Thunder drafting Nikola Topic to strengthen backcourt: Instant reaction & analysis

The pick is in! With the No. 12 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, the OKC Thunder have officially selected their Josh Giddey successor, Nikola Topic.
Fenerbahce Beko v Kizilyildiz - Turkish Airlines Euroleague
Fenerbahce Beko v Kizilyildiz - Turkish Airlines Euroleague / Anadolu/GettyImages

For months now, fans and media pundits have been champing at the bit while waiting to see what the plan for this OKC Thunder team would be during the 2024 NBA Draft.

Though they might need severe upgrades in both the size and center department, instead of going big GM Sam Presti opted to go small, as he made the decision to snatch up Serbian-born point guard, Nikola Topic, with the 12 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.

Thunder draft Nikola Topic with the No. 12 pick in 2024 NBA Draft

Believed to be one of the more interesting backcourt prospects in this entire draft class, the 18-year-old has established himself as a true one-guard who can distribute at an elite level, securely handle the rock, and boasts enviable size for his position with his 6-foot-5 frame.

Coming in, his skill set has drawn comparisons to guys like former All-Star Goran Dragic and, ironically, even Thunder superstar, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, according to Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman.

Though the Thunder could have easily gone for a center with the 12 pick, as guys like Kel'el Ware and Yves Missi were still available at the time of their decision, them taking Topic seems to have been quite strategic, especially when considering recent transactions made.

Last week, Oklahoma City decided to trade away former lottery-selected talent Josh Giddey in exchange for more of a 3-and-D-oriented player in Alex Caruso.

This decision was reported to have been made after the 21-year-old had suggested he'd prefer to be traded rather than take part in Presti's proposed idea of having him come off the bench and serve as a reserve guard to man the second unit.

In theory, the selection of Topic allows the team to follow through with a similar iteration of what they had planned to run with had the Aussie stayed, as he boasts a similar style of play (pass-first and frequent driving mentality) as the now departed Giddey.