Mar 16, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Ben McLemore (23) drives to the basket against the Kansas State Wildcats in the second half during the championship game of the Big 12 tournament at the Sprint Center. Kansas defeated Kansas State 70-54. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Draft 2013: How the OKC Thunder can move up to pick Ben McLemore


The Oklahoma City Thunder have the 12th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft and they will be able to move up if they want to.

The Thunder also have the 29th and 32nd overall picks along with Dallas’ 2014 first round pick. Throw in two promising rookies in Perry Jones and Jeremy Lamb and the Thunder might be able to put together a package to move up into the top five.

It is being reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers are considering drafting Otto Porter with the first overall pick. That means that Nerlens Noel could then be taken second with the Washington Wizards’ third overall pick coming up.

The Wizards wouldn’t want to pick Kansas’ Ben McLemore a year after picking Bradley Beal, who plays the same position.

There’s a chance then that the Wizards would be interested in trading back. It might be a great opportunity for the Thunder to come in to try and get McLemore, as first suggested by Royce Young of Daily Thunder.

Remember that the Thunder considered trading James Harden to the Charlotte Bobcats last year at the time of the draft so they could pick Beal second overall. I bet we all wish that trade would have ended up happening.

McLemore is a lot like Beal in that he is a great shooter, moves well off screens and can create his own shot. He would be an ideal fit alongside Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant for the long haul.

Offering Washington a package they would consider for the third pick may be tricky though. It would definitely involve as many draft picks as the Thunder could send their way. In a draft that is supposed to be one of the weakest in years, that may not be so interesting for the Wizards.

In terms of young assets, Jones would definitely have to be included in the trade. You wouldn’t think Lamb would sweeten the deal at all especially if Washington is trading back to not pick a shooting guard. The Thunder could consider including Reggie Jackson in the trade too. They really don’t have much else other than that to offer.

Even though Lamb barely played at all this season, you have to wonder how much better the Thunder would see McLemore is. Is McLemore so much better that the Thunder would give up Jackson too? I kind of doubt it.

It will definitely be very interesting when the draft comes around and the days leading up to it if we here of any players Sam Presti and the Thunder are targeting.

Tags: Ben McLemore NBA Draft 2013 Oklahoma City Thunder

  • Jeremy Duer

    I agree, McLemore would be a perfect fit for the Thunder. If you watched him play in college, he definitely is a pass first type of player and with Durant and Westbrook would easily fit in right away. Let’s hope the Thunder can get a deal worked out, OKC would be a super fun team to watch next year.
    Jeremy from California