OKC Thunder win coin toss – gains 4th best odds to win NBA Draft Lottery

OKC Thunder prepare for 2021 draft - NBA commissioner Adam Silver 2019 NBA Draft: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
OKC Thunder prepare for 2021 draft - NBA commissioner Adam Silver 2019 NBA Draft: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

For the majority of the 13 years since the OKC Thunder franchise has existed the club has resided in what many would consider charmed territory. Most expansion teams take time to develop their core and reach the playoffs. Once there it typically takes many years to be title contenders.

The Memphis Grizzlies were originally the Vancouver Grizzlies and for as solid as the Grit and Grind years were, they’ve never played in an NBA Finals. In 19 seasons the New Orleans franchise has never gotten past the second round and made only seven postseason appearances.

The Sacramento Kings haven’t been to the postseason for 15 consecutive seasons while the Timberwolves have made one appearance in the last 17 seasons. Even the storied Knicks return to the playoffs for only the fifth time in the last 20 seasons.

In contrast, the OKC Thunder has participated in the playoffs in 10 of their 13 seasons. Moreover, they reached the Western Conference Finals four times and played in the NBA Finals.  Quite simply, what the Thunder have accomplished is unprecedented.

Sam Presti took the lessons he learned while in San Antonio and applied the Spurs template with his own special tweaks to develop a culture and identity for the Thunder. Now, in the first true franchise shift, Presti is establishing an entirely new standard for how to transition via the draft as he rebuilds the team.

While many teams have utilized tanking to bolster their talent and hopefully get the lucky generational talent Presti dove in headfirst amassing 34 draft picks (17 first round, 17 second round) over the next seven seasons. Some of the picks have protections or are pick swaps.

Coin flip gives OKC Thunder 4th best odds to win NBA Draft Lottery:

For this season’s draft, the OKC Thunder will make two first-round selections but won’t know the selection order until the NBA Draft Lottery on June 22nd. Today, they got some clarification on their odds as the coin toss occurred to separate ties for the teams positioned in the lottery.

Turns out winning that final game versus the Clippers didn’t matter as the Thunder won the toss. Although if the team had lost that final game OKC  might have been winning the toss to take the third spot where the Magic resides, but at least the Thunder didn’t drop to fifth.

Speaking of the Magic they enter the draft with the third and eighth-best odds because the Bulls won the toss between themselves, the Pelicans, and Kings. The other toss that affected lottery teams was the Hornets winning the coin flip versus the Spurs.

As for specific picks, OKC will get the two most favorable picks of their own, the Rockets and Heat however Houston’s pick has top four protections. Therefore, OKC won’t know which of the two picks they’ll own until after the lottery occurs.

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In addition, the Thunder will make three second-round selections. Their own pick, which they retain because it falls within the 31-55 protections. The Nuggets pick (conveyed via Philadelphia to Golden State) and the Timberwolves pick (via the Warriors).

In each of the six seasons that follow the Thunder will have two to five additional picks plus their own. The one exception is their 2022 first-round pick which is owed to the Hawks protected 1-14 and the likelihood is they won’t have to convey it so then they’ll owe their 2024 and 2025 second-round picks to Atlanta.

The key will be navigating the drafts with the hope they’ll strike lightning in a similar fashion to what Presti pulled off via Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. That may seem like a stretch given that too is unprecedented. Yet Thunder Nation will be pulling for the lucky bingo bounce that would give OKC the top pick and a shot at Cade Cunningham.

Next. Thunder nab Cade Cunningham in recent B/R mock draft. dark