- Here’s a list of the best Oklahoma City Thunder picks in franchise history.
- Kevin Durant leads the list of players Oklahoma City selected through the draft.
- Other Thunder players included in the list are Russell Westbrook and James Harden.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are the youngest NBA franchise, forming when the Seattle SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City after the 2007-08 season. Although they are still part of the 11 NBA teams who have never won a championship, they established themselves as a perennial threat in the stacked Western Conference.
A big part of this competitiveness is the ability of their front office to select players in the draft that instantly increase their NBA championship odds. The team is currently rebuilding and has piled up the draft picks in the next few years. Here’s the three best Oklahoma City Thunder draft picks:
Kevin Durant was the last lottery pick of the Seattle SuperSonics team in 2007 before relocating in 2008. He was the second overall pick of the team and instantly showed that he was an elite scorer by racking up 20.3 points in his first year with 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists to earn the Rookie of the Year award in 2008 and a spot in the All-Rookie 1st Team.
— Courtside Films (@CourtsideFilms) March 19, 2020
The former Texas star averaged over 25 points a game in the following seasons and piled up the accolades by winning the league MVP award in 2014, representing the team for seven successive years in the NBA All-Star Game.He helped OKC qualify for six playoff runs including an NBA Finals appearance in 2012. Before his infamous move to Golden State, Durant accumulated an average of 27.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.7 assists.
Russell Westbrook was the fourth overall pick by the team during the 2008 NBA Draft. Since his arrival to the franchise, the UCLA standout immediately showed his explosive style of play that allowed him to average 15.3 points, 5.3 assists, and 4.9 rebounds in his first year, which was good enough to crack a spot in the 2009 All-Rookie 1st Team.
Russell Westbrook OKC highlights!pic.twitter.com/3PNtyMT8Cd
— Courtside Films (@CourtsideFilms) October 6, 2022
In his 11 seasons with the Thunder, “Brodie” helped the team reach the postseason nine times, even after Kevin Durant left. He became a nine-time NBA All-Star, a two-time member of the All-NBA 1st Team, and won the league MVP in 2017. Westbrook also made history by becoming the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double in three successive seasons from 2017 to 2019 before he got traded to the Houston Rockets.
Completing the list of the three best Oklahoma City Thunder draft picks is James Harden, who was selected as the third overall pick in 2009. The former Arizona State star accepted his role as the spark off the bench alongside Durant and Westbrook, and he flourished in the role by becoming the third option of the team in the offensive end.
— This Day In Sports Clips (@TDISportsClips) April 8, 2023
“The Beard” only had a rookie average of 9.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.8 assists, but he improved in his next two seasons. Harden continued his role as the sixth man of the team, and had his breakout year in 2012, where he bagged the Sixth Man of the Year award and was a vital member of the 2012 roster that made it to the NBA Finals. If not for contract disputes with the team, the trio of Harden, Durant, and Westbrook might have dominated the league for years. The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 12.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 220 games for the Thunder.
Place a Parlay Bet at BetMGM
BetMGM is the King of Sportsbook and the King of Parlays!
Parlays a unique opportunity to leverage your sports knowledge into more excitement and bigger potential payouts. You can build a parlay bet with hundreds of thousands of combinations each year. From MLB run lines or NFL odds to NHL puck lines or NBA spreads, there are opportunities for everyone.