Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo! Sports: “Oladipo is more of a finished product than McLemore. He’ll work hard defensively, he is a high-character player and he excels in transition. One question about Oladipo is whether he can sustain the jump in 3-point shooting percentage he had from 20.8 percent as a sophomore to 44.1 percent as a junior. The other is whether he has the upside to be worthy of a top five pick even in this risk-heavy lottery.”
Chris Mannix of SI.com: “Chatter about the Thunder packaging their two first-round picks (No. 12 and No. 28) has quieted in recent weeks, but I still expect Oklahoma City to look to deal, either on draft night or in the weeks that follow. The Thunder love to stockpile young talent but at this point, how much more does they need? Jeremy Lamb is poised to join the rotation next season — perhaps replacing Kevin Martin — and Perry Jones could be right behind him. What the Thunder need is a veteran low-post presence, someone to take the pressure off of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook on the perimeter. The Thunder have eyed LaMarcus Aldridge in the past, though it’s unclear how willing Portland is to trade him. There is some talk that Oklahoma City is looking at Steven Adams, the raw 7-footer from Pittsburgh who won’t be anywhere near NBA-ready next season.”
Ben Golliver of SI.com on team needs: “Sam Presti’s brilliant roster alignment has the Thunder entering the 2013-14 season with one of the league’s deepest, most talented teams, even if regret over the James Harden trade is in full bloom following Russell Westbrook’s knee injury and the subsequent early postseason exit. Harden’s departure, and Kevin Martin’s impending free agency, make the designated scoring 2-guard role the Thunder’s clearest need. Unless they move up, the three best candidates — McLemore, Oladipo and Caldwell-Pope — will likely all be gone. Plan B: another cheap big man to throw into the mix. For some reason, this draft has “Cody Zeller slides to 12 and Presti gets called a genius for snapping him up” written all over it. Oklahoma City could afford to wait on the development of less-polished bigs like Gobert or Lucas Nogueira, too, in the event that either is still on the board at No. 29. Really, this is the last team in the league that needs two first-round picks, with the likes of Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones already struggling to get burn.”
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com: “Team execs say Russian Sergey Karasev could go as high as 12th to OKC. Karasev is not a “stash” player; he’s looking to come to NBA now.”
Ben McLemore comps to Jeremy Lamb. Head asplode.
Chad Ford’s newest mock has OKC taking Trey Burke: “The Thunder have a lot of interest in Steven Adams, but in this scenario, he’s gone. Sergey Karasev and Kelly Olynyk are other possibilities, but if Burke is here, he might be tough to pass on. With Russell Westbrook coming back from injury, Burke would give them a game-ready point guard who could play right away. This is a situation where the team simply can’t pass on the talent.”
Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com has OKC taking Adams: “Adams was unimpressive in one year at Pitt, but his potential is seen as a positive. He’s a project, no question. But OKC is the type of franchise that can afford to select for the (distant) future.”
Matt Moore of CBSSports.com has OKC taking Shabazz Muhammad: “Jeremy Lamb, Perry Jones, and Muhammad on the same roster? Hype central on the bench! Meanwhile, the Thunder get a player with great upside who won’t have high expectations in a great developmental system.”
Note: I’m going to do a little draft chat at 2 p.m. CT. So if you’ve got questions and/or thoughts, drop by then.