OKC Thunder Defy Odds, Land No. 2 Overall Pick In 2022 NBA Draft
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Last year, the NBA Draft Lottery didn’t go as planned for the Oklahoma City Thunder. With a solid chance of landing two top-five picks in the 2021 NBA Draft, they ended up with zero.

This time around, the odds worked in Oklahoma City’s favor. On Tuesday night, the lottery was set to determine the final draft order for the 2022 NBA Draft. Entering the event, the Thunder had the fourth and 12th best odds of any team in the lottery.

When it was all said and done, the Thunder landed the No. 2 and No. 12 overall picks. The No. 12 selection is from the LA Clippers that was traded in the Paul George deal, which ends up being the second lottery selection for OKC in next month’s draft.

  • No. 1: Orlando Magic
  • No. 2: Oklahoma City Thunder
  • No. 3: Houston Rockets
  • No. 4: Sacramento Kings
  • No. 5: Detroit Pistons
  • No. 6: Indiana Pacers
  • No. 7: Portland Trail Blazers
  • No. 8: New Orleans Pelicans
  • No. 9: San Antonio Spurs
  • No. 10: Washington Wizards
  • No. 11: New York Knicks
  • No. 12: Oklahoma City Thunder
  • No. 13: Charlotte Hornets
  • No. 14: Cleveland Cavaliers

Where luck really fell in the Thunder’s favor was with the second overall pick. While odds of Oklahoma City landing the sixth overall pick was the highest of any selection, they came out winners on Tuesday night. In fact, the Thunder only had a 12.2% chance of their pick rising to No. 2 overall.

Although this isn’t a loaded draft class relative to the past several years, there’s still superstar level players. With the No. 2 pick, Thunder GM Sam Presti will have the chance to select the next face of the franchise.

Dating back to the 2007 NBA Draft, Presti has taken three players in the top four. Those players include Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. If history repeats itself, the Thunder could potentially be drafting a Hall of Fame caliber player next month.

Among the players that could be taken with the second pick include Jabari Smith Jr., Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero, Jaden Ivey and Shaedon Sharpe. Each of these prospects bring different upside to the table, but all have the potential to become stars in the right situation.

Whether it’s a versatile forwards or an electric guard, Presti will essentially have his pick. Once the Orlando Magic take their prospect with the top pick, Presti will have the opportunity to expedite the Thunder’s rebuild. If all goes well, a dynamic young trio will be formed with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey and Oklahoma City’s No. 2 overall pick.

Down the road if the Thunder are once again a contending team, we could look back on the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery as a pivotal moment for the franchise. While there’s no guarantee the player Oklahoma City takes next month develops into a star that can lead them to a championship, the odds of that happening drastically increased on Tuesday night.

On draft night, the Thunder will have three first round picks and an early second rounder. Additionally, they’ve got the most first round picks of any team over the next five seasons.

The future is beginning to look bright in Oklahoma City.

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