The Oklahoma City Thunder did not do well in the NBA Draft Lottery last year. They had a good chance of getting two top-five picks in the 2021 NBA Draft, but they got none. The odds were favoring Oklahoma City this time around. The lottery was held on Tuesday night to decide the ultimate draft order for the 2022 NBA Draft. The Thunder had the 4th and 12th best odds among all teams.
The Thunder ended up with the No. 2 and No. 12 overall picks, respectively. The No. 12 pick came from the Los Angeles Clippers as part of the Paul George trade, and it will be OKC’s second lottery pick in next month’s draft.
When it came to the second overall choice, the Thunder was quite fortunate. Despite having the highest odds among any team, Oklahoma City came out on top on Tuesday night. In fact, the Thunder’s pick had only a 12.2 percent chance of advancing to second overall. There are still superstar-level players in this draft class, despite it not being as loaded as previous years. Thunder GM Sam Presti will have the opportunity to select the franchise’s next face with the No. 2 pick.
Presti has picked three players in the first four spots in the NBA Draft since 2007. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden are among those guys. If history repeats itself, the Thunder might be on the verge of picking a Hall of Famer next month. Jabari Smith Jr., Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero, Jaden Ivey, and Shaedon Sharpe are among the players who could be selected with the second overall pick. Each of these prospects has unique advantages, but they all have the ability to become stars under the appropriate circumstances.
Presti will effectively have a choice between a versatile forward and an electrifying guard. Presti will have the chance to speed up the Thunder’s rebuild after the Orlando Magic select their top prospect. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, and Oklahoma City’s No. 2 overall pick will make a dynamic young combination if all goes right.
If the Thunder return to contention in the future, the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery might be remembered as a watershed event for the club. While there’s no guarantee that the player Oklahoma City selects next month will develop into a star capable of leading the team to a championship, the chances of that happening improved dramatically on Tuesday night.
The Thunder will have three first-round picks and an early second-round pick on draught night. They also have the most first-round picks in the next five seasons of any franchise.