A rumor surfaced yesterday that the Oklahoma City Thunder were “proactive” in trying to trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the number one pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
There was no report of what exactly the Thunder had in mind to offer the Cavs. But you have to think it would have been some combination of Jeremy Lamb, Perry Jones, Reggie Jackson and the three draft picks the Thunder currently have.
Whether the Thunder will be able to somehow make a trade for the top pick feels like a long shot at this point.
The most interesting part of this development however is that the Thunder are trying to move up in the draft. And if they were able to move all the way up to the top spot, which prospect would they plan on taking?
In Chad Ford’s latest mock draft, he has the top five picks going in this order: Nerlens Noel (Cavs), Victor Oladipo (Magic), Otto Porter (Wizards), Alex Len (Bobcats) and Ben McLemore (Suns).
We can immediately count Porter out as a target for the Thunder because he plays the same position as Kevin Durant. The other four could all be possibilities, although taking McLemore first overall seems like a pretty big stretch.
Noel could definitely make sense simply because he is thought to have the most upside of any player in the draft. The Thunder falling in love with him right now doesn’t seem too likely because Noel does a lot of what Serge Ibaka already does.
That leaves Oladipo and Len. I think you can make a case for the Thunder really wanting to take either.
This guy was a stud last year in college. He is by all accounts an NBA-ready two guard who has elite defender written all over his future. His athleticism is off the charts and could blossom into a better version of Thabo Sefolosha in a few years.
He isn’t a great outside shooter but many see a little Dwyane Wade in his game. The Thunder have a history of drafting players with great athleticism and talent and building them up in their organization into great pros.
Len appears to be the best pure center in this draft, and someone who could certainly become a starting center in this league, and replace Kendrick Perkins in the Thunder starting lineup. He’s a great athlete who finishes well at the rim and has the tools to become a good defender in this league as well.
With center being a clear future need for the Thunder, and Len being a likely top pick, he could very well be the man the Thunder want more than any other in this draft.
I really don’t know yet who I think the Thunder desire the most in this draft. But we know there is someone and Presti is going to try and find a way to move up and get his guy.