For a team that lacked offensive firepower last year, the OKC Thunder need to turn their attention to shooting in the draft this year.
The Oklahoma City Thunder’s season ended thanks to an A-bomb from Damian Lillard. Now their attention needs to focus on the draft. The OKC Thunder should have plenty of options and directions to go at pick No. 21 this year.
Some mock drafts have the Thunder taking Matisse Thybulle, who is a 6’5″ defensive stud out of Washington. After the season that the Thunder had, they need more shooting added to their team.
They were 22nd in 3-point shooting percentage this year at 34.8 percent. OKC should get Andre Roberson back at some point next year so they will have their defensive stud again and drafting Thybulle will be useless.
The Thunder’s best 3-point shooter last season in terms of percentage was Jerami Grant, who shot 39.2 percent. Not trying to take anything from Grant, but if he is your best shooter then you have to bring in some players that can shoot the 3-point shot more reliably.
Terrance Ferguson joined Grant as the spot-up shooters in the starting lineup. Ferguson shot 36.6 percent from 3-point range. If the Thunder are not able to get any shooting in free agency which they may not because they are way over the cap then they can look the draft’s way.
OKC has not been able to get shooting to pan out from past drafts. Alex Abrines was drafted in 2013. He was taken in the second round, 32nd overall. During this season after 31 games, Abrines was released by the Thunder. He only played two full seasons.
In his rookie year, he was able to shoot 38.1 percent from 3-point range and in his second season, he was able to shoot 38.0 percent. This season his shooting percentage greatly dropped when he shot 32.3 percent.
If the Thunder do decide to get shooting in this year’s draft who should they get? They either should get a shooting guard that can shoot the 3 or a big that can spread the court. The players with that build are Tyler Herro, Cam Johnson and Bol Bol.
Tyler Herro shot 35.5 percent from 3-point range last season and averaged 14.0 points per game. He can create his shot off the dribble which would be a valuable asset added to the Thunder. He was able to play in transition and slash to the basket for easy baskets.
Cam Johnson could be a good stretch 4 option. A stretch 4 would help open up driving lanes for Russell Westbrook. Patrick Patterson has not helped the Thunder with this and the Thunder could look at Johnson as a potential pick.
Johnson shot lights out in his final year in college. He shot 45.7 percent from 3-point range this year at North Carolina. He also shot 50.6 percent from the field. For a perimeter player that is really good.
Johnson is a spot-up shooter with limitless range. He uses his 6’9″ frame to rise up over defenders and knock down big-time shots.
The last player is Bol Bol. He was only able to play nine games this season due to a stress fracture in his left foot. He shot 52.0 percent from 3-point range and 56.1 percent. He can stretch the floor by shooting the 3 or he can go down low and use his length to dominate his opponent.
Defense is not the way to go in this year’s draft for the OKC Thunder. They need somebody that can stretch the floor and knock down perimeter shots. These players can do that and it will be up to the Thunder to get one of these players.