We’ve spent the last month talking about what Oklahoma City will do with the third pick in this draft. So much time in fact, that it’s easy to forget that the Thunder have a second pick in the first round. I know, who knew?
So what to do there? Obviously, the 25th pick is directly related to what happens with the third choice. If the Thunder goes big at three, then they need to address guard issues at 25. If OKC goes guard at three, then they could take a big man or maybe take a guard opposite of what they took at three. Know what I mean? That’s not some big sports revelation there – if you draft a position with your first pick that fills a need, then you take something different with your next pick. Someone should let the Detroit Lions know that.
(If you really want to know what I really think about this pick though, I see the Thunder trading out of this pick or possibly taking another international player to stash away for a bit. Heck, you could even move into the middle-to-late second round and take another international project. Right now, OKC’s got a lot of playable assets and adding another player either pushes one of its current guys out the door or will leave the new guy stuck on the bench for a while. You can’t forget that the Thunder added Shaun Livingston, Kyle Weaver and D.J. White to its current roster last year and also has Serge Ibaka potentially ready for time. The Thunder depth chart could be getting really crowded, really fast. A good package deal would be for Presti to target his man – Harden, DeRozan, Curry, whoever – judge where he’s apt to go and send the No. 25 pick along with the three to move down to that spot and hopefully grab an immediate contributor in the process. I just don’t see the worth in keeping the 25 pick, unless a guy is there you really want or unless one of the current guys on the roster aren’t in the future plans (Kyle Weaver?). But hey, that’s just me. I’m all for upgrading a position and if you can do that with the 25th pick in this draft, then go for it.)
So based on what happens with the third pick, you’ve got to look position by position. Typically, when you’re drafting in the lower regions of a round, you’re either looking to try and fill a small need or maybe find something that could be a home run years from now. The Michael Redd’s and Carl Landry’s don’t come along all that often. So you need a sense of the needs at each position.
Current situation - Russell Westbrook/ Shaun Livingston/ Earl Watson/ Chucky Atkins
If the Thunder goes with Rubio, then point guard obviously isn’t necessary. But if OKC takes Harden of Thabeet or someone else, it needs to look for a quality backup point guard. Livingston is only signed through the end of next year and if he’s successful, he’ll be looking for a team that will make him a full-time point guard. If he’s not successful, then you’re looking for a quality backup anyway. Either way, it’s a position that needs depth. Right now there’s a log jam, but Earl Watson and Chucky Atkins have about as much chance to be in a Thunder uniform by the end of next year as I do.
Three that fit the bill:
Rodrigue Beaubois - I didn’t have him as a top 30 player on my big board because honestly, I didn’t know enough about him. But now, I see him as a definite top 30 player in this draft. His real value is that he doesn’t have to be here right away. Just like Serge Ibaka, Presti could take Beaubois and stash him for a year while he figures out what to do about Shaun Livingston. If Livingston is in the long term plans, you trade Beaubois down the line. If Livingston isn’t, you can bring over your backup point guard when you’re ready. And let me tell you, Beaubois is an impressive athlete – 6’2″, can leap out of the building (39″ vertical) and is a solid shooting point guard. He’s a little like the Euro version of Russell Westbrook, but he’s more of a true point guard. From what I see, pretty good player. And a cool name to boot. Keep Reading…