The Oklahoma City Thunder landed the 12th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft lottery Tuesday night. With much anticipation as to what the Thunder will do in bettering their roster, general manager Sam Presti will have a plethora of options going into draft night.
The question is, what would be the best acquisition to improve an already star-studded cast on this Thunder roster with the likes of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant?
The Thunder will certainly be favorites to win the Western Conference next season with the return of a healthy Westbrook, but what we have learned in his absence this postseason was that there seems to be one more piece to the puzzle missing to make a championship run.
The Thunder’s offseason will certainly be interesting with the free agency of their sixth man guard, Kevin Martin, along with the possibility of an amnesty to their starting center, Kendrick Perkins.
Depending on which player(s) they choose to part ways with, the Thunder will have to fill positions. This brings up the draft. Is there enough talent in this year’s draft to acquire a player that can immediately step in and contribute big minutes in their rookie season?
Indiana University‘s Cody Zeller is a player that could possibly slip through this year’s draft and fall to the 12th spot where the Thunder could pick him up. He played two years in college and averaged 16 points off an impressive 59 percent shooting. The 7-foot power forward has plenty of speed and size, along with a 6’11 wingspan that can tower over defenders. If he were somehow available during the Thunder’s pick, it would not be surprising for them to pick him up.
Pittsburgh‘s Steven Adams is also a viable option for the Thunder in the draft. The 7-foot center had an impressive combine that opened eyes to general managers around the NBA. His strength, size and motor are great attributes for the Thunder moving forward, and might be the answer to filling the low post position replacing Perkins.
Croatia’s Dario Saric is a very savvy player for his age. The power forward is a smooth, mobile player that has great vision of the court. His name is being mentioned among the chatter of NBA executives, being labeled “the best passing big in the draft.” He is not the physical, bruising scorer the Thunder want, but he is the type of player the Thunder organizations loves to develop for years to come.
There are many options for the Thunder entering the offseason. They certainly could make big moves on draft night, but if there is not a player available to the Thunder’s liking, then expect them to trade their draft pick for better options outside of the draft.