Planning Out The 2024 Draft For The Oklahoma City Thunder

June 14th, 2024

by Alan Lu

The Oklahoma City Thunder had a far better season than most people anticipated, as they were able to get the first seed in the West, and they have one of the best players in the NBA in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, along with a very talented big man in Chet Holmgren, who had a terrific rookie season, and is a versatile player that can stretch the defenses, create off the dribble, and is a tremendous shot blocker. Head coach Mark Daigneault won Head Coach of the Year this year, but the Thunder ended up losing to the Mavericks, as their lack of playoff experience led to a second round playoff exit. Still, the season can be considered a roaring success, even if it led veteran forward Gordon Hayward to be disgruntled with his role on the team.

Chet Holmgren and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder to getting the first seed in the West, and the Thunder look to be poised to do and accomplish big things in the future. (Photo: Alonzo Adams/USA Today Sports, via The New York Times)

As they have the 12th overall pick, they could use a player that could help them win right now to try to get them closer to try to win the title next year. Dalton Knecht would be one such player that would be a very good prospect for them at this range, as he is a smart, skilled swingman that can shoot and score the basketball and has above average athletic gifts. Donovan Clingan is an athletic, energetic center that is also a very good rim protector, but he isn’t likely going to be available for them to select at 12. They could use more shooting to complement Gilgeous-Alexander on the floor, and they also could add a big man to give them more size and strength to be able to handle Jokic down low. But they also could use a high upside player, especially if that player could really help them in the long run.

Here are the test simulations that I ran for the Thunder in the 2024 ESPN Mock Draft Simulator.

Test Simulation #1:

A mock draft board for the Oklahoma City Thunder.  First test simulation. Image courtesy of Fanspo.
A mock draft board for the Oklahoma City Thunder. First test simulation. Image courtesy of ESPN Analytics.

Test Simulation #2:

A mock draft board for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Second test simulation. Image courtesy of Fanspo.
A mock draft board for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Second test simulation. Image courtesy of ESPN Analytics.

Test Simulation #3:

A mock draft board for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Third test simulation. Image courtesy of Fanspo.
A mock draft board for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Third test simulation. Image courtesy of ESPN Analytics.

Cody Williams and Ron Holland are very athletic, long two-way wings that play with great energy, are rangy defenders,and both have vast potential, but both will need to be more consistent with their jump shot. Holland looks to be the better shot creator and scorer, and Williams the better shooter and distributor of the two, but both would be very good picks for the Thunder. Ja’Kobe Walter would be a good fit pick, as he is an athletic, smooth guard that can shoot and score the basketball and has solid handles, but he will need to continue to improve his playmaking and defensive skills. The 2024 NBA Draft will be held on June 26 and 27, so that should be interesting. Thanks for reading.

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