3 options for the OKC Thunder with the 12th pick in the 2023 NBA Draft

Cason Wallace #22 of the Kentucky Wildcats (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Cason Wallace #22 of the Kentucky Wildcats (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Leonard Miller #11 of G League Ignite (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Leonard Miller could be a good option for the OKC Thunder at pick 12 after a recent surge.

Despite climbing up draft boards lately, Leonard Miller has long been on my radar for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Before Miller elected to commit to team Ignite a year ago, I pegged Leonard Miller as the 31st-best prospect in last year’s class as an 18-year-old. From there, he has only improved with way more production and impact.

Leonard Miller is only 19 years old and played in the NBA G-League for an entire year against grown men. I was lucky enough to have a front-row seat at the scorer’s table in the Paycom Center to G-League games, including each time the ignite came to town, and the physicality of the G-League should not be undersold.

Still, Miller not only held his own but was able to generate true production and positive winning impact to the tune of 18 points, 11 rebounds, an assist, a block, and a steal per game. The teenager shot 55 percent from the floor, 32 percent from beyond the arc at NBA range, and 79 percent at the free throw line.

As a hyper athlete, his rim finishing was among the best in the G-League, ranking in the 75th percentile and making 66 percent of his shots at the ring. However, it was not just his rim-rattling dunks and ability to finish layups in traffic with each hand.

His ability to be a modern small ball five, thanks to his springy rim protection, comfortably play on the wing, as well as high motor, and elite level of engagement on the defensive end, makes you drool when pouring over the film.

My primary concerns with Leonard Miller are his jump shot and hands. The glaring one is the jump shot, which is beyond just the fact it only falls at a 32 percent clip from deep but the awkwardness of the jumper. A flat push shot with scissortail legs flying out is cause for concern. Luckily for Miller, hypothetically, he would be working his one of the best shooting coaches in the league in Chip Engelland, and at least has a solid starting point in terms of production with nearly 80 percent shooting touch in the G-League on freebies.

His hands are cause for concern, given that he is most effective on offense as a pick-and-roll man as well as cutting, in transition, and the dunker spot. Despite passing the eye test on the hand size scale, in practice, he fumbles away a few too many chances or, at the very least, allows the defense to adjust, making the opportunity harder than it should’ve been. With an already glaring weakness on that end of the floor, Miller can not let this aspect compromise his positive traits on offense.