Write expert notes on the OKC Thunder

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The Oklahoma City Thunder finished the 2022 NBA draft by selecting four players including three in the top 12 of the draft.

The Thunder selected Chet Holmgren at No. 2, Ousmane Dieng at No. 11, Jalen Williams at No. 12 and Jaylin Williams at No. 34.

The Thunder introduced their four rookies Saturday at their introductory press conference, each speaking enthusiastically about the franchise and general manager Sam Presti.

Usually, after the drafts, the sports experts distribute notes to the teams on the course they have obtained. Let’s take a look at what project experts have said about Project Thunder. To read the OKC Thunder Wire notes, click this link.

(Thanks to Ben DuBose of The Rockets Wire for piling up the draft grade posts. For the Houston Rockets version, click here.)

“Holmgren could end up being the best player in the draft, so it’s already a great night for OKC, and Dieng could have the biggest advantage of all the players taken in the late lottery. No 12 may have been a bit high for Jalen Williams (not to be confused with Jaylin Williams, who they also drafted), but his stock rose like crazy during the pre-draft process Arkansas’ greatest Williams is a talent intriguing that took a ton of fillers and was considered by some to be a first-round possibility.

Rating: A-

“Oklahoma City identified the players they wanted and went after them. After Orlando shook up the draft at No. 1, the Thunder stayed true to what they wanted by taking Holmgren at No. 2. Instead to wait for Ousmane Dieng to slide to them at No. 12, they sent three future first-round picks to New York for Dieng, then drafted Jalen Williams from Santa Clara with their No. 12 pick. 34, the Thunder did their coaches, PR staff and fans no favors by recruiting Jaylin Williams from Arkansas – which surely won’t confuse anyone.

“I don’t think there were any bad drafts, but the Thunder and the Grizzlies raised a few eyebrows with their first-round moves. Chet Holmgren was a no-brainer, but trading three first-round picks — all heavily protected — to the Knicks for Ousmane Dieng at No. 11 was unexpected. Taking Jalen Williams to No. 12 seemed a bit early, although Williams’ stock continued to rise.

“While I don’t like that the Thunder traded three (!) future first-round picks to the Knicks to acquire the 11th pick to draft Dieng, I have to respect their direction. Oklahoma City was aiming for upside potential and length in this draft. In their top three lottery picks, they added 21 feet and eight inches of wingspan. Holmgren and Dieng are very unique talents. Jalen Williams is a versatile offensive threat. Jaylin Williams is a dog at both ends of the floor. The Thunder hit a home run in this draft and I can’t wait to see how it goes.

Rating: A

Winner: Chet Holmgren

“Banchero’s surprise selection at No. 1 threatened to upset Holmgren’s night by sending him sliding down the board. Instead, Oklahoma City stayed the course and selected 7-foot rookie Gonzaga over Smith. Holmgren couldn’t have asked for a better home than the small market Thunder, who are fully committed to a patient development approach and can help shield him from questions about his physique early in his career. Oklahoma City bolstered its slow build plans by adding two more lottery picks: Dieng and Jalen Williams.

Holmgren is an all-ball, all-time guy, and he’ll be able to focus on his craft in Oklahoma City, just like he did in Spokane. Even better, Holmgren is a very effective finisher around the basket and will be on the receiving end of plays set up by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey. The attacking fit, especially with Giddey and his elite vision, should produce must-see TV for League Pass die-hards.

My favorite team drafts

“The Thunder walked away with three lottery picks. It took digging into their cache of future picks to get them, as they decided to move three future first movers to the Knicks to get Ousmane Dieng at No. 11. I didn’t like that decision. But at the end of the day, the Thunder got Holmgren, my No. 1 player overall, at No. 2. He’s a perfect fit for the team they’re building. Holmgren is a 7-foot defensive stopper who can grab and go, handle the ball on the break, shoot from distance and pass. He’s everything the Thunder want from a center in coach Mark Daigneault’s five-out attack. It’s a perfect fit. They also got Dieng, and while I’m less high on him, I recognize his advantage as a passer and playmaker. inches with a 7-foot-2 wingspan that skyrocketed the draft boards after impressing during practices.

What the Thunder are doing is clear. They acquire players with terrific position size, high basketball IQ, and real skill level. It sounds easy when you put it like that, but every decision the Thunder made was committed to prioritizing those traits, which are some of the most important aspects of basketball going forward. I’m a huge fan of the Thunder’s rebuilding project, and there’s no denying that they’re a better team today than they were yesterday.

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