GM ljjung on the Kevin Durant trade:
Now a more likely situation is that Kevin Durant is still with the Thunder at the beginning of the season and if he was going to get traded it would be closer to the trade deadline, but I'm only the Thunder's GM for a few more days so I don't have that kind of time. The main reason I'm ending Durant's era in OKC now is mainly because I believe Durant will be headed to Washington come next summer. I've thought that for several months now and with the departure of Scott Brooks I think it's a done deal. Might as well get something for one of the best players in the NBA rather than nothing. Also, after seeing what Russell Westbrook can do sans Durant, I want to start building around him. I'm extremely happy with the pieces I got for Durant. I think with the addition of DeRozan the Thunder now have the most dynamic backcourt in the league. Nick Collison will be missed, but I definitely think Patrick Patterson will give us more production and Terrance Ross will help give us more depth at the wing position along with my draft pick. I might lose a year of being a contender, but I think in the long run this deal will be for the best.
And with the 14th pick in the draft, the OKC Thunder and ljjung select:
14) Kelly Oubre Jr, Small Forward from Kansas
Photo credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
From GM ljjung:
Well I think we all know the obvious hole in the Thunder's depth chart is now. WithDurant getting traded, we now have a small gap to fill at the 3 spot. This is where Kelly Oubre Jr. comes in. Oubre is definitely a project, but his ceiling is incredible high and many of his issues can be fixed. He already has a prototypical build for wing players in the NBA. Standing at 6'7 he brings with him a 7'1 wingspan which will help his defensive game. This is where Oubre will earn his paycheck for his first season or two until his offensive game improves and he gets a better feel for game.
That being said he will still be able to contribute on the offensive side of the court. He already has a pretty solid shot sporting 36% from 3 his freshman season and if he fills out and learns how to finish at the rim I expect that 53% around the basket shooting percentage to go up. One of the main reasons I like Oubre is because his greatest weakness is the Thunder's greatest strength. Oubre is not very good when it comes to creating his own shot and he relies way too much on his left hand when it comes to driving to the basket, but with players like DeRozan and Westbrook we already have plenty of players who can create their own shot. Oubre will hardly ever be asked to create on his own and playing alongside Westbrook will be good for him.
As of right now, I don't think Oubre should get the start at the 3 spot right away. Oubre is too young (he's only 19) and will need time to figure out the system and where he fits into it. I'd like him to reach that point eventually, but it might be too much for the rookie. Terrance Ross has been starting for the Raptors for 2 seasons now and has never demanded the ball so he'll fit right in with Westbrook and DeRozan.
With the lottery now behind us we move on to GM Zordor and the Atlanta Hawks at #15.
|#1||Timberwolves||Jonah Jordan||Karl-Anthony Towns|
|#3||Timberwolves (from 76ers)||Jonah Jordan||D'Angelo Russell|
|#4||Raptors (from Knicks)||Arkm110||Emmanuel Mudiay|
|#5||Celtics (from Magic)||HEARNBURN||Kristaps Porzingis|
|#6||Kings||Jonah Jordan||Mario Hezonja|
|#7||Nuggets||Joe Witherwax||Justise Winslow|
|#8||Heat (from Pistons)||Mopo123||Stanley Johnson|
|#10||Suns (from Heat)||nickbushart||Frank Kaminsky|
|#11||Pacers||Andrew Ford||Cameron Payne|
|#13||Pistons (from Heat via Suns)||Matthew Bishop||Sam Dekker|
|#14||Thunder||ljjung||Kelly Oubre, Jr.|
|#16||Magic (from Celtics)||Andy Livingston|
|#20||Thunder (from Raptors)||ljjung|
|#23||Trail Blazers||Edwin Ortiz|