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Tankathon Mock Draft: Thunder Take Chance on Untapped Duo

Oklahoma City bolstered it’s defense even more with two defensive-minded draftees in the most recent Tankathon Mock Draft.

With the 2022 NBA Draft on the horizon, the Thunder are again looking to add premier pieces to its growing core.

This season, Oklahoma City was fortunate to land a second lottery pick at the hands of the Pelicans, who ousted the Clippers in the Western Conference play-in game.

OKC currently holds the fourth and twelfth best odds, and will look to continue bolstering its roster in hopes for future success.

Here is a randomly generated mock draft presented via Tankathon:

The Result:

Screen Shot 2022-05-09 at 3.57.30 PM

The Picks:

No. 1 Pacers: Paolo Banchero, Duke

No. 2 Pistons: Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga

No. 3 Rockets: Jabari Smith Jr., Auburn

No. 4 Pelicans: Jaden Ivey, Purdue

No. 5 Magic: Keegan Murray, Iowa

No. 6 Thunder: Jalen Duren, Memphis

No. 7 Trail Blazers: Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona

No. 8 Kings: Shaedon Sharpe, Kentucky

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No. 9 Spurs: Johnny Davis, Wisconsin

No. 10 Wizards: AJ Griffin, Duke

No. 11 Knicks: Dyson Daniels, G-League Ignite

No. 12 Thunder: Tari Eason, LSU

No. 13 Hornets: Jeremy Sochan, Baylor

No. 14 Cavaliers: Ochai Agbaji, Kansas

The Rationale:

Again the statistically most likely outcome for Oklahoma City, leaving with the sixth and twelfth overall picks wouldn’t be a happy day for general manager Sam Presti.

But all hope isn’t lost should it happen. There’s risks to be taken and connecting pieces to be had around both spots.

At No. 6 overall, I have Oklahoma City reaching on high-flying rim protector Jalen Duren. He’ll likely fall a few spots below this, but should OKC want to get their guy, they’ll need to snag him here.

At just 18-years-old and one of the youngest players in the draft, Duren is a physically imposing lob-thread with untapped defensive potential. Next to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and especially Josh Giddey, Duren could become a force later on in the future.

At No. 12, the Thunder could take another flyer on Tari Eason, of LSU. Eason has all the tools that could make an NBA great. He’s an extremely raw prospect: inconsistent shooting the ball and motor defensively. But should OKC works its developmental magic, he could be one of the premier players in the draft.

Other notable picks in include Detroit nabbing Chet Holmgren to pair with Cade Cunningham, the Wizards adding a shooter in AJ Griffin and the Hornets and Cavaliers adding win-now pieces in Jeremy Sochan and Ochai Agbaji.

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