Oklahoma City Thunder all-time draft bust starting 5

Terrance Ferguson and Darius Bazley, Oklahoma City Thunder
Terrance Ferguson and Darius Bazley, Oklahoma City Thunder / Mike Stobe/GettyImages
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Power Forward: Aleksej Pokusevski

Most of the Oklahoma City Thunder's draft busts came when they tried to find support players for playoff teams built around Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Aleksej Pokusevski, however, was the first pick of the Thunder's post-Westbrook rebuild, a high-risk, high-upside swing at a raw prospect that Sam Presti hoped to mold into the next basketball unicorn.

"Poku" was a string-bean seven-footer with real potential as a ball-handler, passer, shooter and scorer, not to mention his defensive potential given his massive wingspan. The Thunder are known for prioritizing positional length and skill, so the two sides were linked through much of the pre-draft process, and indeed the Thunder traded up to take him with the 17th pick.

There have been some incredible flashes, games where he is hitting shots from deep, getting into his pull-up game off the dribble, and swatting away shots from inside the paint. Unfortunately for Pokusevski and the Thunder those have remained flashes, and his inconsistency, turnovers and fouling have held him back from a rotation role.

There may still be untapped potential in there. It's possible that another team could find a way to unlock it. For the Thunder, however, the ship appears to have sailed, as they ascend to contender status and have to leave behind projects who don't have the space to develop any longer. Add in that they found their seven-foot unicorn in Chet Holmgren and Poku's place on the team seems to be coming to an end.

Was it worth the swing from the Thunder? The process was certainly strong, recognizing the value of chasing upside while they entered a rebuild. It's not really the Thunder's "fault" that they did so well that their rebuild lasted just a couple of seasons, but they certainly had other options available that could be helping them now, from rising stars like Tyrese Maxey, Desmond Bane and Immanuel Quickley or even role players like Paul Reed or Tre Jones.

Should have drafted: Tyrese Maxey