2008 First Round Pick: Russell Westbrook, Guard, UCLA. Westbrook had a very impressive rookie campaign and was a good candidate for the rookie of the year award. Russell averaged 15 points, five rebounds and five assists as the starting point guard for Oklahoma City. Whoever the Thunder take with their third overall pick will likely dictate whether Westbrook will play point or shooting guard.
Departures: Damien Wilkins (can opt-out), Desmond Mason, Malik Rose, Robert Swift.
Needs: I think Oklahoma City can be a playoff contender next season with two solid rookies in this draft. Westbrook has PG or SG locked up, Kevin Durant has the small forward, and Jeff Green is locked at power forward. A solid base, as all of those guys scored 16 a game (25 ppg for Durant). They need a solid center, a back-up forward and a guard to complement Westbrook.
The Pick: Sam Young, Pittsburgh, Forward. A good back-up for Durant, or someone that can play shooting guard while Durant plays the three. It’s something I’d like to see the Thunder try because both of them are terrific shooters. Young has a great mid-range game to go along with his perimeter shot. He is very strong and athletic and he is a great rebounder for his size (6-foot-7). Scouts call him the “master of the shot fake.”
Other Options: I doubt he would be there, but Ty Lawson of UNC would be a great fit if they pass on Rubio at #3.
Other Draft Previews:
26. Chicago Bulls – Darren Collison, Point Guard, UCLA
27. Memphis Grizzlies - DaJuan Summers, Small Forward, Georgetown
28. Minnesota Timberwolves – Toney Douglas, Guard, Florida State
29. Los Angeles Lakers – Marcus Thorton, Guard, LSU
30. Cleveland Cavaliers – DaMarre Carroll, Forward, Missouri