The long awaited 2021 NBA Draft is finally here.
After a long year of bad basketball and plenty of bonkers trade rumors, Oklahoma City Thunder fans will have a much clearer picture on the direction of the franchise once the dust settles on Thursday night.
Sam Presti often lurks in the shadows, running a tight-lipped ship until he stuns the NBA world. Expect Thursday night to be no different.
Where, When, How to Watch:
- Where: Barclays Center, New York City
- When: Thursday, 7 p.m. CT
- How to Watch: ABC or ESPN
The Thunder enter the draft owning 10 percent of the 60 picks, with three picks in each the first round and the second round (picks No. 6, 16, 18, 34, 36 and 55).
Judging by the current makeup of the OKC roster, it’s highly unlikely that the Thunder sit tight and take all six of those picks, so look alive. Presti said during his pre-NBA Draft Lottery media availability that the organization is always looking to move up to a more favorable draft pick.
Presti will have no better opportunity to trade up than this evening’s draft.
Recommended for You
Not only does he have six picks to entice the 29 other franchises around the league, he also owns 30 draft picks over the next six drafts, as well as veteran guard Kemba Walker who the Thunder would likely be willing to move along to a team looking to jumpstart their rebuild.
But the going will be tough to move up, as the 2021 NBA Draft has widely been regarded as a “five player draft.”
Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham, Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs, USC’s Evan Mobley, and Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga from the G League Ignite have been hailed for nearly 10 months as the class of the draft.
Only since the Draft Lottery has there been rumblings of Florida State wing Scottie Barnes working his way into the top five, but many believe four teams for sure could walk out of Thursday night with a franchise cornerstone.
The Thunder will be aggressive in trying to move up into the top five to land one of those talents, but if they are unable to move higher than six, another name may be worth looking out for.
Connecticut’s James Bouknight has gained some steam over the last week, as his offensive abilities may be appealing to Presti to pair alongside point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
But as is the case with Presti, it’s anyone’s guess where the Thunder actually end up on the draft board and who they select, and we’ll all have to wait until 7 p.m. to find out.