The Oklahoma City Thunder finished with the sixth best record in the Western Conference last season. With one of the best point guards in the NBA, it warrants the question of, why did they not finish better? The Thunder lack offensive weapons outside of Russell Westbrook. They need to find some offensive options either through the NBA Draft or through free agency. OKC has little money to spend on the free agent market so the talent most likely needs to come from the Draft. With the Draft a little over a week away, we will look at some prospects that could fit with the Thunder.
Today, we will look at Jonathan Motley, a talented small forward out of Baylor University.
Motley, a 6’9”, 238 pound small forward, has an impressive 7’4” wingspan and a 9’0” standing reach. In 30.8 minutes per game last season, he averaged 17.2 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. He scored at a very efficient level as well, shooting 53.7 percent on two-point field goals.
His success didn’t stop on the offensive end. Motley averaged 1.1 blocks and 0.4 steals per game last season. The combination of the physical tools, offensive upside and defensive potential makes Motley a great option for the Thunder in the upcoming Draft.
In his redshirt junior season, Motley was named to the First Team All-Big 12 roster. Unfortunately, he is currently recovering from a torn meniscus. He performed well at the NBA combine, despite being able to compete in the 5-on-5 portion. Motley impressed most of the teams that were present.
Motley could potentially be a great fit for the Thunder with their 21st selection in the first round of the Draft. With the potential of OKC losing Andre Roberson this off-season, they will need to find another small forward to start in his place. Motley could potentially fill that roll.
The Thunder also need to find a second scoring option to go along with MVP-canidate Russell Westbrook. That was the No. 1 thing that the team was missing last season. No matter who they decide to choose with their selection in the first round, they need to make an effort to find a second scoring option for Westbrook.
Motley provides the perfect high-ceiling and high floor potential that every team looks for. The Thunder could be missing out on a potential great two-way player if they pass on Motley in this year’s draft.