2014 NBA Draft: 5 Prospects the Oklahoma City Thunder Must Avoid

5 Prospects the Oklahoma City Thunder Must Avoid

Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder, 2014 NBA Draft
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

MVP Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder fell short of winning an NBA title this season. The Thunder will look to add young talent to their roster in the 2014 NBA Draft to help them break through next season and win it all. Oklahoma City holds the 21st and 29th overall picks in the draft. Here are five players they must avoid at those spots.

5. Russ Smith, PG, Louisville

Russ Smith, Oklahoma City Thunder, 2014 NBA Draft
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

5. Russ Smith, PG, Louisville

Russ Smith, Oklahoma City Thunder, 2014 NBA Draft
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Thunder are in need of depth at point guard as a result of Derek Fisher agreeing to coach the New York Knicks. Russ Smith had an extremely productive college career, but OKC should resist taking him at the end of the first-round. The Thunder need a pass-first point guard to come off of the bench and set up the team's scorers. Smith's scoring mentality would not be a good fit.

4. Jordan Clarkson, PG/SG, Missouri

Jordan Clarkson, Oklahoma City Thunder, 2014 NBA Draft
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

4. Jordan Clarkson, PG/SG, Missouri

Jordan Clarkson, Oklahoma City Thunder, 2014 NBA Draft
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Clarkson is another option at guard in the first-round. Clarkson had a great season for Missouri last year, averaging 17.5 points per game. However, like Smith, Clarkson's offensive focus is on scoring rather than finding his teammates. Clarkson's lack of traditional point guard skills would limit his effectiveness of running the Thunder's second-unit.

3. Jerami Grant, SF, Syracuse

Jerami Grant, Oklahoma City Thunder, 2014 NBA Draft
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3. Jerami Grant, SF, Syracuse

Jerami Grant, Oklahoma City Thunder, 2014 NBA Draft
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Jerami Grant's size and explosiveness makes him an intriguing NBA prospect. He is strong around the rim and athletic enough to guard multiple positions defensively. Grant's main issue is his inability to shoot from the outside. Oklahoma City would be better off selecting a player who could spread a defense and create space for Durant and Russell Westbrook.

2. Isaiah Austin, C, Baylor

Isaiah Austin, Oklahoma City Thunder , 2014 NBA Draft
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

2. Isaiah Austin, C, Baylor

Isaiah Austin, Oklahoma City Thunder, 2014 NBA Draft
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Thunder may use the amnesty provision on veteran center Kendrick Perkins this offseason, a move that would leave them thin in the frontcourt. Even if Perkins is let go, the Thunder should not select Isaiah Austin. It would be tempting to bring in a player with Austin's size and potential, but he is a long-term project. The Thunder should look to add pieces that can contribute much sooner.

1. Mitch McGary, C, Michigan

Mitch McGary, Oklahoma City Thunder, 2014 NBA Draft
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

1. Mitch McGary, C, Michigan

Mitch McGary, Oklahoma City Thunder, 2014 NBA Draft, 2014 NBA Draft
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Mitch McGary had a strong freshman season for Michigan, but was sidelined for much of his sophomore season due to a back injury. McGary's health concerns are too high for Oklahoma City to spend a first-round pick on him. Moreover, the Thunder already have a player with a similar skill set to McGary in Steven Adams.

Kevin Major is a Miami Heat writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevinMajor_Rant, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google

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