The Oklahoma City Thunder have made it clear they want to move up in the 2013 draft, offering both of the first round picks (12 and 29) and veteran center Kendrick to move into the top five, reportedly to select Maryland center Alex Len.
With a core of Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka and Russell Westbrook and young players like guards Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb likely to continue to show improvement, the Thunder can focus on upgrading their front court.
They don’t have the means to go up for Len (or Kentucky center Nerlens Noel), so the Thunder will likely go big with this pick. The last two picks have Pittsburgh center Steven Adams to the Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana big man Cody Zeller to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Thunder could go with someone like Duke’s Mason Plumlee or an international player like Brazil’s Lucas Nogueira or France’s Rudy Gobert, but we’ll go with the best big man and maybe best overall player on the board at this point, Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynyk.
The 22-year old averaged 18.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game for the Zags last year. He shot an impressive 63.1% from the field and 78.0% from the free throw line. He moves very well without and seems to have a good feel for the game. He’ll fit in well running pick-and-rolls with Russell Westbrook and company.
The Pick: With the 12th pick in the SCIC Mock Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder select Kelly Olynyk, Center, Gonzaga, 7’0, 234 lbs.
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