The 2021 NBA Draft was absolutely loaded, containing several players that have a chance to be one of the top players in the league one day. In that class, the Oklahoma City Thunder landed three of the top 32 players on draft night.
They took Josh Giddey in the lottery, followed by Tre Mann near the middle of the first round and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl just two picks into the second round. On a rebuilding team, each of these prospects were set to get significant playing time.
Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report recently released a re-draft based on where he thinks players would land after seeing these prospects for a full season. In his eyes, Oklahoma City took Giddey and Robinson-Earl later than they should have gone but took Mann too early.
In this re-draft, two of the Thunder’s selections went earlier than they did on draft night.
- Josh Giddey: No. 5 (originally No. 6)
- Tre Mann: No. 24 (originally No. 18)
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- Jeremiah Robinson-Earl: No. 29 (originally No. 32)
While Bleacher Report does think Oklahoma City had value picks relative to original positioning in Giddey and Robinson-Earl, Mann slid six spots.
This isn’t surprising, as Giddey and Robinson-Earl were starters for most of last season and will likely be again this season. Mann is more of a volume scorer that comes off the bench and doesn’t provide as much impact elsewhere.
Regardless, the Thunder’s three 2021 selections are key parts of the core moving forward. Following this season, there’s a real chance all three are marked as players taken later than they should have been.