We've heard rumors about the Thunder trying to move into the Top 5 before. Last year, the Thunder were really interested in Bradley Beal around draft time, and attempted to lure the #2 pick away from the Bobcats. James Harden was the center of the discussion surrounding trading the pick, but for some reason, a deal never materialized. The Wizards would later select Beal at #3, and the Thunder would look into a potential deal with them. But Ted Leonsis wasn't comfortable with the max deal that Harden wanted, so the Thunder eventually shipped him out to Houston when contract negotiations failed.
This year, the Thunder are trying to do the same thing, but the package is a lot less enticing. Sure, the talent is arguably not as good as in year's past, but what the Thunder are offering looks like a steaming pile of garbage right now. Kendrick Perkins is coming off of one of the worst playoff performances in his career, and this was without a groin injury nagging at him like it was in 2012. On top of all that, Perkins has been seeing his stats and role diminish while his contract only gets bigger.
We took a look at trading Perkins in our 2013 SB Nation Mock Draft, where representatives from every team site got a chance to sit in the GM chair. I tried offering Perkins to other teams in different packages for different things, and nobody wanted to take the plunge.
Also, when you look at Pick 12 or Pick 29, both of them are crapshoots. When you get outside the top crop of players, opinions vary widely on who the next legitimate talent is. Basically, it means that your guy is more likely to be available later in the draft, because there's not as much of a set order on who's going to pick who. At Pick 29 some teams are already looking to draft and stash, which says all you need to know about the value of that pick.
Simply put, the Thunder can't trade up, unless they offer one of their Big 3. That's not going to happen, so they're realistically going to look at trading for a known quantity, or picking someone at #12. My money's on the latter, but with so few roster spots going into next year, you can't help but thinking that Presti is looking for a trade as we speak.
What do you think of the Thunder trying to move into the top 5? Admirable? Realistic? Let us know in the comments!