2011: Selecting Jimmy Butler at pick 24 instead of Reggie Jackson.
The Oklahoma City Thunder selected Reggie Jackson with the 24th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft instead of Jimmy Butler, who is currently leading the Miami Heat to an improbable NBA Finals run.
This is not a totally egregious miss, given Reggie Jackson’s contributions to the OKC Thunder throughout his tenure. Still, the messy ending, mixed with Jimmy Butler’s star power, makes this a no-brainer pick in hindsight.
Imagining Jimmy Butler next to Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Kevin Durant is a daydream that will suck you in for hours. The possibilities are endless for what Butler has been his entire career on both ends of the floor.
In Reggie Jackson’s first year in Bricktown, the OKC Thunder made the NBA Finals and eventually fell to the Miami Heat, giving LeBron James his first NBA Championship. Would adding Jimmy Butler to that squad instead of Jackson be enough to change the series? What does winning a ring do for the group that eventually broke up? In the least memeable way possible, I ask: What would it have done to LeBron James’ legacy to lose two years in a row with that Heat superteam?
It is important to note, though, that Butler was hardly an NBA contributor for the Chicago Bulls his rookie season, only playing in 42 games, and during their 2012 playoff run, Butler totaled four minutes.
However, this goes beyond just that 2012 run; this would have been the best insurance policy for when the Thunder eventually shipped Harden to Houston.