The Oklahoma City Thunder were part of one of the biggest rumors surrounding the NBA Draft this past week. While the Charlotte Bobcats were reportedly shopping their No. 2 overall pick, the Thunder were interested in it.
Bradley Beal was the player on Oklahoma City’s radar. Thunder GM Sam Presti had expressed interest in trying to move up to take the guard from Florida.
Trading up to pick Beal would have meant trading James Harden to Charlotte.
This took Thunder fans aback leading up to the NBA Draft. Harden was such an important piece to this team, one beloved by the fans.
As the Draft grew nearer, the Thunder dispelled any rumors involved trading Harden.
Leftover draft chatter: OKC officials took steps in recent days to assure James Harden he wouldn’t be dealt for top-3 pick & then proved it
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 29, 2012
The potential trade seemed unlikely in the first place despite it possibly making some sense for both sides. From the Thunder front, it’s good to hear that Harden didn’t have to sit through the Draft wondering if he might suddenly get traded.
Thunder GM Sam Presti on the James Harden rumor: “James Harden is a coveted player. But I don’t think anyone covets him as much as we do.”
— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) June 29, 2012
The Thunder may not have traded up into the lottery in the draft but they did still end up drafting a lottery-level talent in Perry Jones III of Baylor.
Jones III fell to OKC at pick No. 28 as the former projected lottery pick slid further than almost anyone expected in the first round.
Things could not have gone better for the Thunder in the Draft. They didn’t expect to make any substantial picks and ended up having a potential gem fall right into their laps.
These are the kind of things that tend to happen to teams right before they start winning championships.