|Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 Draft Preview |
|By John McMullen, NBA Editor |
A loss in the NBA Finals to LeBron James and the Miami Heat doesn't change the fact that the Thunder possess a combination of youth, athleticism and skill that has the rest of the league green with envy.
With a core that consists of three-time scoring champion Kevin Durant, All-Star guard Russell Westbrook, Sixth Man of the Year James Harden and shot- blocking champ Serge Ibaka, players that are all under 24, OKC should be a serious contender for years to come.
Sam Presti will try to add to his young stars with the 28th overall pick. A scorer that can face up and shoot the basketball along with another solid low- post defender would probably top the young general manager's wish list.
Kentucky shooting guard Doron Lamb, Texas A&M swingman Khris Middleton and Syracuse center Fab Melo could be some of the options left on the board.
In other draft news, the Thunder had to give up a a second-round pick in the 2013 draft to the Boston Celtics as part of a ruling in a trade disclosure dispute involving the medical condition of forward Jeff Green.
Green, who was acquired by the C's in February 2011 in the trade that sent Kendrick Perkins to the Thunder, had surgery Jan. 9 to repair an aortic aneurysm that was detected during a physical on Dec. 9. He played 26 games for the Celtics last season after the deal but sat out the entire 2011-12 campaign.
NBA Commissioner David Stern announced the ruling Tuesday, finding "that there was no evidence of bad faith or any intent to withhold information on the part of Thunder management or its physicians."
However, the commissioner also found that cardiologists for the Thunder possessed information about Green that was not shared with the team's management that should have been disclosed to the Celtics.
Under Contract: F: Kevin Durant; G: Russell Westbrook; G: James Harden; F: Serge Ibaka; C: Kendrick Perkins; G: Thabo Sefolosha; F/C: Nick Collison G: Daequan Cook; G: Eric Maynor; G: Reggie Jackson; F: Lazar Hayward; C: Cole Aldrich
Free Agents: C: Nazr Mohammed; G: Derek Fisher; G: Royal Ivey
Recent Draft History: 2011: Reggie Jackson (24) 2010: Eric Bledsoe (18), Craig Brackins (21), Quincy Pondexter (26), Magnum Rolle (51) 2009: James Harden (3), Rodrigue Beaubois (25) 2008: Russell Westbrook (4), Serge Ibaka (24), Walter Sharpe (32), Trent Plaisted (46), DeVon Hardin (50), Sasha Kaun (56) 2007: Kevin Durant (2), Carl Landry (21), Glen Davis (35)
Draft picks: 1st round (28th overall)