With two picks in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder are in prime position to add some depth to a team that is already one of the best in the NBA. With a core group of starters already, the Thunder are also looking for some future replacements for older members of their team. One of these “older” players is Kendrick Perkins, who has taken a lot of criticism during his time at OKC.
Perkins, who is averaging around three PPG, five RPG and about 20 MPG, is 29. And although he has a few more years left in the tank, he is getting to the age when it is time for a team to look for a future replacement. Luckily for Oklahoma City, the perfect choice will be available when they pick for the second time in the 2014 NBA Draft: Tennessee Volunteers‘ Jarnell Stokes.
Stokes has been one of the most consistent scorers and rebounders in college basketball in his two and a half years as a member of the Vols. Just this last season he averaged 14 PPG and 10 RPG that included 4.2 offensive rebounds. One of the only other players from a top school to do that was projected top-five pick Julius Randle, who Stokes worked in the paint when they played each other.
Stokes tends to get down when he starts off a game poorly, which shows up in his play. However, behind veterans like Perkins and Serge Ibaka and on a team with stars like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, he will never have to be the go-to guy. Oklahoma City would benefit from drafting Stokes because he could immediately make it onto the bench, play crucial minutes for the Thunder and be a valuable asset for the future.