3 College Prospects That Are 2024 Draft Targets For Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder have two first rounders in the 2024 NBA Draft via the Houston Rockets (top four protected) and Utah Jazz (top ten protected). Based on their records and trajectories, the Thunder will likely be selecting in the mid to late lottery, although the ping pong balls could throw a changeup. Which prospects from that range would be impactful additions to Oklahoma City in both the short and long-term? 

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Thunder Address Their Center Depth

It's clear that the Thunder will be searching for center help this off-season, and Duke's Kyle Filipowski may be the answer. He decided to return to Duke for a second season, and the move has paid off beautifully for his draft stock.

The 7’0” center has upped his three-point efficiency to a respectable 35 percent on just over three attempts per game, and the form looks smooth. Filipowski has also nearly doubled his assists per game while showcasing improved touch around the basket, especially on post ups. Given the modern NBA’s obsession with spacing and offensive versatility from big men, he checks a ton of boxes. 

Defensively, Filipowski is highly mobile for his size, which allows him to hedge high ball screens and get back in transition. It’s likely that he never morphs into a formidable rim protector, but Filipowski can provide resistance against second units. 

Enter the Oklahoma City Thunder, who desperately require a backup center that keeps the ship afloat when Chet Holmgren rests. The Thunder in particular desire outside shooting and passing chops from their centers, and Filipowski fits the bill. His versatility and mobility will also give Oklahoma City the option of running two-big lineups in certain situations, as he meshes well with Holmgren. 

Overall, the projected late lottery pick is an excellent fit and immediate producer. Locking him down on a cheap four year rookie contract would help fix their backup center issue for the foreseeable future. 

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