Sitting in the Barclay center on Thursday night, there was something unique other than past years. That aspect was the uncertainty. There was no clear number one pick, no real order due to possible trades, and after the night, not one analyst had their mock draft correct.
The building had a lot of intensity towards it. After David Stern announced that the Cavs took Anthony Bennett from UNLV, the fans reacted with a big “whattttt?!?!?.” And from then on, every time the commissioner went to the podium to announce a pick, the fans were on the edge of their seats.
In Oklahoma City, the uncertainty was big as well. Rumors of the Thunder trying to move up and get Alex Len, Victor Oladipo, or even Nerlens Noel were swirling around the NBA world.
If you asked me what the Thunder should of done, I would say they should of rolled the dice. With Noel still on the board at 5, why not send Perkins, future picks, even Reggie Jackson and Perry Jones III to New Orleans for the pick and take Noel? I would have loved to see that. Noel is exactly what the Thunder needed. An ATHLETIC big, who has an inside scoring presence who will give the Thunder someone who will do the little things on the defense end. And, I promise you that Oklahoma City would have led the league in blocked shots with Noel and Ibaka.
However, back to reality….
The Steven Adams pick was iffy to me. I still can’t tell if I like it. He just doesn’t seem like a lottery pick to me. His game is kind of boring to me, and he doesn’t bring much to the table. On the flip side, Adams has a huge upside, and the Thunder did need a big man. Not to mention, down the road if the Thunder don’t re-sign Perkins, Adams would be a great replacement if he can develop in Tulsa. Only time will tell with how he develops and if he can come in and produce for the Thunder.
The pick I liked the most was the Andre Roberson one at 26. The only aspect I didn’t get was why Presti traded up to get him. Other than that, after watching film of him at Colorado, this guy can flat out play. Roberson won DPOY in the Pac-12 last season, and along with that averaged 11 boards a game. I think Roberson will play in Tulsa next year for sure, but down the road can come in and contribute big time. He has a great body, and can get to the rim and finish at will.
For next year, this Thunder team did not get better. It’s pretty obvious. Oklahoma City will benefit long-term from this draft, though. Roberson and Adams will grow and develop greatly with the great coaching staff in Oklahoma City. Many didn’t like what Presti did on Thursday night, but to me, I can see exactly what he did. In Presti we trust.