The Oklahoma City Thunder continue to be linked with both players and draft picks ahead of Thursday’s 2021 NBA Draft.
While many are expecting Sam Presti to move up somewhere into the top five, one Cleveland Cavaliers insider things the Thunder may instead be a destination for a current NBA up-and-comer.
Cleveland.com’s Terry Pluto said he’s been told that the Thunder are a team to watch on draft night when it comes to Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton.
“I was told by an NBA source to “watch Oklahoma City” as a possible destination for Sexton. The Thunder have these picks: 6, 16, 18, 34, 36 and 55 in this draft,” Pluto wrote. “That’s right, three first-rounders. Good bet at least one of those picks is headed somewhere in a draft-day deal.”
Reports have swirled for weeks that Presti isn’t keen on bringing in three rookies on guaranteed deals this preseason, which would be exactly the case if the Thunder ended up making three selections in the first round on Thursday night.
If the Thunder are unable to use those picks to move up into the top five, they may be able to take Sexton off the hands of the Cavaliers, who seem reluctant to award Sexton a maximum contract extension.
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Last season for Cleveland, Sexton scored a career-high 24.3 points per game on 47.5 percent shooting from the field, also a career high-water mark. The former Alabama star knocked down 37.1 percent of his 3-point attempts, and is a career 38.5 percent 3-point shooter. Sexton also added 4.4 assists and 1.0 steals per game playing primarily off-ball for the Cavaliers.
The physical guard would be an intriguing running mate for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and could potentially cement himself in OKC’s backcourt of the future alongside defensive stopper Lu Dort.
Cleveland continues to be thrown around as a potential trade partner for the No. 3-overall pick as well. The Cavaliers are apparently “enamored” with Jalen Green, and might be open to trading back should the Houston Rockets take Green with the second pick.
It’s unclear if the Cavaliers would want to deal Sexton and trade down in one swoop, but Kemba Walker could be used as a bargaining chip for Presti if he wants to attempt and accomplish both moving up to the third pick to land Evan Mobley and acquire Sexton to round out the Thunder backcourt.