Thunder Journal: NBA Draft Mailbag!
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Should OKC trade for Marvin Bagley?
A former #2 overall pick who is unhappy with his role with his current team so his value is at an all-time low but he looks like an impact player whenever he is on the court? A 6’11” big who shot 34.3% from 3 on 2.5 attempts last season? And the team on the other end of the line ready to be fleeced is the Kings? Send Sac some second rounders and let’s get the next season of OKC: Project Rehab started.
Why is everyone talking about Keon Johnson??
Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer has OKC drafting the Tennessee product with the #6 pick in the draft and Chad Ford tweeted that the Thunder may have interest in Johnson as well. Keon is an uber athletic but shooting challenged shooting guard. Those mentions gave Thunder fans flashbacks of Andre Roberson (even though he was awesome), Thabo Sefolosha, Terrance Ferguson, Josh Huestis and Hamidou Diallo whiffing 3s at The Peake for the past decade. OKC didn’t trade Hamidou Diallo just to end up drafting Hami 2: Electric Brickaloo.
What do you think about Dort, 16 and 18 for 4? That way we get 2 swings at top 6. You think maybe the Raptors go for that or not enough?
Probably not enough for a Top 4 pick in this draft that has four players considered “worthy of the #1 pick in most years.” Though I’m sure coaching Lu Dort for three national team games in which the Thunder fan favorite was one of Canada’s best and most impactful players has Nick Nurse feeling the Wolverine picture meme already. For OKC, as much as losing Lu would hurt emotionally, physically and spiritually, this would be an absolute win. Walking away with Jalen Suggs and either Jonathan Kuminga or Scottie Barnes would end up giving Thunder fans those two top 5 talents all those lying Tankathon sims promised us.
Hey Brandon, no news about the new name of the Chesapeake Energy Arena?
No news yet on the new OKC arena sponsor, but I’m still holding out hope for either Ted’s Cafe EscandiDome, BC Clark Coliseum or LifeChurch.TV Basketball Campus.
Since you mentioned Kuminga, what do you think of him?
Jonathan Kuminga has become possibly the most underrated player in this draft. He has been a consensus top five pick all season long, but all of a sudden because of a small 13 game G League sample size of shooting, armchair draft experts think he’s going to be a bust. At 18, he’s one of the youngest players in the 2021 class but he has the most NBA-ready body. His physical tools, defense and work ethic give Kuminga a safe floor and when you add in his promising offensive skills at such a young age, his ceiling becomes one of the highest in the class. OKC fans should be psyched if the Thunder draft the Grandson of the Congo (I’m trying make that a thing) at #6.
Thoughts on Sharife Cooper?
Some have pegged Cooper as a young Chris Paul because of his BBIQ and playmaking ability. It’ only a 12 game sample size, but he averaged an incredible 20.2 points and 8.1 assists per game for Auburn. Sharife shot 82.5% from the free throw line, a good indicator of future long distance shooting ability, on an absurd 8.6 attempts. All that said, he’s still a hard pass for me. Cooper converted only 22.8% from 3 on 4.8 tries per contest. His 3-point percentage make Barnes and Kuminga look like Curry and Klay.
Thoughts on Sengun? Personally don’t think he fits thunder archetype. I’d still draft for value if he’s there at 16 though.
I really loathe the idea of Alperen Sengun at #6. I really love the idea of Alperen Sengun at #16.
You think Micic could be included to move up?
If we trade Shai for Raps’ 4th pick and 2 future unprotected 1st rounder, is it intriguing?
If Toronto had SGA, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr. and Chris Boucher, those two future 1st rounders are likely in the 20s. So Suggs + two late 1sts for a 22 year old almost certain-to-be All Star who is dramatically improving every season? As they say in Canada: no.
What would you all be ok to trade for the 3rd pick?? Btw, I agree, Shai is almost untouchable.
Yes, can we please make MC Hammer’s smash hit SGA’s theme song so that we can put an end to all this social media Shai trade nonsense? As far as the #3 pick, I think Evan Mobley will be available with the Cavs’ pick, so just about anything besides SGA should be on the table. Cleveland wants to win now and OKC can help by taking on Kevin Love’s massive contract so they can re-sign Collin Sexton and Jarrett Allen and play in free agency. A realistic package may be something like #6, #16 and Theo Maledon for #3 and Kevin Love.
Can Shai sign an extension anytime this off season?
Yes, SGA can and will sign a rookie max extension a month from now. And every Thunder fan cannot wait until he does so that all this ridiculous Shai trade chatter from national writers and every Raptors fan on social media will finally die away. Until November when Stephen A. Smith starts saying SGA needs to leave OKC for New York, Miami or LA.
Why do they keep mentioning trading him [SGA]?
Because there’s apparently an agreement amongst every national sportswriter and NBA fan on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to try to make every Thunder fan as miserable as possible every day. It’s the same reason there’s a daily reminder of all of OKC’s greatest hits: KD’s decision, Klay Thompson going supernova in Game 6, Patrick Beverley tearing Russ’s meniscus, “OKC drafted three MVPs and didn’t win a title!”, Steph Curry’s logo game winner in The Peake and, of course, the James Harden trade. But fear not, Shai isn’t going anywhere. Except to the rafters of the Sonic Thunderdome.