John Rohde on Shabazz Muhammad: “Much of the Thunder’s success has come in vetting its draft prospects. General manager Sam Presti is quite particular in what type of player will best fit the organization. Whenever possible, Presti observes a player in his family environment to see how well-rounded a prospect is away from the court. So where exactly does this leave Shabazz Muhammad? Is he even on Presti’s radar? The Thunder does not share information throughout the draft process concerning scouting, interviews or workouts. There is no evidence Muhammad has worked out in OKC, nor has he posted any recent messages about the Thunder on his Twitter account.”
Darnell Mayberry thinks OKC should trade down: “In Chad Ford’s latest mock draft on espn.com, he has the Thunder taking Pittsburgh center Steven Adams at No. 12. He then has the Hawks selecting French big man Rudy Gobert and San Diego State swingman Jamaal Franklin. Which of those two drafts would you prefer? The website nbadraft.net also has the Thunder taking Adams at 12. Their current mock has the Hawks taking UCLA guard Shabazz Muhammed and Duke center Mason Plumlee at 17 and 18. Again, advantage Hawks. Steven Adams might be the next Andrew Bogut for all we know. Or he could be a bust. If the potential of the players are considered roughly the same, I’d rather take my chance on two players panning out than one. I don’t think that’s a tough decision or logic that’s hard to comprehend. Who else could the Thunder take at 12? Cody Zeller? Kentavious Caldwell-Pope? Michael Carter-Williams? Who knows? But are any of them that much better than the duo than can be had at 17 and 18? Again, I don’t think they are.”
It’s a well reasoned idea, but again, what are the Thunder going to do with three rookies?
Remember Kelly Crull? The Padres keep throwing Gatorade on her.
Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com on Shabazz Muhammad: “The view, for one thing. There are concerns about Muhammad’s ability to fit into a team, but good luck finding a player in this draft who doesn’t have big holes. The closer the draft got, the more players went under the microscope in workouts for individual teams, the more the realization set in that he is still one of the better options in an underwhelming class. Nothing has changed on one important front: He remains one of the top scoring threats on the board and a player eight months ago considered to have tremendous upside, and those are commodities that cannot be overlooked. The auditions, for another. Muhammad got directly in front of executives and scouts for individual team workouts.”
Darnell Mayberry on Michael Carter-Williams: “Much of the rave about Michael Carter-Williams is his size. But at 6-foot-6, surely he’s at least four inches shorter than any player the Thunder might want. But what if he’s not? What if the Thunder takes a pass on a big man in the upcoming NBA Draft? If that’s the route Oklahoma City chooses, Carter-Williams, the point guard from Syracuse, could be in play with the 12th overall pick. Thunder general manager Sam Presti has a history of surprises on draft night. From selecting Russell Westbrook fourth overall in 2008, to the mystery surrounding the eventual selection of James Harden with the third overall pick in 2009, to trading up for Cole Aldrich in 2010, to the head-scratching selection of Reggie Jackson in 2011. And so while most everyone assumes the Thunder will be drafting a big man, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that OKC actually will go small.”
Tom Haberstroh of ESPN.com likes Ben McLemore as a fit in OKC: “There is almost no chance that they move up far enough to snag the Kansas sharpshooter, but the track record for the Thunder’s player development is strong, and they’ll need a shooting guard of the future next to Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Jeremy Lamb could be that guy, but McLemore remains the stronger prospect, especially from deep.”