Draft Lead

4 Prospects OKC Should Consider on Draft Day


The Oklahoma City Thunder have looked like a true contender over the past several seasons, yet they’ve lost in the first round three years running. It’s time to retool and add another punch to the already potent team. This draft isn’t overwhelming with star talent, but it has what every team needs, including the Thunder.

This last playoff run has exposed a fatal flaw for OKC when their superstars aren’t rolling the offense. Their lack of playmakers hurts any prospect of winning a championship with prime Paul George and Russell Westbrook. Rookies rarely tip the scales for playoff teams, but these four players could give a new look off OKC’s bench.

1. Tyler Herro- Kentucky

Tyler Herro wasn’t projected to be a one-and-done going into his freshman year, but his time in Kentucky warranted a look. Regardless of his shortcomings — no pun intended — Herro showed the ability to get his shot off against elite competition. He was not only the second leading scorer for Kentucky but second in assists.

With the skill Herro brings to the next level, he’d be perfect with the Thunder. They lack a second option scorer who not only sets his own plate, but does the same for others. OKC needed another guy like that all year, and having a reserve like that play limited minutes will be huge if Andre Roberson is healthy. They’ll need someone like him to pair with Terrance Ferguson and Dennis Schroder.

2. Carson Edwards- Purdue

Carson Edwards may be the biggest question mark on this list when it comes to NBA fit. He measured in at a shade over six feet tall with a plus eight wingspan.

While his stature doesn’t scream NBA standout, the numbers he posted in college tell another story. He led the Big 10 in scoring at 24.3 points per game. He carried his team to the Elite Eight, carving up some of the best defenses in the country averaging 34.8 points per game along the way.

Edwards has operated as a combo guard throughout his college career just what the Thunder need to reinforce their bench. To coincide with OKC’s current cast he must tap into his inner 2-guard something that may be hard considering his ridiculous 37.3% usage rate. But when the ball is in his hands, he makes plays and back-to-back seasons shooting at least 35% bodes well for the future NBA pick.

3. Ty Jerome- Virginia

Taking Jerome this early in the draft may be a reach, but with one draft pick on June 20th, it’s understandable. He shot 39% from three for his career at Virginia and became a stout playmaker. He understands the game and without word class athleticism.

At 6’5”, Jerome has great size for the positions he’s projected to play. He’s spent plenty of time off ball playing with Kyle Guy and De’Andre Hunter in Virginia, something that is bound to happen if drafted by the Thunder. Spotting up in the corner or on the wing, he’s proved to be a dangerous shooting threat.

Throughout his career, especially during Virginia’s NCAA Championship run, he’s proved to be capable with the ball in his hands. Against Texas Tech’s crushing defense, he delivered eight assists to one turnover, showing he can run an offense under duress. His offensive versatility is NBA ready especially in a limited role against second units.

4. Talen Horton-Tucker- Iowa State

The freshman showed the ability to create his offense all year. The best part about that is he did it so the third scoring option. Of the prospects on this list, he’s the only one projected to be a plus on both sides of the ball thanks to his 7’ 3.25” wingspan.

Horton-Tucker’s ability to run the pick and roll is bolstered not only by his shooting but the ability to finish around the rim. He’s well rounded with the ball in his hand showing an array of ways to score using stepbacks, hesitation dribbles, and other crafty NBA level moves to create space.

The Iowa State University prospect would not only give OKC a new look on offense, but would continue their defensive mindset. Horton-Tucker isn’t the most efficient player, but he’ll fit in with the current team as he grows throughout the season.


About Allen Pettigrew

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