Home Sports Basketball The Blue Route Mock Draft: Pick #21 – Oklahoma City Thunder

The Blue Route Mock Draft: Pick #21 – Oklahoma City Thunder

With the twenty-first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder select…

Blue Route is bringing you draft coverage leading up to the NBA draft on June 20th, 2019. The Philadelphia 76ers are slated to select 24th pick in the draft. The NBA draft often sees movement, trades, and drama, so to prepare you for various potential outcomes, the Blue Route will be giving you draft profiles for the all of the likely top picks, as well as our very own mock draft.

2019 NBA Mock Draft Results
  1. New Orleans Pelicans – Zion Williamson
  2. Memphis Grizzlies – Ja Morant
  3. New York Knicks – RJ Barrett
  4. Los Angeles Lakers – Jarrett Culver
  5. Cleveland Cavaliers – DeAndre Hunter
  6. Phoenix Suns – Coby White
  7. Chicago Bulls – Cam Reddish
  8. Atlanta Hawks – Sekou Doumbouya
  9. Washington Wizards – Bol Bol 
  10. Atlanta Hawks – Jaxson Hayes 
  11. Minnesota Timberwolves – Nickeil Alexander-Walker
  12. Charlotte Hornets – Darius Garland
  13. Miami Heat – PJ Washington
  14. Boston Celtics – Brandon Clarke
  15. Detroit Pistons – Rui Hachimura
  16. Orlando Magic – Goga Bitazde
  17. Atlanta Hawks – Nassir Little
  18. Indiana Pacers – Bruno Fernando
  19. San Antonio Spurs – Cam Johnson
  20. Boston Celtics – Talen Horton-Tucker

Current State of the Oklahoma City Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder are coming off of what most would consider a failure of a season. The team performed well in the regular season for the most part, until the end. The Thunder fell from the top three in the Western Conference standings all the way to the sixth seed. 

The team was ultimately destroyed by Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers in the postseason, making it the third year in a row that the Thunder have exited in the first round. 

The team now finds itself somewhat stuck. The team has committed a massive amount of money to its core of current players. Unfortunately for them, a lot of their current contracts are immovable at this point.

The criticism of Russell Westbrook seems to be getting worse season by season. Westbrook is a great all around player and an all time talent without a doubt. He’s always been known for his high motor, and sometimes it seems to do more harm than good for the team. 

Paul George is coming off a career season. At one point in the year, he was considered the top MVP candidate. He was absolutely great for the Thunder, but the team will need to make the right moves going forward. George has two more contract years before he can opt out and become a free agent, and the team will need to make the right moves to ensure that he stays with the team going forward. 

Looking ahead into 2019 Free Agency

As stated before, the Thunder have a lot of money committed over the next few seasons. Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Steven Adams, Dennis Schroder, Andre Roberson, Jerami Grant, Patrick Patterson, and Terrance Ferguson are all on contract for the next year. It’s expected that the Thunder will have a lot of roster turnover into the next year. 

Nerlens Noel signed to the Thunder under a bargain of a deal and was excellent as their backup center. Noel signed a short term deal to prove to other teams that he is worth a massive payday going forward into the future. Noel’s time is likely done with the Thunder as they won’t be able to pay him in the same price range that other teams might. Noel has a player option worth $1.9 million. 

Markieff Morris was a mid-season acquisition for the Thunder, after being waived by the New Orleans Pelicans. Morris was a solid backup power forward for the team and helped create depth for the Thunder. Morris is now an unrestricted free agent, and it’s looking unlikely that he will re-sign with the Thunder. 

Going into free agency, the Thunder will need to find a new power forward and center. The team is limited financially and will have to rely on veteran minimum contracts to achieve this goal. 

The Selection – Tyler Herro

Tyler Herro is one of the most interesting prospects in this draft. Opinions range on just how valuable he can be to a NBA team. He has the makings of becoming an elite shooter at the next level, but an incredibly short wingspan hurts his stock tremendously. There’s an argument that his shooting won’t be able to outweigh his defensive shortcomings. 

Fortunately for the Thunder, he won’t have to worry about playing defense. He will just have to worry about the one thing he’s good at: shooting the ball. 

Herro is a perfect fit to play next to Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is best when he’s slashing to the rim and dishing out the perimeter. Herro would also have teammates that could help pick up his defensive shortcomings, in Westbrook, George, and Grant. 

Tyler Herro can end up being an all time shooter, and his college three point percentage doesn’t do him justice. He managed to shoot an amazing 93% from the free throw line in his first and only season at Kentucky. Free throw percentage is an excellent indicator of how good one’s shooting really is. 

Rookie Predictions

Tyler Herro could come in right now and provide quality minutes off the bench for the Thunder. The team does have two quality shooting guards in Andre Roberson and Terrance Ferguson. However, Herro would easily be the best shooter out of the trio. 

Assuming he came off the bench, I think Herro could get 15 minutes-per-game for the Thunder and put up a respectable stat line of 6 points-per-game, 1 rebound-per-game, while shooting around 37% from three. 

The Thunder would be very fortunate to land Herro in the draft, as he could be the floor spacing guard that they’ve needed for so long. The Thunder’s situation may not be stable for too many more seasons, but Herro would give them a quality NBA player to either grow or trade in a future rebuild. 

 
 
 
 
 
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Harrison Grimm joined PFO Philly in November 2018, providing coverage for the Philadelphia 76ers and Delaware Blue Coats. He has an active interest in the front office world of the NBA, and hopes to pursue a position in that area one day. Harrison is currently attending Millersville University in Pennsylvania, with a major in communications.
 
 
 

Herro is a perfect fit to play next to Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is best when he’s slashing to the rim and dishing out the perimeter. Herro would also have teammates that could help pick up his defensive shortcomings, in Westbrook, George, and Grant. 

Tyler Herro can end up being an all time shooter, and his college three point percentage doesn’t do him justice. He managed to shoot an amazing 93% from the free throw line in his first and only season at Kentucky. Free throw percentage is an excellent indicator of how good one’s shooting really is. 

Rookie Predictions

Tyler Herro could come in right now and provide quality minutes off the bench for the Thunder. The team does have two quality shooting guards in Andre Roberson and Terrance Ferguson. However, Herro would easily be the best shooter out of the trio. 

Assuming he came off the bench, I think Herro could get 15 minutes-per-game for the Thunder and put up a respectable stat line of 6 points-per-game, 1 rebound-per-game, while shooting around 37% from three. 

The Thunder would be very fortunate to land Herro in the draft, as he could be the floor spacing guard that they’ve needed for so long. The Thunder’s situation may not be stable for too many more seasons, but Herro would give them a quality NBA player to either grow or trade in a future rebuild.