The Oklahoma City Thunder did not have many options left in the 2013 NBA draft when their 12th pick was made. Many players the Thunder were eyeing such as Alex Len, Ben McLemore, Victor Oladipo and Michael Carter-Williamswere quickly taken within the first 10 picks.
According to Yahoo.com, the Thunder attempted earlier in the week to trade up in the draft for a top-five pick.
Even though the Thunder were unable to trade up in the draft, they certainly made the right choice by selecting Steven Adams. The seven-foot, 250 pound center averaged 7.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 0.6 assists in his Freshman year with the Pittsburgh Panthers.
Adams has the potential to be a great center in the NBA. He towers over players with great length and also has enough size to bang down in the low-post. He still has a lot of room to improve as an efficient scorer, but the Thunder organization has proven in the past that they can develop young players.
Many analysts bring up the infamous James Harden trade that resulted in much questioning of the Thunder organization. Tonight’s draft is an opportunity for the Thunder to make sense of the trade. Are they off to a good start? Meh, we will see. I’m still part of the anti-Harden-trade bandwagon. If anything, the Thunder did acquire a player that could fill the scoring center role in their repertoire.
The Thunder have been needing a center to step in and contribute big minutes. Kendrick Perkins and Hasheem Thabeet have been great defensive forces for the Thunder, but have not been the scorers the team needs.
If Smith can step in and develop into an efficient scorer, as well as a great shot-blocker and rebounder, then the Thunder will be more than happy with their first pick of the 2013 NBA draft.