After waiting months for the ping pong balls to fall their way, Oklahoma City has finally landed the No. 2 overall selection in the 2022 NBA Draft.
The 2022 pick is now tied with their highest selection ever, the other in which they selected Kevin Durant. The Thunder have still never had the top pick.
With a consensus top three prospects, not only is OKC not on the outside looking in, they’ll only have to wait on the Orlando Magic.
Now, there’s a new question: who should they take?
Option 1: Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga
Arguably the most talented and best fit, Holmgren checks nearly every box for the Thunder.
He’s a lanky seven-footer with guard-like offensive skills, who could potentially anchor an NBA defense somewhere down the way.
Holmgren can pass and handle the ball, similar to several other types general Manager Sam Presti has drafted lately, and most importantly doesn’t need the ball in his hands to thrive.
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Option 2: Jabari Smith Jr., Auburn
A teenage sharpshooter with plenty of defensive prowess, Smith Jr. fits well in most systems, but especially OKC’s.
Similarly to Holmgren, Smith Jr. doesn’t need the ball in his hands to excel. The problem in his case is, he’s not great at putting the ball on the floor.
Regardless, Smith Jr. shot 44 percent in his freshman season at Auburn, and would help the Thunder significantly, one of the worst 3-point shooting teams over the last few seasons.
Option 3: Paolo Banchero, Duke
A bit of a different option, Duke big man Paolo Banchero is a highly skilled bruiser who could provide a surge of star power to any team.
He’s an elite creationist with a perfect NBA frame, and could be a nice co-star next to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Banchero has plenty of room to improve shooting from range and defending.