Thunder Draft: OKC Lands Pick No. 6 In Draft Lottery
Now that the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery has come and gone, the Oklahoma City Thunder will officially be selecting at No. 6 in July’s draft. While this isn’t the best-case scenario, as they were positioned to potentially earn two top-five picks, it still gives Thunder GM Sam Presti the opportunity to get a franchise cornerstone.
Prior to the lottery, Presti spoke to the media, messaging that this rebuild in Oklahoma City is one that will bring sustained success. The front office wants to put together a team that will contend for many seasons, not just one. Due to that, Presti will not take any shortcuts.
“The longer you want to be good, the more patience it sometimes requires,” said Presti.
There will be plenty of talent at the sixth pick to continue to build the team he wants. Overall, the Thunder will have six picks in the 2021 NBA Draft, with three in the first round and three in the second.
There’s certainly going to be valuable players available for at least the first five of these picks. Having five picks in the top-40 of a draft gives Presti the ultimate flexibility if he wants to move up at all.
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Additionally, with roster spots going to be hard to come by with this many picks, it might make sense to package some of these picks either way. Oklahoma City has the most cap space of nearly every NBA team this summer along with two international players who they’ll explore bringing over in the upcoming season.
It’s not a bad problem to have, but the Thunder will have to get creative on how they fill out their 15-man roster for the 2021-22 season.
Many teams have put together historic rebuilds throughout the years, going from a lottery team to a championship contender. Even though the lottery didn’t go as well as it could have, Presti has positioned the Thunder to have the brightest future of any team across the league.
When being asked if he is modeling his rebuild after any other team in the past, he emphasized that he is building something completely different in OKC.
“No, that’s just not how I look at it,” said Presti on Tuesday. “We’re trying to create our own identity. As soon as you try to mimic somebody else, something changes.”
With plenty of cap space, a record amount of draft capital, a young superstar in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Oklahoma City Thunder are in a really good spot heading into the 2021 NBA Draft.