The 2014 NBA Draft is just around the corner. Sam Presti and the front office in Oklahoma City has a great history of drafting the right guys to fit the system and make an impact in the league. Serge Ibaka, Reggie Jackson, and more recently Steven Adams were pure examples of the great record Presti has. So, the big question heading into June 26th at the Barclay Center is who the Thunder will take with the 21st pick.
Here are a few candidates:
Standing at 6′ 8″, Grant has a great NBA body, with a strong and wide frame. Grant plays a lot like current Thunder forward Perry Jones III. The two both impose great athleticism and a nice frame. However, both aren’t very productive on the offensive end. Grant, though, has a high ceiling with great potential. His father, Horace, played in the NBA for years so he has some genes on his side as well.
Cleanthony Early-Wichita State
Early blew up a bit during the NCAA tournament against Kentucky where he went back and forth with Randle battling hard. The Wichita State forward was one of the top per-minute scorers in college basketball this season. He is 6′ 7”, and only 208 pounds, so he would need to put on some weight and gain a bit more strength. However, he is a talented scorer who can flat out score the ball. His shot can be inconsistent, so if he could develop a consistent shot, get stronger, he could be a great player in this league. Not to mention, he came from a D-3 JUCO school to Wichita, so he is playing with a chip on his shoulder.
Whenever I think of Hood, I think of Chris Bosh. The two play a like with their lefty stroke and skinny frame. Hood is long with a 6′ 8.5″ wingspan and good athleticism with a 36 max vertical at the combine. The Duke product interviewed with the Thunder and has a very humble approach, which Sam Presti looks for. Would love Hood in OKC. Could be a steal in this deep draft.
International players are hard to judge because we never know the competition the guy goes against. However, I have heard some good things about Porzingis. He’s 7′ 0″ but only 220 pounds, so the 18-year-old needs to get stronger but has good tangibles. He shoots the ball well from the floor and deep, but I just think there’s too much uncertainty with the Latvia native.
Adreian Payne -Michigan State
Payne ,may be the best fit for Oklahoma City. He may be a steal in this draft, supposedly going late first round which is right near the Thunder pick. Off the floor, we know the story of Payne with Lacey, who passed away from cancer. From what I’ve heard, he works hard and is a great guy. On the floor, the guy can do it all. He’s 23-years-old so he’s got lots of experience under him, especially playing under Tom Izzo. Payne can finish around the rim, and has great footwork. Plays a little bit like Nick Collison. If he is available at 21, Sam Presti should draft this guy.