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The NFL Draft is the talk of the sports world this weekend. So I thought it’d be fun to take that same energy and have a draft of our own at Daily Thunder.
The Thunder have had a ridiculous amount of talent come and go in the Ford Center, Oklahoma City Arena (remember that one?) and Chesapeake Energy Arena over the past 13 years. There’s been so many good players in OKC, you could fill an entire first round of an NBA Draft. So let’s do exactly that.
A few quick draft parameters:
- The players are rated as a whole based on a combination of their body of work and their prime years.
- Young players who haven’t yet reached their peak will be based on current production plus future potential.
- I am removing any personal bias and selecting based on popular perception and reputation.
- Kevin Durant. Let’s just hope whichever team is drafting him already has three other All Stars on the roster.
- James Harden. An MVP, 9 time All Star, 6 time All-NBA first team, three time scoring champ, one time assist champ, and according to Daryl Morey, the best offensive player of all time. But he’ll always be Sixth Man of the Year to me.
- Chris Paul. CP3 at number three, sandwiched in between the Thunder player he was traded for and the Thunder player who caused him to be traded to the Thunder.
- Russell Westbrook. The greatest Thunder player of all time isn’t drafted in the top three Thunder players of all time and I hate it. But Russ was taken at the #4 spot in the 2008 draft and that turned out pretty good for him.
- Paul George. His alter ego Playoff P will be battling it out with Semaj Christon, Kyle Singler and Lazar Hayward for the Mr. Irrelevant crown.
- Carmelo Anthony. The greatest evidence of the ridiculous amount of talent OKC has had in 13 seasons is that Carmelo can’t even crack the Top 5.
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. How bright is the Thunder’s future if SGA is slotted between a future Hall of Famer and a young, two-time All Star?
- Domantas Sabonis. Domas is the same age as Brandon Clarke and already has two All Star selections on his mantle.
- Caron Butler. Remember the phone call celebrations? Well, the Thunder got the rotary dial version of Butler, but the dude used to be a slick Motorola Razr.
- Victor Oladipo. The Masked Singer was an All Star before his career got sidetracked by injuries.
- Serge Ibaka. Air Congo was ahead of his time as an athletic, shot blocking, 3-point shooting small ball center.
- Kevin Martin. KMart never made an All Star game, but the ultra-efficient knockdown shooter with the funky looking shot had several worthy seasons.
- Danilo Gallinari. Some lucky team is going to get a 6’10” big who can shoot 40% from 3 AND grace the cover of the team’s swimsuit calendar.
- Jerami Grant. The last pick of the Thunder draft lottery transformed himself from athletic dunker to a versatile two-way player the Pistons are rebuilding around.
- Andre Roberson. Dre’s defense was so historically great that he was still an overwhelming positive net player despite his historically bad shooting.
- Dennis Schroder. The one true 2020 6th Man of the Year was one third of the most dominant lineup in the league and is now the third most important player in the Lakers’ title defense hopes.
- Kendrick Perkins. It feels like a prehistoric phrase now, but at one point in his career, Perk held the title of “the best low post defender in the league.”
- Steven Adams. The Big Kiwi is the ultimate team player, a defensive anchor, a solid offensive scorer and the best interview and funniest dude in the NBA.
- Nick Collison. Mr. Thunder. Plus Minus King. One half of the greatest 1-2 big and backcourt bench combo the NBA has ever seen.
- Derek Fisher. A starter on a whole hand’s worth of title rings and Kobe Bryant’s most trusted teammate was a great player before he was a habitual 3-point line stepper and Tim Duncan post defender in OKC.
- Aleksej Pokusevski. Laugh all you want, but the youngest player in the NBA has flashed special talent at 7 feet. Sam Presti wouldn’t be the only GM infatuated with Dork Nowitski at #21.
- Lu Dort. You have no idea how tempting it was for me to Rick Roll this entire article by placing Lu in the #1 overall spot.
- Thabo Sefolosha. Andre Roberson Lite on defense with a sometimes functional jumper.
- Vasilije Micic. Nope, he still hasn’t played a single game in the NBA. But based on the rumor he’s coming over next season and the fact he’s the best guard in Europe at the moment would have teams rolling the dice this late.
- Shaun Livingston. A key part of the Warriors’ title runs, many forget Livingston began his post-injury comeback in OKC.
- Reggie Jackson. When Reggie sees his name this far down on this list, he’s gonna scribble “Top 5 Pick” on his Air Jordans.
- Enes Kanter. Yes, the team picking Kanter knows all about his defensive woes. But a walking double double is still an easy selection this late in the draft.
- Desmond Mason. Fun fact: Mason is the only player to have played with both OKC franchises (the Thunder and the Hornets) and both Thunder franchises (the Thunder and the SuperSonics).
- Jeff Green. Uncle Jeff was supposed to be a cornerstone of the original Thunder era, but he was shipped off for Perk and to give playing time to Serge. That deal was the first heartbreaking trade for the Thunder fanbase. Oh how innocent and naïve we were.
- Alex Caruso. I’m only including the Bald Mamba for the laughs, to remind fans he started out in the Thunder farm system, and for the hundreds of thousands of views that will result from Lakers fans daily googling Caruso’s name.