clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2015 NBA Draft: OKC Thunder Big Board 1.0

New, comments

The top four prospects that should be on Presti's mind as the draft approaches.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Presti and the Thunder organization have had an interesting journey in the NBA draft. The times we think that we think we know where they're going to go, they don't (see: Mitch Mcgary), and the times where there should be uncertainy, we learn that the Thunder have made pre-draft agreements to players that they will be selected if available (see: Reggie Jackson).

All this to say, nobody knows anything until the day arrives. Here is the first 2015 OKC Big Board 1.0 of possible targets.

1) Kelly Oubre, Kansas

Oubre previously was a freshman at Kansas, where he averaged 9.3 points, 5 rebounds, and 1.1 steals in 21 minutes.  The 19 year old is big beyond his years; he stands 6'7'' tall with a 7'2'' wingspan as a SG/SF.  Oubre has a ton of potential as a scorer, and even a defender.  He is one of those guys that has extremely raw talent, and we saw that in college.  He was occasionally out-muscled, and he showed signs of emotional immaturity, but Oubre's talent is rare and comes in a nice package with his physical tools.

And yet, Oubre was a freshman in every way. His shot selection was questionable at times, and his effort was occasionally tested. However, but these types of weaknesses can be easily cleaned up at the pro level.  Does Oubre fill a vacant need in the Thunder's rotation?  Not necessarily.  But at this point in the draft, he has the most upside and talent of all the other prospects.  OKC would have to understand that he is a project and would most likely not see consistent and valuable playing time.

2) Cameron Payne, Murray State

Cameron Payne is one big question mark. However, by contrast to Oubre, it is his level of competition in college that is being challenged.  Overall, Payne is one of the more developed point guard/shooting guards in the draft.  He averaged 20.2 points per game with 6 assists per game at Murray State.  Payne will find success in the NBA because of his highly-praised vision.  He sees the court well and finds the open man.  Payne is also, despite his occasional dull effort, a solid defender.

When analysts bust on prospects that come from smaller schools, I like to think that it takes true talent to be noticed from that type of school.  In Payne, the Thunder would be getting a team player ready to backup Westbrook and take the offense into his own hands when he is the general of the second unit.  Payne could be an immediate contributor.

3) Devin Booker, Kentucky

Devin Booker was a freshman and a key player in Kentucky's undefeated regular season.  Booker averaged 10 points per game on 41% three point shooting.  Booker's master craft is his three point shot...that's really it.  Offensively, he doesn't have much else going for him.  Defensively, he is far from a liability because of his big frame and neat footwork.  Booker is set to be one of those 3-and-D guys that works his way into a starting lineup.

With Booker, the Thunder are getting a decent-sized role player that can spread out a defense and still keep up with the other team's SG/SF.  Currently, OKC has Morrow, a strictly three ball player, and Waiters, a strictly nothing player.  Drafting Booker would add youth and possibly more consistency to the offense.

4) Sam Dekker, Wisconsin

Sam Dekker played three convincing seasons at Wisconsin, and was a major reason why they made it to the NCAA Finals.  Dekker has great size for a SG/mostly SF; he stands at 6'9'' and weighs 220 pounds.  Dekker was one of the best March Madness players this past season, as he contributed in taking down the Kentucky Wildcats.  Dekker's role in college is going to be very different from his NBA role.  This season, the 21-year-old averaged 13.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 52.5 FG%, and 33.1 3PT%.  Where Dekker stands out is his abilities as an athlete.  His athleticism should get him by in the NBA.

Dekker is a good player in almost every aspect of the game, but he does not excel in anything.  He is often inconsistent and struggles to score well in consecutive games.  Nevertheless, he can be a dangerous weapon coming off the bench for the Thunder because he is a guy that can basically do it all.