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Thunder Draft Preview: Get the Popcorn Out, It's Gonna be a Wild Draft

Entering with six picks, Sam Presti will have plenty of ammunition to engineer a draft night trade.

A lot of dreams are sold on Draft Night.

Every year, each team hopes to land a franchise-altering talent, sidestepping the fact that the NBA draft is about as unpredictable a draft as they come.

But this year, the dreams are even loftier.

Long billed a “five player draft” the skills of proverbial top picks Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs and Jonathan Kuminga have been praised all year long, going so far as to project that Cunningham, Mobley and Green could all have turned out to be excellent No. 1-overall picks had they been staggered across different drafts.

The Oklahoma City Thunder were dealt a blow when the ping pong balls at the draft lottery handed Sam Presti the No. 6 pick.

Less than ideal, sure, but Presti hasn’t garnered the reputation as not only one of the best general managers, but one of the most aggressive around the league for no reason.

As always with the Thunder, NBA Insiders have gone silent on information coming out of OKC’s camp, but it seems every team around the league is waiting with bated breath at what Presti’s next move will be.

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Tearing down the roster to acquire an unprecedented amount of draft picks, the Thunder own 36 picks over the next seven years, including six picks on Thursday night which represent 10 percent of the entire draft.

Though they’ve reportedly been denied of an attempt to trade up to the top spot, Presti has the most flexibility to move around as he pleases.


It feels like at least on move is guaranteed, as bringing six rookies into camp doesn’t make logistical sense with OKC’s roster.

If Presti is unable to move into the top five, there is still optimism that he’ll be able to pair picks 16 and 18, and potentially one of the early second round picks, to vault back up into the back end of the top 10, as 2021 is widely regarded as a deep draft pool beyond just the top five.

Regardless of where the Thunder end up, it’ll be a fun night as Presti usually saves the trade fireworks for draft night.