The OKC Thunder have already begun wheeling and dealing this offseason when they shipped the 30th overall pick to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for veteran forward JaMychal Green and a future first-round pick. Now, as we sit a week before the NBA Draft the rumors are starting to heat up. Over the weekend, ESPN reported that Shaedon Sharpe’s camp had Oklahoma City as their top destination in next week’s draft.
Those rumors are not going away, they are only intensifying. In fact, many expect the rumor flood gates to open once the NBA Finals conclude. It is almost an unwritten rule to withhold as many rumors as you can to allow the Finals to have the stage, and all of that withheld scuttlebutt will be flying out once the NBA crowns a champion.
ESPN started early with an intel-based mock with Jonathan Givony revealing a ton of draft buzz. Givony has the Thunder taking Chet Holmgren with the 2nd pick in the 2022 NBA Draft confirming OKC has or will work out Jabari Smith Jr, Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero, Shaedon Sharpe, Jaden Ivey, and of course others with our draft workout tracker. However, the real info comes with the 4th and 12th pick blurbs in the Mock Draft.
OKC Thunder is set to be very aggressive during the 2022 NBA Draft looking to trade up from the 12th pick in the draft, but how high can they go?
Jonathan Givony says “The Thunder are said to be aggressively pursuing trade conversations for this pick, seeking to package it with future assets or existing OKC players in order to move into the mid-lottery, with players including Jaden Ivey and Shaedon Sharpe believed to be among the potential prospects they covet.”
How high can Oklahoma City get in this draft? Well, Givony said the Kings are not Jaden Ivey’s “preferred destination” and the team might look to trade the pick for players like Jerami Grant from the Pistons, Myles Turner from the Pacers, and Lu Dort from the Thunder. Givony also noted that Kings’ owner Vivek Ranadive is a proponent of selecting Keegan Murray.
How would this deal get done? It would be an uphill battle. The package would have to include Lu Dort, and that is not because anyone wants to get rid of Dort, but because he is the only player that has value on the roster besides Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey that can even come close to warranting a top-five pick. Even Lu Dort, for as much as we love him in Bricktown, is an awkward fit next to De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell.
Ultimately, I do not expect the Thunder to go and grab a top-five pick in the draft, however, this report really only made it clear that OKC is looking to move up from 12. That range is likely though picks 7-10, not a top-five selection.
The only thing we know for sure is that this week will be a wild ride, so buckle up.