How many first-round picks do Thunder have? Looking at Oklahoma City’s draft capital

Basketball

How many first-round picks do Thunder have? Looking at Oklahoma City’s draft capital


The 2021 NBA Draft is approaching and the Thunder are one of the teams with the most buying power ahead of the event.

And that will likely continue to be the case over the next seven years.

Thunder GM Sam Presti has spent the last couple of seasons tearing apart the Thunder’s core and turning their current assets into future picks. The Thunder have paid the price on the court for that strategy, but have potentially set themselves up for long-term success with the draft capital they acquired.

How many draft picks do the Thunder have? And how did they get so many? Here’s everything you need to know about Oklahoma City’s treasure trove of draft capital for 2021 — and beyond — as their full-fledged rebuild continues.

MORE: Everything to know about the 2021 NBA Draft

The Thunder have three first-round picks in the 2021 NBA Draft. They have their own selection — which has the fourth-best odds of being the No. 1 overall pick — as well as the Celtics’ pick (No. 16 overall) and Heat’s pick (No. 18 overall).

Additionally, the Thunder have three second-round picks, including the 35th and 36th picks. As such, they could be players on the trade market if they want to move up in this year’s draft.

The Thunder also owned the conditional rights to the Warriors’ pick if they fell outside of the top 20. However, Golden State failed to make the playoffs and lost in the NBA play-in tournament. So, Golden State will hang onto their first-round pick (14th-best lottery odds) while the Thunder will get two second-round picks this year from Minnesota and Denver instead.

The Thunder have a whopping 38 draft picks to their name over the next seven years. They own the rights or conditional rights to 17 first-round picks and 21 second-round picks as of this writing. And that doesn’t include the various pick-swap rights they own along the way.

Here’s a year-by-year breakdown of the Thunder’s picks in each draft:

The Thunder will be armed with multiple first-round draft picks for at least the next six years — or at least until the team packages them to either move up in the draft or acquire players on the NBA trade market. Expect them to be mentioned frequently on draft night for years to come.

MORE: Jae Crowder believes Chris Paul was helping Suns coach in Game 1

The Thunder built up their stash of draft capital by systematically blowing up their team over the course of a couple of seasons. That said, there were a few particularly impactful trades that netted them extra draft capital.

The Paul George trade signaled the beginning of the Thunder’s rebuild. He was sent to the Clippers on July 10, 2019, in the wake of Kawhi Leonard’s signing. George gave the Clippers a second star while the Thunder acquired a young player, a veteran scorer and five future first-round picks:

Clippers receive:

Thunder receive:

The Thunder continued to reshape their roster on July 16, 2019, less than a week after trading George. Houston wanted to move on from Chris Paul, so Presti saw an opportunity to add more draft capital to his stash while replacing Russell Westbrook with a good stopgap starter.

Rockets receive:

Thunder receive:

Chris Paul lasted just one season in Oklahoma City. It was a solid one, during which the Thunder vastly exceeded expectations and made the playoffs. But with the team looking to rebuild, offloading Paul made sense.

The Thunder were able to acquire a solid package from the Suns for Paul on Nov. 16, 2020, and they turned those assets into plenty of draft picks. The biggest prize was a 2022 first-rounder.

Suns receive:

Thunder receive:

Eventually, the Thunder would offload Oubre, Rubio and Lecque to pick up four extra second-round picks.

Oklahoma City traded Steven Adams on Nov. 24, just over a week after the Paul trade. The Adams deal was a complicated one.

The Thunder took on five players to facilitate this trade between the Bucks and the Pelicans, with their biggest prize being a future first-round pick. Not much came of the deal, but they turned George Hill into a second-round pick while Kenrich Williams played a key role for their squad in 2020-21.

Bucks receive:

Nuggets receive:

Pelicans receive:

Thunder receive:

The Thunder wasted little time turning Danny Green into a future asset after acquiring him in a deal that sent Dennis Schroder to the Lakers. How did they do it? They acquired Al Horford’s bloated contract (three years, $81 million at the time of the trade) from the 76ers along with yet another first-round pick.

76ers acquire:

Thunder acquire:

The Kemba Walker trade is the most recent of the bunch. The Thunder once again took on a big contract in the form of Walker (two years, $73 million, including a player option), who largely struggled in two seasons with the Celtics. They sent Horford to Boston, where he had previously been a solid starter and All-Star.

The Thunder received a first-round pick for their troubles — and willingness to include Moses Brown in the trade package.

MORE: Grading the Celtics and Thunder in the Kemba Walker trade

Celtics acquire:

Thunder acquire:

The Thunder made some smaller trades along the way, but these were most responsible for filling up Presti’s war chest of assets. Now, we’ll see how they begin using them: starting with Oklahoma City’s six picks in the 2021 NBA Draft.


Article Found At – Sporting News

 


 

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