You would think that after the injury-riddled season that the Thunder would catch a break and jump up into the top 3 of draft lottery. While technically it could happen, you've probably got a better chance of getting struck by lightning and winning the lottery on the same day you receive a huge promotion at work, than seeing the Thunder in the Top 3. Hey, but I guess there is a chance right?
Here are the draft pick percentages from Anthony Slater:
Thunder draft odds: 1st pick: 0.5% chance 2nd pick: 0.6% chance 3rd pick: 0.7% chance 14th pick: 98.2% chance— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) April 16, 2015
If the impossible were to happen, the Thunder would find themselves picking a player that could have a long lasting impact on the franchise going forward. By all observable accounts, this is one of the deepest drafts in recent memory. I personally believe that there are ten players in this draft that have All-Star potential, and numerous guys who can defend and provide offense off the bench.
Further, jumping into the Top 3 would present the Thunder with a bunch of interesting trade scenarios.
Here's a look at several scenarios that could be possible should the Thunder end up with the 1st. 2nd, or 3rd pick.
Would you be okay with adding a rookie who is a Chris Bosh type player, but with better shot blocking abilities? That is where I see Towns' ceiling in the NBA. He might never hit that, but he has all the potential in the world. Further, this pick would give the Thunder options regarding Enes Kanter. They could do a sign and trade, or if the asking price became to steep, they could simply let him walk.
2. Draft Towns and Then Trade Him
An interesting trade option would be presented to the Thunder. They could trade Towns for Bradley Beal.
3. Trade the Pick
Would you do the following trade? The Los Angeles Lakers would send the Thunder Jordan Clarkson and the 5th pick (assuming the Lakers drop 1 spot from 4th to 5th in the draft based upon the Thunder jumping up into top 3) for the 1st pick. The Thunder would then have the ability to draft my favorite player in the class in Justice Winslow and add a young dynamic player in Clarkson.
This would probably not be the route I would go, as I'm not as high on Okafor as some, but he would be a serious low-post presence. Conceivably, this pick could also give the Thunder flexibility with Kanter.
2. Trade the Pick
The Lakers might be willing to do the same trade or possibly the Thunder add Perry Jones into the deal. This trade would again net the Thunder Clarkson and an opportunity to draft a guy like Winslow.
My preference would be Winslow, but you would be hard pressed to find someone who said it would be a mistake to take Russell, myself included.
It's hard for me not to get my hopes up, even though any of the previous scenarios are all but impossible. But hey we can all dream right?
The NBA Draft Lottery will be held on May 19th.