek Parker: This draft has been regarded as a five-man draft for months now, but with a terrific 2021 NBA Combine performance, Scottie Barnes has quickly thrust his name into that conversation. Jonathan Kuminga has been thought of to be the fifth best prospect by most experts, but Barnes has closed the gap. This was best case scenario for Oklahoma City, who now could move up one spot at a discounted price. Ideally, they’ll keep all of this year’s first rounders when making the jump.
Ryan Chapman: Unless the Oklahoma City Thunder fall in love with someone who is still available at pick No. 5, it seems unlikely Sam Presti would be itching to move up. In all likelihood, the decision will be splitting hairs between Jonathan Kuminga and Scottie Barnes, neither of which are a guaranteed star. Presti won't want to give away much draft compensation just to jump one spot by doing a deal with the Orlando Magic.
Oklahoma City’s Offer: No. 6 Pick, Miami Heat 2023 first round pick, Wizards 2023 second round pick
With Kuminga and Barnes alike in so many ways, Oklahoma City can’t give up too much in order to jump just one spot. This year’s first rounders and unprotected picks are out the window. The Heat’s 2023 first round pick, sent over in the Paul George trade, will be top 14 protected for three seasons before becoming unprotected. More than likely, it will be a mid to late first rounder for Orlando to acquire in exchange for trading down to No. 6.