Oklahoma City Thunder 2009 Draft Preview
By John McMullen, NBA Editor
(Sports Network) - The past two drafts have given Oklahoma City an improving nucleus to work with.
Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook bring youth, energy and most of all talent to the Thunder franchise.
General manager Sam Presti has quite a bit of cap space to work with this offseason and plenty or work still needs to be done. Depth is a big problem at virtually every posistion and power in the frontcourt is in short supply.
Oklahoma City has two first round picks to work with, the third overall and No. 25. Arizona State guard James Harden may be the most NBA-ready player in this draft and should be a steady and consistent wing player very early in his career. He has gotten a lot of attention from the Thunder and Washington Wizards. Now, the Grizzlies have put him in the mix and are apparently enamored with what a three-man rotation of Harden, O.J. Mayo and Conley could do. In the end, I think the Grizzlies go big, leaving Harden to team with Durant and Westbrook in Okie City.
At 25, expect the Thunder to take the best player still available. North Carolina star, Wayne Ellington, a great college player that projects as a 20- minute guy in the pros may be the answer there.
Key players under contract: F Nick Collison; G Earl Watson; C Nenad Krstic; F Kevin Durant; G Russell Westbrook; G Chucky Atkins; G Thabo Sefolosha; F D.J. White; G Kyle Weaver; G Shaun Livingston; F Jeff Green
Draft picks: 1st round (3rd overall), (25th overall)
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