The Oklahoma City Thunder have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to NBA draft picks for the years to come. For the 2021 NBA Draft, OKC holds picks No. 6, 16 and 18. Building around Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a must for the Thunder and they will have the cap space and draft capital to do so starting this offseason.
What the Thunder do at No. 6 will influence what they do at No. 16 and No. 18. While they had hopes and dreams of landing a top 3 pick, they will have to settle by starting at No. 6 unless they make a trade.
Here are the three best options for the Thunder at No. 16 in the 2021 NBA Draft.
3.) Corey Kispert – Gonzaga
Corey Kispert was a sharp-shooting monster for Mark Few and Gonzaga. While he could be taken right at the end of the lottery, it’s also very possible he ends up being available at No. 16.
The Thunder were 29th in three-point shooting in 2020-21, coming in at 33.9%. The only team worse, the Cleveland Cavaliers. While there were struggles in areas across the board for Oklahoma City, the current climate of the NBA makes having shooters a necessity. And it’s a glaring gap in the Thunder lineup.
Kispert has a crazy quick release and will pull the trigger in catch-and-shoot scenarios and off the dribble. He will never be a lead guard, ball handler but he doesn’t need to be with the Thunder. That’s why they have Gilgeous-Alexander.
The Gonzaga product would be a perfect fit next to SGA in the OKC lineup and has legitimate upside to the point of becoming one of the best young shooters in the league.
Along with the shooting, Kispert has a knack for being in the right place and setting himself up to be in advantageous situations. He’s a super smart player who doesn’t make many mistakes.
2.) Kai Jones – Texas
Kai Jones is a super raw talent with a lot of untapped potential.
At 6-foot-10, Jones is able to work off the dribble with a fairly good handle for someone of his size. He has great energy and athleticism and while the offensive skill set can be stiff in some areas, there’s plenty of flashes that were shown while he was at Texas.
On defense, the Thunder could use some more rim protection and Jones brings that to the table with his bouncy vertical. While he can protect the paint, Jones can also step outside the box and be an above average on ball defender as well. He’s great off switches and can guard an array of positions on the floor, something that just isn’t the case for most 6-foot-1o players.
Jones showed the ability to shoot the three (39%) but he only attempted 33 from the land beyond in 2020 for Texas. There’s plenty of room for growth if he becomes more comfortable from the perimeter at the next level. With the Thunder, there would likely be opportunity and room for error as they look to build up a young roster.
1.) Moses Moody – Arkansas
If the goal is to scoop up some instant offense, the Thunder need not to look any further than Moses Moody of Arkansas.
Moody is an interesting prospect in the sense that if he goes right around pick No. 10, it won’t be surprising. If he slips to right here at No. 16, nobody would bat an eye. He’s not a lock to be a lottery pick but figures to go right around that area.
With the Razorbacks, Moody lit up the nets. He is a pure shooter with a confident stroke and can work the pull-up jumper off the dribble as well.
While his release is a tad slow at times, it’s fixable at the next level and may not be an issue at all.
Again, the Thunder were 29th out of 30 teams in three-point shooting last season. They will have to address that at some point in this draft and in this offseason. Having Moody slip to No. 16 would be a perfect scenario for Oklahoma City.
Unlike a good amount of prospects who get drafted around this area, Moody has a very high floor. With his skill set and his strengths, it’s hard to imagine him ever falling into the “bust” category. His game is too smooth and his shooting is too good for him not to be a solid NBA player for many years.
Oklahoma City is trying to build a young machine that will carry the franchise for the years to come. It starts in this draft as they have three of the first 18 selections. Surrounding SGA with shooters should be a priority at No. 16, and they should have a couple of options to choose from.