The 2013 NBA Draft class has been described as one of the weakest in years. The Cleveland Cavaliers hold the top pick and no one knows yet what direction they will go in.
Chad Ford of ESPN.com reported today that the Oklahoma City Thunder are a one of a few teams that has been proactive in trying to trade with the Cavs for the top pick.
They are engaged in trade talks with a number of teams. Sources say the Thunder, Timberwolves and Blazers have been the most proactive in trying to get the No. 1 pick — but so far neither team has persuaded the Cavs to move out of the top pick.
This is really the first we have heard about the Thunder being interested in trading up. It’s not very surprising though.
The Thunder have three picks in this draft, the 12th, 29th and 32nd overall selections. OKC of course is not looking to add three rookies to the roster, so attempting to trade up makes a lot of sense.
Aside from these three picks, the Thunder also have Dallas’ first round pick next year along with talented young players Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones at their disposal. Would packaging some combination of these assets be enough for the Thunder to offer Cleveland for the top pick?
Who do the Thunder want at number one, too? Nerlens Noel is the most popular prediction to be the first pick in the draft but he will likely be sidelined until sometime in December. Maybe the Thunder are really high on Alex Len and believe that the only way they can get him is by drafting first overall.
There are a few other prospects that may intrigue the Thunder in Ben McLemore , Otto Porter or Anthony Bennett, but neither of those three are expected to be taken first overall.
The Thunder should definitely be major players in this draft. The flexibility to make a trade to go after a player they really want is a real possibility and if there is any truth to this rumor, that is exactly what Thunder GM Sam Presti plans to do.