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Oklahoma City Thunder 2013 Draft Preview
By Jim Brighters, NBA Editor
(Sports Network) - The Oklahoma City Thunder finished with the best record in the Western Conference, but a horribly ill-timed injury derailed a second straight trip to the NBA Finals.
Russell Westbrook went down with a knee injury in the first round against the Houston Rockets. The Thunder still prevailed, but fell in the next round to the Memphis Grizzlies.
That is just bad luck. The Thunder are one of the most talented teams in the NBA. They have Kevin Durant, Westbrook and Serge Ibaka. That's a phenomenal nucleus.
OKC's biggest potential loss in free agency could be Kevin Martin. He was the major piece in the James Harden trade with the Rockets and is an elite bench scorer.
Oklahoma City probably wants him back to give it a go with a full roster. Rumors have sparked that the Thunder might amnesty Kendrick Perkins. Even if they don't, you could see OKC using at least one of their two first-round picks on size.
The Thunder pick 12th via the Toronto Raptors, via the Rockets.
At 12, the Thunder could address the size question with Indiana's Cody Zeller, Pitt's Steven Adams or Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk.
At No. 29, OKC can take a gamble on a foreign prospect it would stash overseas, or maybe a marginal first-round talent like Reggie Bullock from North Carolina.
Truth is, neither of these picks will probably play much next season. OKC is so good that it can take time to develop its picks.
Under Contract: F: Kevin Durant; G: Russell Westbrook; F: Serge Ibaka; C: Kendrick Perkins; G: Thabo Sefolosha; F/C: Nick Collison; G: Reggie Jackson; G: Jeremy Lamb; C: Hasheem Thabeet; F/C: Perry Jones; F: Daniel Orton; G: DeAndre Liggins
Free Agents: G: Kevin Martin; G: Derek Fisher; F: Ronnie Brewer
Recent Draft History: 2012: Perry Jones (28)
2011: Reggie Jackson (24)
2010: Eric Bledsoe (18), Craig Brackins (21), Quincy Pondexter (26), Magnum Rolle (51)
2009: James Harden (3), Rodrigue Beaubois (25)
2008: Russell Westbrook (4), Serge Ibaka (24), Walter Sharpe (32), Trent Plaisted (46), DeVon Hardin (50), Sasha Kaun (56)
Draft picks: 1st round (12th overall, 29th overall); 2nd round (32nd overall)
06/24 10:35:57 ET
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