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Thunder Trade Up, Add Cason Wallace and Keyontae Johnson in 2023 NBA Draft

Thunder Trade Up, Add Cason Wallace and Keyontae Johnson in 2023 NBA Draft

Oklahoma City moved up to knab Cason Wallace via Dallas's #10 pick in a draft-night trade, per Shams Charania.

  • OKC receives: Cason Wallace (drafted at #10), Davis Bertans
  • Dallas receives: OKC's #12 pick and a $17MM traded player exception

Wallace, a defense-oriented guard with two-way upside selected by Aidan Elrod for the Thunder in DT's mock draft podcast, is the prize here. The Thunder absorbing Bertans' onerous contract ($17MM this year, with a $16MM player option in 2024-25) was the only benefit for the Mavericks in the deal.

Elrod recently summarized Wallace's fit in OKC in our draft preview:

Wallace is a really stout defender with a strong frame and defensive instincts, coming in at 6'4 and 195 at the combine with a near 6'9 wingspan. Wallace has incredible hands, with a 3.7% steal rate this past year and a game against Michigan State where he collected 8 steals. He's a great finisher at the basket despite a lack of ideal size and burst, shooting a fantastic 71.2% at the rim this past season with only 9.6% of those makes being assisted on a poorly spaced Kentucky team. His shooting is a work in progress--75% from the line and 35% from three this past year on 127 attempts--but he did convert an intriguing 41% on all pullup jumpers. Wallace was not a lead guard at Kentucky and won't be so in the NBA, but he's a potential tertiary or maybe secondary ball handler in some lineup constructions. He may never be a star due to his lack of height and on-ball creation, but should fill in as a valuable role player.

The Thunder went on to use the 50th pick to select Keyontae Johnson, a 23-year-old forward out of Kansas State, in the second round.

And the Thunder Select: A Guide to the 2023 NBA Draft
Who the Thunder might take, and why, with picks #12 and #50 in the 2023 NBA Draft.