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2013 NBA Draft Grades: how did the Thunder do?

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The Thunder completed the 2013 with 4 new players, headlined by the #12 pick, Steven Adams.

Kiwis and kittens
Kiwis and kittens
W. Bennett Berry

The 2013 NBA draft is over, the players have been selected, and their futures are all unwritten. How did OKC do? Our WTLC team of writers weigh in on each pick.

Our graders today are Alex, Craig, Ramona, Bennett, and myself.


#12: STEVEN ADAMS, center - Pittsburgh

7.2 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 2.0 blocks in freshman year

Grade Comments
Craig Grade_cplus_medium I don't love this pick but I also don't hate it. Kendrick Perkins is a giant weakness on this team and Adams looks to be an upgrade at the center position. At that point in the draft the he was the best player that fit a need for the Thunder. The only other player I would have considered would have been Gorgui Dieng from Louisville who went nine picks later.
Ramona Grade_a_medium I love it when players who want to come here, get to come here. Adams looks like a great fit, personality-wise and ability-wise. He’s just what we need.
Alex Grade_bminus_medium

Adams is a big man with a great load of potential, but a lot of General Managers were not ready to take a gamble on him, knowing he only averaged around the seven point mark last season at Pittsburgh. Personally, I know if he works hard in the D-League (predicted where he'll play most of the season) this season, he can be great and be a 10-15 point-per-game guy.

Defensively, Adams is a monster. He averaged two blocks-per-game last season at Pittsburgh, and that's the main reason the Thunder drafted him.

The one stat that pops out at anyone looking at it is not something anyone should be looking forward to, and that is Adams' free-throw percentage. Adams shot 44.1% from the line last season, and that's scary. When it comes down to clutch situations, that's not who I personally want at the line. That's the reason Adams gets a B- from me.

Bennett Grade_cplus_medium It's not a terrible pick given a need for some depth at the 5, but given the assets that Presti had to work with I was hoping they'd get something done to move up and take Victor Oladipo. Drafting a big can be a risk as we've seen with Mullens and Aldrich (not to mention fan favorite Robert Swift), but I'm a little more optimistic with Adams if he's given time to develop. Let's hope Perkins can pick up his game enough to let this happen, either that or start a petition to have Presti go after Gortot.
Sherman Grade_bminus_medium
Adams was the expected choice at this spot, as we had predicted here at WTLC. Even so, it feels like a let-down because we know that the Thunder were aggressively trying to jump into the top 5 in order to grab one of the marquis names, such as Victor Oladipo or Alex Len. Adams will get socked away in Tulsa for a year, but let's hope that he matures into a younger and more athletic version of Nick Collison.

#26: ANDRE ROBERSON, Forward - Colorado

10.9 PPG, 11.2 RPG in junior season

Grade Comments
Craig Grade_cplus_medium Andre Roberson is a long and lean athletic energy player who can score in many different ways. I really like the player but I don't really understand where he fits in with the Thunder. What Roberson does was not really an area the Thunder needed to address. Maybe the Thunder are planning some kind of mad scientist experiment and are going to put Roberson's head in Perry Jones III body.
Ramona Grade_a_medium Roberson is the type of athlete the Thunder likes at the shooting guard position as a defensive stopper. The fact that he played power forward in college should frighten some people. Presti could see him as the antidote for those 6'7" PGs who entered the league last night.
Alex Grade_b_medium For pick #26, a stud power forward is not easy to come across, and that's exactly what the Thunder did. Colorado alumni Roberson averaged 11.9 boards-per-game last season as a Buffalo, and that's remarkable. He finished number eight in the country in defensive rebounding last season, which shows how great of a player he can be. I expect a great career out of Roberson.
Bennett Grade_c_medium I don't know a great deal about Roberson, but from what I've read I'm hoping he's something of a poor man's DeJuan Blair with healthy knees. One thing I do like about this pick is Roberson's rebounding ability.
Sherman Grade_cminus_medium I really don't understand this pick. Reports say that Roberson was expected to go about 15 spots lower than here, yet OKC traded up to get him. Perhaps they see something in the slightly built power forward such as defensive intensity and rebounding, but didn't they already have that in DeAndre Liggins, and at a cheaper price?

#32: ALEX ABRINES, Shooting Guard - Spain

5.1 PPG, 0.3 AST last year in Euroleague

Grade Comments
Craig Grade_b_medium

It took until the second round but the Thunder addressed the biggest hole on the team. Someone who will attempt to fill the offensive void left by the James Harden trade. On paper this looks like a solid pick but you really never know what you are going to get with euro players. Some of them take a while to find their way in the NBA (Marco Belineli) some can come into the league and contribute right away (Rudy Fernandez) and others never become anything more then a wasted pick (Nikoloz Tskitishvili).

The good thing about Alex Abrines is that he plays for Spain, which has produced many high level NBA players over the past decade.

Ramona Grade_a_medium Not wanting to crowd an already crowded roster, Pristi made the most of this pick. Abrines is a young talented shooter who should be able to impact the league in two or three years. Good looking out for the future.
Alex Grade_c_medium

The Thunder need have a big need for a shooting guard and a backup small forward, and that's what they got in Abrines. The dynamic Spain-native can shoot the ball extremely well and when the ball is in his hands, he wants to score. Shooting a jumper, Abrines is 76% accurate which is unbelievable.

Defensively he's not a threat, whatsoever, but he can hold his own against the opponent. Offensively, he's not someone you'd want to see on the other team because he can easily put up 15-20 points a game.

Bennett Grade_aminus_medium
I really like this pick despite the fact that it'll be a while before he's in OKC. He's playing for solid organization in Spain and seems to have all the upside in the world. I've been whining for a 2 guard capable of creating his own shot, and while he seems to be more of a spot-up guy I'm still okay with the pick. The Thunder don't really need to bloat the roster in terms of numbers right now, so a "draft n' stash" is a good move.
Sherman Grade_b_medium I think that Alex Abrines has the best shot to make his mark on the Thunder. All he needs to do is become an expert 3-point marksman, and at his size and age, he could carve out a nice long career. He is the kind of shooting prospect the Thunder really need, and I'm glad they got him young and on the cheap.

#40: GRANT JARRETT, Forward - Arizona

5.2 PPG, 3.6 RPG in freshman year

Grade Comments
Craig Grade_dminus_medium In one season at Arizona Jerrett averaged an eye popping 5.2 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 0.5 APG. I saw eye popping because when you first look at those numbers and see that he was actually drafted I assume your eye pop out of their sockets and you start bleeding uncontrollably. I didn't understand why he was drafted at #40 and I don't understand why the Thunder traded cash for him. This is kind of bold to say but Jerrett will never be a consistent contributor to an NBA team. Ever. I just don't see it.
Ramona Grade_b_medium This pick is the one to watch. Presti is known for spotting talent that fits perfectly in the Thunder organization. Jarrett is known for shooting the 3-ball well for a big, a strong work ethic, and high skill level. Sounds good.
Alex Grade_bminus_medium Jerrett may be young, but he has an unremarkable amount of skill. Although he only spent one season at the University of Arizona, the amount of potential he brings with his game is endless. The Blazers got a steal at pick 40, and trading Jerrett to the Thunder, is a win for us.
Sherman Grade_c_medium I didn't realize that colleges have started featuring stretch-4's, but here you go. Grant Jerrett was an All-American in 2012 but played sparingly in his freshman year, and mostly behind the arc. If his ceiling as a stretch-4 collegian is a stretch-4 professional, well, that's not such a bad thing. However, the jury is still out on whether Jerrett has the intensity and work ethic to cut it in OKC.


Grade Comments
Craig Grade_bminus_medium They addressed needs while not reaching (that much) for the players to fill said needs. There is still a giant question surrounding the Thunder and the scoring SG position but they were able to take a few small steps to fixing that problem.
Ramona Grade_b_medium Overall, these selections addressed some needs of the Thunder, but did very little for our ball handling needs. Russ and Reggie are still the only PGs with a contract headed into next season. So, one could speculate that more dealings will be done in July.
Alex Grade_a_medium I believe the Thunder nailed every need right on the head with our four picks. Shooting Guard was filled with Abrines, Small Forward was filled with Jerrett, Power Forward was filled with Roberson, and Center was filled by Adams, who may be starting in the next couple years. Overall, one of the best drafts in the five years of the organization.
Sherman Grade_c_medium It is difficult for me to look at this draft favorably since OKC took the guy they expected to take (Adams), reached for Roberson, may have gotten lucky with Abrines, and who knows about Jerrett. It will be a draft of what-if's, since apparently Oladipo and Len were being targeted, and even Nerlens Noel had fallen out of the top 5 and therefore his trade value had dropped. Could OKC have made a legitimate offer for any of those guys? More importantly, would you have wanted them to? The biggest value for the Thunder is who they already have on their bench, and that should be true for a while, a very good thing indeed.