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News » Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-06-03

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-06-03

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-06-03
The Thunder will have the third pick in the NBA Draft, up one spot from the pre-lottery position of fourth. Oklahoma City native Blake Griffin, who would have been a perfect fit with his hometown team, is headed to the lottery-winning Clippers.

Based on draft projections, the Thunder will likely choose between UConn center Hasheen Thabeet and Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio. Memphis has the No. 2 pick. Early reports, however, say Rubio's camp has no interest in playing for a small-market team like Memphis or OKC.

The Thunder's front office isn't worried about such talk just yet. The team goes into the draft dealing from a position of strength with multiple picks and plenty of cap room.

"Having the third pick for us is a lot better than having the fourth," general manager Sam Presti said. "And when you have No. 3 you wish you had No. 2, but this is definitely a great position for us to be in.

"I think we'll definitely get some phone calls and we'll have some options. We also like the group of players that will be there, so I'm excited."

More so than selecting on need or using the "best-available player" chestnut, Presti is looking for a certain type of makeup in whomever the Thunder pick.

"Does he fit the culture we're trying to create and have established? Does he fit the way we want to play? Those are the things that we'll be dialed into," Presti said. "All we can do is pick the best player that we think will help us and fit our team."

SEASON HIGHLIGHT: Kevin Durant was easily the star of the early portion of All-Star weekend. The sensational sophomore scored 46 in the Rookie Challenge game and won the league's first H-O-R-S-E competition. For those who doubted Durant's star potential, this was his time to shine.

TURNING POINT: The 1-12 start cost P.J. Carlesimo his job and morphed into a 3-29 record that had many wondering if the Thunder would post the worst record in NBA history. Oklahoma City then followed with a 6-3 stretch and stayed relatively competitive the rest of the season.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: June 3, 2009


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