3 Players the OKC Thunder should stay away from at pick 12

Rayan Rupert of the Breakers (Photo by Simon Sturzaker/Getty Images)
Rayan Rupert of the Breakers (Photo by Simon Sturzaker/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Keyonte George #1 of the Baylor Bears (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) /

Keyonte George is very similar to another OKC Thunder point guard.

With the 12th pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, The Oklahoma City Thunder should not draft Baylor guard Keyonte George. At 6’4, George’s ceiling is as if Tre Mann panned out. That Tre Mann range (pick 18) is where I would also slot George in this draft. That is a bit polarizing, as George has staunch defenders in this draft. Rightfully so, unlike Rupert, George put Lottery-level talent on display during spurts this season.

Though for the OKC Thunder specifically, a 6’4 guard that averaged 15 points, four rebounds, and two assists on 37 percent shooting from the floor, 33 percent from beyond the arc, and 79 percent at the charity stripe does not make much sense. The All-Big 12 guard can be a high-level microwave scorer with his space-creating ability and crafty rim finishing. Still, his limitations might be too significant to justify a lottery selection.

George is not very efficient despite the space he creates, he was turnover prone at Baylor, and his frame makes it tough to envision an above-average outcome on the defensive end of the floor in the NBA.

The hope for the Baylor product is that he can become a high-level microwave scorer off the bench in isolation and thriving beyond the arc. George ranks in the 53rd percentile as a spot-up shooter, 66th percentile orchestrating the pick-and-roll, 63rd percentile in isolation, and just 18th percentile in transition. His game reminds me a lot of Tre Mann, which, if OKC wants another crack at the scoring upside Mann has, then sure swing for George.

Though, I would push back and say it is just as likely that Mann experiences a year-three leap than it is that George becomes this elite scorer as he shifts to NBA competition next season. The saving grace of George’s defense is his motor and effort on that end of the floor. Like Isaiah Joe, while George may lack size, he stays attached on that end of the floor, doing his best to deter opponents.