Despite owning no first round picks, the Oklahoma City Thunder still had a very productive draft night in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Sam Presti took a pair of second round flyers in Virginia’s Devon Hall and UT-Arlington’s Kevin Hervey, but Presti cashed in on a trade to acquire a key rotational piece.
Hamidou Diallo was dealt from Charlotte to Oklahoma City, after the Hornets (via the Brooklyn Nets) took him with the 45th pick in the draft.
In his two and a half years with the Thunder, Diallo continued to add to his game.
He went from a defensive spark plug off the bench in his rookie year to a legitimate playmaking threat before he was traded to Detroit.
Diallo’s strides from behind the 3-point line were phenomenal. Knocking down just 16.7 percent of his attempts from deep his rookie year, Diallo shot 34.1 percent last year between Oklahoma City and Detroit.
The Thunder dealt Diallo to the Pistons near the trade deadline this past season, netting Svi Mykhailiuk, ending Diallo’s successful tenure in OKC.
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Hall and Hervey combined to make 21 appearances for Oklahoma City, failing to ever make a major impact for the Thunder.
And while OKC wasn’t directly involved on draft night, another major player out of the 2018 Draft has massive Thunder ties.
Point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was selected with the No. 11-overall pick.
After playing his rookie season for the LA Clippers, he was sent to OKC to be the franchise’s new centerpiece in the Paul George trade, a move which has already paid dividends for Presti and the Thunder.