Less than a month away from this year’s NBA Draft lets review the previous Presti-Staff decisions starting from the first time David Stern announced a player was drafted by The Thunder:
By Colton Davidson and Chris Thatcher
In 2009 the Oklahoma City Thunder drafted two players: a guard from Arizona State named James Harden and a guard from Guadeloupe named Rodrigue Beaubois. The latter was immediately traded to the Dallas Mavericks for the draft rights of overseas player Byron Mullens (who was traded to Charlotte after joining OKC in 2011). James Harden averaged 13 points and 3 assists a game during his 3 years in OKC. Harden won Sixth Man of Year for the 2011-2012 season and was viewed by many as the Thunder’s third best player. Harden was traded to Houston in 2012 for draft picks and Kevin Martin, and it was there that he evolved into a perennial All-Star and an MVP candidate. Grading this particular draft is tough because the Thunder drafted a third All-Star but only had him for three full seasons. If not for Harden, this draft would be a solid D-minus because neither Rodrigue Beaubois nor Byron Mullens are even in the league anymore. However, OKC was able to use James Harden to lead a formidable bench and as a third playmaker to play alongside Westbrook and KD. Because of this, I think that it is not hard to give a B-plus grade to the Thunder front office for the 2009 draft.
The draft of 2010 is a rare miss for the Thunder. I went into that draft actually wanting Cole Aldrich. I was even high on Poindexter. Neither one of them produced much. Poindexter never played a game. However, there was a stroke of genius. The Thunder, in this draft… needed rim protection. Aldrich is one of the greatest shot blockers in BIG 12 history. Even though Ibaka was present. We have to remember huge strides when he came in. The organization wasn’t sold at that point on how many minutes they could give him. He was simply too raw. Aldrich was a slow development player, however, he did give us depth in the paint. He competed on the boards (most of the time). He provided solid defense (most of the time). He took advantage of all six fouls (most of the time). Until finally, the Thunder grew tired of his lack of development. And, let’s not forget… we draft Eric Bledsoe. But, a plus for Aldrich. He was part of the trade that landed us Steven Adams. GRADE C+