ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe held a draft special today, where they revealed new information surrounding both the draft and free agency.
Ahead of Woj & Lowe on ESPN: KIA Mock Draft Special with @mike_schmitz, @dalencuff, @KendrickPerkins and me at 1 PM ET. pic.twitter.com/8IKOtYK9xd— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 25, 2021
Let’s take a look at everything they said that relates to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
- Right before Woj and Lowe took the stage, Mike Schmitz revealed his latest mock draft. Schmitz projected James Bouknight at 6, Keon Johnson at 16, Jalen Johnson at 18. ESPN is now the latest outlet to have Bouknight mocked to OKC at 6. The Athletic and Bleacher Report also had the same selection and/or acknowledged the rumors of OKC’s interest in the UConn guard this past week. There has been a lot of smoke surrounding Bouknight to OKC at 6.
- The top five were: Cade Cunningham (DET), Jalen Green (HOU), Evan Mobley (CLE), Jalen Suggs (TOR), Scottie Barnes (ORL)
- This indicates that OKC prefers Bouknight to Jonathan Kuminga. Bouknight over Kuminga is a growing sentiment among national media outlets. Kuminga was taken 7th overall by the Golden State Warriors in Schmitz’s mock.
- Woj also said that teams expect OKC will start “knocking at the door” for the 2nd and 3rd picks from the Rockets and Cavaliers. Lowe added that teams are waiting on OKC to start calling and offering the 6th pick and a “gazillion picks” to move up.
- Woj also said that he has had no indication that Kawhi Leonard will do anything else besides re-signing with the LA Clippers. This impacts OKC because they essentially own the Clippers’ draft picks for the next half decade. If the Clippers manage to lock down both Leonard, they will have its star duo for several seasons with him and Paul George.
- It’s also important to note that there’s a good chance that Leonard misses most, if not all, of next season due to his partially torn ACL. Next season is the first draft in which OKC owns the Clippers’ first round pick.
- After the show, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony released his latest mock, which included some interesting news tidbits surrounding the Thunder:
- OKC has had interest in Bouknight for quite a while now, citing that they looked into drafting him last year. The backcourt fit with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would be seamless if the versatile scoring guard reaches his full potential.
- With that said, the Thunder have also looked into Kuminga, visiting him twice in Miami to conduct workouts and tests. Thunder GM Sam Presti has also reportedly spent time in the G League Bubble, presumably to scout talent on the G League Ignite.
- The Thunder have also been rumored into moving up the draft, with specific interest in Cunningham and Mobley. An actual move up will be determined by how just how of their draft ammunition will they be willing to part with in a trade.
- The Atlanta Hawks could look into trading Cam Reddish and OKC is a potential suitor. A possible trade package could include the 18th pick and trade exceptions. The soon-to-be-22-year-old has averaged 10.7 points on poor efficiency in his two seasons with the Hawks. Reddish is owed $10.7M the next two seasons before his rookie contract expires.
- The Thunder, along with the Memphis Grizzlies, New York Knicks and Houston Rockets, are expected to be the most active teams on draft day.