The NBA Draft Lottery is tonight at 7 p.m. EST and the Oklahoma City Thunder are actually in the lottery.
As part of the James Harden trade, the Thunder also received the first round pick of the Toronto Raptors.
The pick is top-three protected meaning that if the lottery results in the pick being in the top three, it goes to the Raptors and the Thunder won’t see it until next year.
Here are the official odds for getting each pick:
#1 – 0.7 percent chance
#2 – 0.8 percent chance
#3 – 1.0 percent chance
#4-11 – 0.0 percent chance
#12 – 93.5 percent chance
#13 – 3.9 percent chance
#14 – 0.0 percent chance
As you can see, more than likely the Thunder will end up with the 12th pick in the draft. Do the Thunder want this pick or are they hoping that the Raptors miraculously get a top-three pick so they can again get their first round selection next year?
This draft has gained a reputation as being particularly weak. Usually what that means more than anything is that there aren’t a lot of obvious future stars who are going to be taken early on. We’ve learned in recent history that can be misleading. The 2011 draft that produced Kyrie Irving as the top pick was also supposed to be very weak and turned out to not be.
The Thunder ending up with the 12th pick doesn’t mean they’re going to necessarily keep that pick either. The Thunder will also have their own first round pick (29th) and the Charlotte Bobcats’ second round pick (32nd) to work with. This will give the Thunder flexibility to move up or down a few slots if they see a reason to.
We haven’t heard much about who the Thunder might be interested in taking yet. There’s a lot of talk that they might be going for a big man who would eventually replace Kendrick Perkins as the starting center. But if an athletic wing like Victor Oladipo is on the board, they could go in that direction as well.
It will be very interesting what the Thunder decide to do on draft day. Trying to piece together what direction they might be going in will start tonight with the lottery.