Susan Bible of HoopsWorld on the Thunder’s draft strategy: “Presti may elect to trade or package the pick, but for purposes of this article we’ll assume a straight draft pick. Since Oklahoma City divulges little in the way of who it’s working out or eyeing, we’ll first establish apparent needs of the team. The Thunder lacks a reliable backup to Durant; a combo akin to what Jeff Green provided would be ideal. Some might say another valid need is a low-post scorer to complement Perkins. And others may point to a need for a shooting guard to fill a vacancy off the bench once Harden is moved, surely next season, to a starting role.”
How does Jimmer look at the next level? Dean Oliver of ESPN.com: “Superficially, Fredette’s scoring volume has inflated his value to the point where he may be a lottery pick. His ceiling is lower than others because of his age, and his ability to develop into a passer is in question. When evaluating the entire package, Fredette projects better to the NBA as a late first-round or early second-round pick, given his one specialty skill. That way, he can begin to carve out a career as a designated shooter, with a chance to improve his overall game.”
Harrison Barnes challenged Kevin Durant. Bad decision, Harrison.
NBA players fear fan reaction to a lockout: “The idea of the lockout and losing fans is probably the scariest thing of all,” Luke Walton said. “Even moreso than missing games or losing out on your salary for however long you lose those games, it’s losing the fan support because it’s at an all-time high right now.”
Darnell Mayberry writes that OKC is in position to find a sleeper: “Standing pat and selecting someone, though, might be the smartest option of all. Ignoring for a moment the likelihood of a higher-ranked player slipping and falling to 24, there always seems to be overlooked or under-scouted prospects available in the latter stages of the first round who prove worthy of a selection. The Thunder franchise landed that exact guy in 2008 when it selected Serge Ibaka 24th overall.”
Ben Golliver of CBSSports.com looks for sleepers: “You don’t need a crystal ball to see Kyle Singler’s future. He will be a solid rotation player on a perennial playoff contender, stepping in off the bench to play either forward position. He will make smart plays, go hard on both ends of the court, constantly have television announcers say he’s playing over his head, and will knock down the open shot. One of the best competitors in this draft, Singler gets overlooked this year for two obvious reasons: he stayed at Duke for longer than he probably should have and isn’t an elite athlete. Earlier in his career, Singler had lottery buzz; he now expects to go in the mid-to-late first round and, if things don’t break right, he could even find himself landing in the early second. There are certain to be multiple flameouts selected before him. In a draft with a shallow star pool, why not take a solid, low-risk player who is wholly devoted to playing the game the right way?”
Daequan Cook on Oklahoma City: “Like I’ve always said, I love it here. Who wouldn’t?”