Thunder Draft Day 2014
By Randy Renner
Fasten your seat belts this could be a very bumpy day. With one of the deepest NBA Draft classes in years and some teams trying desperately to either move up in the first round or just get into it period, several moves are being anticipated.
The Thunder are one of the "haves" in this mix. They have two first round picks, a handful of teams don't have any picks at all in either the first or the second round.
So deals are being talked about and remember when Thunder GM Sam Presti spoke to reporters at the end of OKC's playoff run he said he "wouldn't rule anything out," when it came to the draft.
Presti has a history of making draft day deals and this day shouldn't be any different. Most people anticipate the Thunder moving at least one of those picks and they could jettison both if a player they really like isn't available. First round picks are rewarded with guaranteed contracts, second round choices are not.
The Thunder appear to have needs at shooting guard (if they don't bring back Thabo Sefolosha and Caron Butler), point guard (at least a third team PG because Derek Fisher isn't coming back) and another big would be nice since both Kendrick Perkins and Nick Collison are heading into the last year of their contracts.
Those perceived needs spread out over several positions, a deep draft and the Thunder's current positions in the bottom third of the first round have combined to create all sorts of confusion among draft experts as to which players the Thunder might take.
Mock drafts are all over the place and have been updated in the last couple of days and many times the Thunder's projected choices have changed from one mock to the next.
Here's a lock at some of those latest predictions.
My colleague Scott Howard-Cooper at NBA.com has the Thunder going with 6-8 forward T.J. Warren from North Carolina State at #21 and UCLA shooting guard Jordan Adams at #29.
DraftExpress.com has the Thunder taking Syracuse point guard Tyler Ennis at #21 and international small forward Damien Inglis from French Guiana at #29.
BasketballInsiders.com has four experts putting together mock drafts. With their first pick two of those experts say the Thunder will go with James Young the freshman shooting guard from Kentucky. Another says the choice will be UCLA's Adams and the fourth says nope it'll be Gary Harris a sophomore shooting guard from Michigan State. At #29 the BasketballInsiders experts have a bit more of a consensus in their latest mock, three of them say OKC will take Euro big man Clint Capela a 6-11 power forward from Switzerland (DraftExpress.com has Capela ranked as the 11th best overall prospect in the draft). The expert at DraftExpress.com has the Thunder taking massive center Walter Taveras who is 7-3, 265 and is from the Canary Islands.
SI.com is going with UCLA shooting guard/small forward Kyle Anderson for the Thunder at #21 and Clemson shooting guard K.J. McDaniels with the 29th pick.
CBSSports.com has three experts putting together mock drafts and they have no consensus at all on what the Thunder will do with either of their picks. At #21 the CBS experts say it will be either UCLA shooting guard Zach LaVine, or the aforementioned Adams or D-League shooting guard P.J. Hairston. At #29 those three predict the Thunder will take either Clemson's McDaniels, or Missouri shooting guard Jordan Clarkson or Bosnian big man Jusuf Nurkic.
So even with that small sample there aren't many names that are repeated. Jordan Adams name came up three times, twice the pick at #21 and one expert had him coming to OKC at #29 and two of the mocks had the Thunder taking K.J. McDaniels at #29. The other names were just mentioned once.
And of course rumors of potential deals are already flying and one caught a lot of folks by surprise yesterday when ESPN's Chris Broussard reported that the Miami Heat are interested in bringing Perk's talents to South Beach.
More rumors should fly today, some of them might even be true.
We'll keep the site updated with all the latest as the day moves along and we'll be live tweeting from the INTEGRIS Thunder Development Center this evening.
Should be a wild day.