Jan 8, 2014; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti watches action between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Kansas Jayhawks at Lloyd Noble Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NBA Draft: Is Clint Capela The Answer In Oklahoma City?


With the 2014 NBA Draft just days away, there is a wide uncertainty as to what the Oklahoma City Thunder are going to do with the 21st overall pick. There have been rumors here and there of a potential trade with New York for Iman Shumpert, but no one really knows what Sam Presti has in mind.

We do know that the Thunder will probably target a shooting guard, big man or back-up point guard with the loss of Derek Fisher. If you ask me, Presti should go with a big man to replace Nick Collison, whose contract expires next year. Besides Ibaka and Adams, no big man in Oklahoma City is certain to stay long-term. Initially, it was said that the Thunder made a promise to Kristaps Porzingis with the 21st pick. However, Porzingis withdrew his name from the draft for unknown reason.

So, who is the guy Presti should draft with the 21st pick?

His name is Clint Capela. He’s 6′ 11”, 222 lbs, and just 20 years old from Switzerland. Last year, he played in the French League for Chalon. His film speaks for itself, but I will tell you right now: If he’s available at 21, Oklahoma City would be getting a steal.

At EuroCamp, Capela was the third best 3-point shooter at 71.8 percent. The guy is 6’ 11”! He’s got great hands for his size, and great instincts. His feel for the game is great and has the ability to be a great player in this league. His ceiling is extremely high, and his potential is through the roof. Capela is an elite shot blocker with freak athleticism.

Here’s ESPN’s Kevin Pelton on Capela: “Capela’s star has lost much of its luster since a disappointing effort at the Nike Hoop Summit in April, but it’s worth remembering why he was once considered a likely lottery pick. Before age 20, Capela was one of the best players in the French ProA League and put up similar numbers in Chalon’s brief EuroCup stay. He projects as a high-percentage finisher, a plus rebounder and a good shot-blocker from the power forward spot. SCHOENE compares Capela to former No. 3 overall pick Derrick Favors during his rookie season.”

The areas of concern are his strength and toughness. He could get more offensively skilled as well, but both of those things will come in time. Capela’s upside is just too hard to pass on.

Thunder fans may be thinking how valuable could a 21st pick be? Well, you’d be surprised. This draft is extremely deep. Not to mention, Serge Ibaka and Reggie Jackson were both 24th overall picks. So that kind of gives you an idea on how valuable this pick could be.

Tags: 2014 NBA Draft Clint Capela Oklahoma City Thunder

  • Andrew

    Completely agree. RIght now, Capela is a poor man’s Serge Ibaka and, with the right team, I truly believe he will become as good as Serge is now. That team could be and should be the OKC Thunder. They could definitely use a shot blocker coming off the bench, especially when Ibaka comes out of the game. That would keep the rim protected at all times. Also, putting him in the Thunder’s system would be great for this kid. With their work ethic, he would be pushed to reach his full potential. I think if he is there, he’s got to be the guy. A decent SG will be available for them at 29, either by dealing it for Afflalo or Shumpert or taking sometime like Jordan Adams, PJ Hairston, or CJ Wilcox. Or…they could still take a draft and stash candidate at #29 and sight a decent SG option like CJ Miles. I’m a big fan of this scenario.