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The Thunder have the sixth pick. It’s not the way the team hoped the NBA draft lottery would go, but that doesn’t mean they can’t find a good player.
ESPN posted a mock draft shortly after the lottery and predicted how the Thunder would use their first top-10 pick since they took James Harden.
In Jonathan Givony’s mock, the Thunder took forward Scottie Barnes at No. 6.
“Barnes is still a solid player at No. 6, offering the type of defensive versatility, playmaking ability, toughness and winning character the franchise is looking for. Barnes will have a long rope to experiment with expanding his offensive abilities on a team with significant player development resources that is seemingly in no rush to win games.”
Barnes is extremely athletic and a strong defender, but he lacks a shot. He averaged about 10 points per game and attempted just 1.7 3-pointers per game and made 27.5% of them.
Nevertheless, with his ability to play the 3, 4 and potentially 5 with his 6-foot-9 height and 7-foot-2 wingspan, the Florida State forward feels like a fit for the Thunder.
Givony also pointed out that the Thunder could try to trade up.
“The Thunder have plenty of future picks to use in a trade if they want to attempt to move up if they indeed have their heart set on someone in the top three.”
Here are Oklahoma City’s other picks in ESPN’s mock draft.
No. 16: Alperen Sengun
With the pick from the Boston Celtics as part of the Kemba Walker trade for Al Horford, the Thunder took power forward/center Alperen Sengun out of Turkey. The 6-foot-10 18-year-old averaged 19.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.7 blocks over 28.3 minutes per game in the Turkish Super League last season.
"The Thunder could seek to add some beef to their frontcourt, as they are a little wing-heavy at the moment. Sengun is one of the most productive players in the draft, and his old-school style of play could be a strong fit alongside their existing core."
After trading Horford and Moses Brown, the Thunder need size at center. Sengun could fill that role.
No. 18: Moses Moody
Moses Moody, an 18-year-old Arkansas guard, can help fill one of the most important roles at wing: a player who excels at both shooting and defense.
"The Thunder could look to bolster their wing depth with as many floor-spacing, multipositional defenders as they can find. Moody is an ideal 3-and-D prospect who happens to be one of the youngest players in the draft, having yet to turn 19."
Moody has been linked to the Thunder in different mock drafts, and with his defensive versatility and 35.8% 3-point shooting on 5.1 attempts, you can see why. He looks to be a player who can space the floor and provide consistency on both ends. The Thunder need more shooting. Their defense struggled badly late in the season. He could find a rotation spot.
No. 34: Josh Christopher, Guard, Arizona State Josh Christopher was considered by many to be a top-10 prospect coming out of high school, but he struggled to convert his athleticism and ability to the college level and his shooting dipped. Whoever drafts him will hope to tap into the ball handling, explosiveness and shooting he displayed before collegiate play. No. 36: B.J. Boston, Guard, Kentucky Like Christopher, B.J. Boston was a five-star athlete coming out of high school. He shot just 38.4% from 2-point range and 30% from behind the arc at Kentucky, though, and his draft stock fell. No. 55: DJ Steward, Guard, Duke After taking a Wildcat earlier in the second round, the Thunder close this mock draft with a Blue Devil. DJ Steward averaged 13 points per game at Duke, but posted just 2.4 assists and shot 42.6% from the field.