However, Presti said after the season that they had no intention of jettisoning Perkins. Whether the Thunder stand by that or not remains to be seen. Regardless, Oklahoma City can make that position a focal point in this draft.
“We want to take as much information into account as possible,” Presti said. “A big piece of the process is managing and interpreting that information. With that said, probably more important than external evaluations is continued internal study as to what drives our program. We have always aimed to work from the inside out as an organization and we will have to continue to maintain that approach based on our goals of sustainable success.”
Possibilities for the Thunder include Pittsburgh’s Steven Adams, Indiana’s Cody Zeller, Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynk and Mason Plumlee of Duke.
Yet, Oklahoma City has not gotten to where it has by drafting purely on need. When Westbrook was selected, point guard was not at the top of its need list.
For an organization that has a history of going out on a limb and being aggressive, players such as Alex Len, Victor Oladipo, C.J. McCollum, Trey Burke and Michael Carter Williams are also in the loop.
The possibility of even trading up into the top five is not out of the question. That is the benefit of having three early selections. All avenues are open for the Thunder.
“It sounds cliché, but we really and truly will look at everything,” Presti said. “Having picks in different ranges of the draft presents a lot of different options and ideas, but it is all governed by our vision for the Thunder and how those options can help strengthen the organization.”
Last year, seemingly every decision the Thunder made was for the long term. That includes trading James Harden one season before they had to.