For the third time in the franchises illustrious history, the Oklahoma City Thunder have landed the second overall NBA Draft pick.
The Thunder were made one of the Draft lottery’s biggest winners on Tuesday night, coming away with second and twelfth overall picks. They’re the only team in the lottery with two lottery selections.
Orlando came away with the coveted No. 1 pick, a prize they’ve seen several times in their history. They’ll have the opportunity to select the best player in the country and add it to their roster that’s already seen improvement since the 2021 Draft.
But there’s no cause for concern for OKC at No. 2. And there’s no losing, either.
With a set-in-stone, yet fluid top three in Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith Jr. and Paolo Banchero, Oklahoma City will most likely be leaving with one. And that in itself is a win.
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The most likely two off the board first will be Smith Jr. and Holmgren.
While general manager Sam Presti and the Thunder would obviously like to have their choice between the two, landing either one as a consolation prize is cause for celebration.
Holmgren, a lengthy seven footer with guard like skills and the ability to extend beyond the arc, would immediately infuse OKC with interior defense and shooting, quite possible the two things they lacked most last season.
Smith, while a bit more of a potential project long-term, would do the same. A sharpshooter from beyond the arc packed in a 6-foot-11 body with defensive tools to potentially guard one through five, there’s simply no losing for OKC on Draft night.
The NBA Draft will take place on Thursday, June 23.