The OKC Thunder could see history repeat itself by grabbing another Santa Clara riser, Brandin Podziemski.
The Oklahoma City Thunder raised some eyebrows a year ago, selecting Jalen Williams with the 12th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Williams was a multi-year college player at Santa Clara who took the league by storm at the NBA Draft Combine before elevating himself to lottery status. This was one of the best selections in the 2022 NBA Draft, as Williams finished runner-up for Rookie of the Year.
Brandin Podziemski is following a similar path. While he might not hear his name called in the lottery, sources say he will land “in the 20s” from the feedback people around him received during the process. In fact, Jalen Williams still contacts Podziemski and was revolved in the recruiting process to make Podziemski a Bronco.
At Santa Clara last season, Brandin Podziemski played in 32 games to the tune of 20 points, eight rebounds, and three assists per game while swiping nearly two steals per tilt. The sharpshooter nailed the trey ball at a 43 percent clip on almost six attempts a night.
Synergy ranks Podziemski in the 88th percentile in overall offense, 90th percentile in transition, and 81st percentile in the half-court setting. The scoring guard is placed in the 78th percentile as a pick-and-roll handler. In isolation, he jumps to the 84th percentile, and as a spot-up scorer, Podzemski was one of the best, coming in at the 86th percentile.
The Santa Clara guard made 44 percent of his catch-and-shoot numbers, 55 percent of those looks when left unguarded, and 39 percent of jumpers off the bounce. At the rim, the Milwaukee native finished at a 59 percent clip.
He is well worth buying back into the first round.