The Oklahoma City Thunder finished the 2016-17 season as the sixth best team in the Western Conference. They possess one of the best point guards in the NBA but failed to provide other options on the offensive side to go along with him. Now with the off-season close to getting into full swing, the Thunder need to find some offensive weapons to go along with the MVP candidate, Russell Westbrook. The NBA Draft will occur later this month and the Thunder have the opportunity to improve their roster. A player that might fit OKC’s mold is Semi Ojeleye, a talented small forward out of Southern Methodist University.
Ojeleye shot up draft boards after a very impressive junior campaign at SMU. Last season, the former Duke transfer averaged 19 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, in 34.1 minutes per game. He led the Mustangs to a 30-5 record and an almost perfect 17-1 record in the American Athletic Conference. Unfortunately, Ojeleye was not able to make a splash in the NCAA tournament, as they fell to USC in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Ojeleye provides a big frame and was a terrific two-way player for SMU last season. He is extremely gifted on the offensive end, with the ability to not only score inside with his 240-pound frame, but he also possesses the ability to shoot the three-ball very effectively. He made 2.1 three-pointers per game last season, while shooting 42.4 percent from deep. From two-pointers, he shot a solid 52.9 percent, showing he could do it from all over the court.
I’ve said this a bunch in the past, but the Thunder are in desperate need of a second scoring option to go along with Westbrook. Ojeleye could provide that for the Thunder. The team is also in need of some more athletic players to put out on the floor that will mold well with Westbrook and Ojeleye brings that as well.
Ojeleye impressed scouts in the NBA combine with an impressive 40.5 inch Vertical Leap, which was tied for the fifth best mark in the combine. Two of the most impressive numbers that he posted were the 10.58 seconds in the lane agility testing drill and a 3.16 second marks in the three-quarter court sprint.
When the NBA Draft rolls around on June 22nd, don’t see surprised to see the Thunder take Semi Ojeleye with their first round selection.