Oklahoma City’s Top Options with the No. 2 Pick
The 2022 NBA Draft is quickly approaching, and names are being thrown around in regards to the Oklahoma City Thunder’s second overall pick.
While Presti has been known to think outside the box on draft night, there’s likely four legitimate options they’ll take hard looks at:
Option 1, Chet Holmgren
A defensive-minded, unicorn-esque 7-footer who has guard like handles and passing ability, Holmgren checks nearly every box for Presti.
He averaged 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 60 percent from the field and nearly 40 percent from beyond the arc. Most gaudily, he averaged 3.7 blocks per game.
Holmgren might very well be the perfect option to plug into OKC’s vacant center, if the Magic haven’t snatched him first.
Option 2, Paolo Banchero
A well built, 6-foot-10 forward with impeccable footwork and maneuverability for his size, Banchero is likely someone several GM’s are salivating over.
He’s got immediate plug-and-play star potential, infusing any team with offense and playmaking. He averaged 17.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists at Duke.
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His fit on Oklahoma City’s current roster is a murky one, but Presti may not be worried about fit at this point in the rebuild.
Option 3, Jabari Smith Jr.
A well-framed 6-foot-10 sniper with some natural defensive instincts, Smith came onto the scene in a flurry.
Smith’s sniper-like instincts are highly sought after at any level of basketball. He’s an attentive isolation defense, and his frame could help him become even more. He averaged 16.9 points while shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc for Auburn.
Smith would function well with OKC’s solid guard-play, especially an elite-level facilitator in Josh Giddey,
Option 4, Jaden Ivey
There’s been reports that Purdue’s Jaden Ivey is much higher on GM’s boards than the general consensus, and he should be there when OKC picks at two.
Picking Ivey would officially and undoubtedly confirm Presti’s movement away from bigger stars and into the small ball of the future. While Ivey, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Giddey wouldn’t likely coexist on the court, taking Ivey would in the least be a sign in Presti’s value of guards to forwards and centers.
Ivey averaged 17.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists for the Boilermakers.