May 16, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Gorgui Dieng is interviewed during the NBA Draft combine at Harrison Street Athletics Facility. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Draft 2013: Who the OKC Thunder should consider picking in the lottery


Apr 2, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Maryland Terrapins center Alex Len (25) puts up a shot against the Iowa Hawkeyes during the first half of the NIT Tournament Semi-Final at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

In case you missed last night’s draft lottery, the Raptors failed to gain a top three pick, meaning the Thunder gained the rights to the 12th pick in the 2013 NBA draft.

In so, it’s time to make some phone calls, do some scouting, and watch film of possible draft picks for Sam Presti.

In terms of who the Thunder are looking for, it’s pretty evident what the Thunder are missing. An inside scoring presence. Yes, Serge Ibaka continues to improve. Yes, Kendrick Perkins does a great job defending the post and being a leader.  No, the Thunder do not get enough production in the paint.

So, who will do that job for the Thunder? Let’s take a look at possible candidates for who Sam Presti will call on June 27th to become the newest member to play for the blue and orange.

1. Gorgui Dieng, Louisville

Dieng is 23-years-old who had a few years of experience, and was a big part of the championship run for Louisville. Despite him only averaging 9.8 points a game, he grabbed 9.4 rebounds a game. Ibaka and Perkins had trouble finishing all year, and Dieng shot about 72% at the rim this season according to hoop-math.com, which is huge for the Thunder. If Dieng is the guy where Durant or Westbrook can get in the lane and drop it off to him, I’ll be happy to see the Louisville big man in a Thunder uniform.

2Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga

Olynyk is a solid seven footer with a versatile game. Many scouts say he has the ball handling ability of a SF, and can shoot the ball very well. He averaged 18 points a game this year, to go along with shooting 63.1% from the field.

3. Alex Len, Maryland 

Len is also seven foot and weighs 225 pounds. Len had surgery to stabilize stress fracture in his ankle, and many question his ability to stay healthy. Len only averaged 11 points a game, but can really play around the rim.

4. Rudy Gobert, France

Don’t be surprised to see his named get called with the 12th pick. At the combine, he reached a 7’8.5” wingspan and a 9’7” standing reach, which is incredible. There are question marks with him being 231 pounds. According to Draft Express, “He shot almost 80% from the field in Pro A, while showing impressive potential as a rebounder and shot blocker. The progress he’s made since last season is extremely promising, and he’s maturing at a terrific rate.” To me, this seems like a high risk, high reward type of situation.

5. Guards like Dennis Schroeder (Germany), CJ McCollum (Lehigh), and Michael Carter-Williams (Syracuse)

In 2011, the same scenario happened. We all thought Sam Presti would get a big man to complement Ibaka and Perkins, and Presti decided to go with Reggie Jackson (great idea). You never know what Presti has up his sleeve. The more reasonable pick if the Thunder were to get a guard, would be CJ McCollum. He went down with a season-ending injury early this year, but says he’s 100% healthy. McCollum averaged 23 points a game last year, and even though he played at Lehigh, he put up 26 points in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament against Kansas.

Tags: Alex Len CJ McCollum Dennis Schroeder Gorgui Dieng Kelly Olynyk Michael Carter-Williams NBA Draft 2013 Oklahoma City Thunder Rudy Gobert

  • TK_1

    Correction. Len was listed at 255, not 225.