The Thunder went big at No. 21.
With a pretty turbulent first round shaking out some surprises, the Thunder took Michigan forward Mitch McGary.
McGary is a 6-10, 260-pound power forward that has a bunch of offensive skill, primarily around the basket. He’s not a post player necessarily, but a finisher out of pick-and-rolls. He only played eight games last season because of a nagging back injury, but was maybe the Wolverines best player during the run to the title game two years ago.
The Thunder had a pretty clear need inside behind Serge Ibaka with the aging of Nick Collison. They went versatile with McGary, who may be the kind of player that can contribute sooner than later. McGary isn’t overly athletic, but he does play extremely hard.
The Thunder might’ve gone a little early on McGary as a lot of mocks had him slotted to go in the very late first round. But then again, if he was the guy Sam Presti liked, it didn’t matter. And if you’re wondering if McGary is just a pick for a later trade, the Thunder intend to keep him, per a league source.
Also: I’ve already seen a lot of angst over the pick — and some approval too! — but remember: Always cracks me up to see the instant reaction to a pick where people have decided they don’t like a player. You have no idea if McGary is going to be a good player. Or if he’s going to be bad. Care to go read up on the reaction to Steven Adams last season? Or Reggie Jackson? Or even Russell Westbrook? Honestly, it seems like the kind of pick people would get behind because McGary fills a need and might be able to contribute sooner rather than later.
Players that were also available for the Thunder: Shabazz Napier, K.J. McDaniels, Rodney Hood, P.J. Hairston, Kyle Anderson and Clint Capela.
The Thunder took Josh Huistis with the 29th pick.