Rumor is the OKC Thunder made a pre-draft promise to Matisse Thybulle. With shooting being a key area the team needs to add depth let’s hope these rumors are wrong.
Next week the NBA Draft Combine will take place in Chicago with the OKC Thunder brain trust and their 29 peer franchises in attendance. The NBA released a list of 66 players who were extended invitations to the event. One noticeably missing name on the list was Washington guard Matisse Thybulle.
As per Cole Zwicker‘s tweet below the reason may be tied to a pre-draft promise from Thunder General Manager, Sam Presti to select Thybulle with the team’s 21st draft pick.
If we were to create a prototype of the kind of player Sam Presti likes to draft then Thybulle could be the picture used for it. An excellent defender, great wingspan (7’1″), capable of guarding four positions and is super athletic. His defensive prowess led to him winning the 2019 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year.
Unfortunately, the equally common denominator of Thybulle also fits Presti’s penchant for picks who aren’t exactly offensive juggernauts. The Washington Huskie guard/forward averaged 9.1 points and 30.5 percent from the perimeter. If that last stat isn’t flashing on and off your page it should be! Moreover, a scan of his stat chart over the four seasons highlights a fairly significant 3-point shooting regression (and points).
While a defensive talent like Thybulle should garner attention, there are equally concerning reasons for teams to pass on him unless they are loaded with offensive talent. Factor in, the Thunder salary situation and the absolute necessity of adding perimeter shooting as enough reason for red flags to go up.