It was recently speculated that the Oklahoma City Thunder had made a promise to Latvian seven footer Kristaps Porzingis to draft him with their #21 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft – but it appears highly unlikely now, as Porzingis has reportedly withdrawn his name from the NBA Draft and therefore will not be eligible to be selected by any NBA team this year.
A true seven foot center with great range and solid footwork, the Thunder were high on the young but raw talent, hoping to secure his services and then watch him develop over in Spain. That will no be the case and the Thunder will head back to the drawing board to find the best selections for their roster with picks 21 and 29.
There is plenty of talent in this years draft class and the Thunder could do with some depth at most positions – check out this draft preview for a gauge of what OKC might be thinking.
When Porzingis was still an option, there had been talk of the Thunder packaging their draft picks to move up the order to ensure they got their man. With Porzingis no longer on the board, there is a little less clarity as to what the Thunder are now thinking.
They could still package the picks and move up the order if they have their eye on a particular target, or they could draft two talented players at the tail end of the draft. There is always the chance that the Thunder might not even have both picks come draft day – opting to package one in a deal to land some established assistance to a young roster loaded with talent.
As rumor and speculation heats up, you can be sure the Thunder and GM Sam Presti won’t be giving anything away. In past years, the Thunder front office has snared some terrific talent late in the first round (Serge Ibaka, Reggie Jackson and Perry Jones III) but this time they have the assets and a willing audience to deal them to. A number of teams are looking to buy their way into the draft and they might just want to pick up the phone and have a chat with Presti.