OKC Thunder trade into top-ten for Kentucky product

Cason Wallace arrives prior to the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)
Cason Wallace arrives prior to the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images) /

The OKC Thunder entered the 2023 NBA Draft, controlling one first-round pick. After seeing the NBA Draft Lottery shake out and seeing them land the 12th overall selection, it was time for Sam Presti to tab a prospect. After many speculations, ideas, and worrying, the Oklahoma City Thunder fanbase has its answer regarding who is joining the fold in Bricktown.

Throughout the first round, the 2023 NBA Draft featured a ton of shake-ups. Starting hot with the second overall pick as the Hornets passed up on Scoot Henderson in favor of Brandon Miller. The Thompson Twins, Amen, and Ausar went to the Rockets and Pistons to round out the top five.

The shocks kept coming as Arkansas’ Anthony Black landed at pick six to the Orlando Magic. As OKC waited on the 12th overall pick, they saw six picks pass without one of their perceived premier targets selected. From there, the board blew up.

Bilal Coulibaly went to the Wizards via a trade with the Pacers. The Pacers grabbed Jarace Walker at eight, and the Jazz went for the best player available at nine (Taylor Hendricks). Then, Presti struck.

OKC Thunder traded for pick 10, Davis Bertans, giving up pick 12 in the 2023 NBA Draft.

The Oklahoma City Thunder traded up to the 10th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft with the Dallas Mavericks, taking on a “bad contract” to do so in Davis Bertans. Along with Bertans, the Thunder will get Cason Wallace with the 10th pick.

The Kentucky guard is another late-blooming wildcat with skillsets similar to OKC Thunder lockdown wing Lu Dort. Sam Presti has kept his streak alive of making a draft night trade each year since 2019. Sources told me throughout the process Wallace was going to land in the top ten, and Presti made a move to make it happen and get his guy.

Wallace joins former Kentucky alum Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on this Thunder roster.

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