The Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder has been lengthy recognized for having a few of the finest expertise evaluators within the NBA. Given Oklahoma Metropolis is a small market, the draft is way more vital to the Thunder than different franchises when it comes to one of the best path to constructing a workforce. Led by Sam Presti, OKC has put collectively a profitable rebuild and appears to be just some steps away from being again within the postseason commonly.
When evaluating prospects, each within the draft and present gamers across the league, it goes effectively past the on-court expertise and manufacturing. Particularly for Presti, the individual and their traits are additionally extraordinarily vital.
“We draft folks first, and gamers second,” mentioned Presti virtually two years in the past.
When wanting on the roster the Thunder has put collectively, the items match effectively each on and off the courtroom. The instruments, versatility, positional measurement and playmaking is straightforward to see throughout the younger workforce, however the person gamers additionally get alongside off the courtroom. A number of members of the Thunder talked about final season that this group virtually looks like a school workforce with how younger and tight knit all of them are.
Shifting ahead, Oklahoma Metropolis might want to proceed this success within the draft to pick out prospects that match on the courtroom but additionally embody what is predicted of a Thunder participant off the courtroom. Within the 2023 NBA Draft, OKC will choose at No. 12, No. 37 and No. 50 total with three probabilities so as to add a cornerstone piece.
On the finish of the 2022-23 season, Presti was requested about his draft philosophy and the way he balances the on-court manufacturing and private facet of issues when evaluating prospects.
“It’s a mixture of left and proper mind on a regular basis,” mentioned Presti. “I believe you may have to have the ability to function each methods. I believe the hot button is going left and proper mind, however extra importantly can when to deploy all sides? However I believe in the event you function in a single house, a method, I believe you shut off.”
Expertise analysis is each an artwork and a science. That is basically what Presti is alluding to with this perception. The left facet of the mind is taken into account to be adept at duties which are thought-about logical, rational, and calculating, whereas the the fitting facet is finest at creative, artistic, and spontaneous duties.
To make the method much more complicated, not solely does Presti and his workers have to judge all of those particular person prospects, but additionally take into account how they might match on the present roster and future iterations of the workforce.
“The nuances of bringing every part collectively, the present workforce and the participant that you simply’d be including,” Presti mentioned. “The non-public part, the analytical part, the strategic part all that stuff elements in. That’s what I like about it.”
Together with bringing Chet Holmgren into the rotation subsequent season, the Thunder has an amazing alternative with its late lottery decide. Moreover, Oklahoma Metropolis has loads of property and will transfer up fairly a number of spots in subsequent month’s draft if there’s a prospect the workforce actually desires.
After profitable 40 video games and making the postseason, the Thunder might actually take one other enormous step ahead within the 2023-24 marketing campaign. It takes the fitting method to workforce constructing to make sure the roster matches on and off the courtroom, however that’s what Presti is so good at.