The 2022 NBA Draft is fast approaching, and it’s no secret the Thunder will be looking to consolidate draft picks in order to maximize their draft.
Oklahoma City currently has four picks in the upcoming draft, including three first rounders at No. 2, No. 12 and No. 30. OKC’s lone second round selection is the 34th overall pick.
While the Thunder could certainly take a gamble on four players and stash half of them into their G-League development roster for the foreseeable future, it’s likely they’ll try and package picks to move up and grab even better talents.
While the 2022 lottery picks are beginning to shore up a bit, several quality levels players will be left on the outside looking in, and that’s where OKC can strike.
Malachi Branham, Tari Eason, Ousmane Dieng, Bryce McGowens, Ochai Agbaji, Jaden Hardy, TyTy Washington and EJ Liddell are just a few of the prospects who are good enough to sneak into the lottery, or could fall much further.
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The value of players like those falling into the late teens or 20’s has tremendous value, and that’s exactly what Thunder general manager Sam Presti will be searching for.
Here is what a trade up for one of these players could look like:
Oklahoma City Thunder gets: No. 21 overall
Denver Nuggets get: No. 30 overall, No. 34 overall, 2023 Wizards SRP
With Denver’s recent ability to hit on draft picks, they may want to maximize all their options. Trading back allows them to take two players and acquire a future second. While talent in the 20’s may be better, solid players will continue to get pushed back, giving them great options at 30 and 34.