The Thunder could have as many as three picks in Round 1 of the draft on June 27. Here’s a look at where those picks would land if the season ended today.
The Thunder could potentially have as many as three first-round picks in the 2024 draft.
That’s both good and bad news for OKC. While it might be difficult to squeeze multiple newcomers onto next season’s roster, these picks could also be involved in a trade. OKC could tap into these picks to boost today’s team, or potentially punt these picks further down the road.
On the other hand, there has not been a great deal of excitement about the 2024 draft class. That doesn’t mean the picks are useless. Some team — perhaps even OKC — could identify a player they like and pounce on the low-cost opportunity. There’s talent in every draft class, but some classes may require some more digging. 2024 could be one of those years.
Here’s a look at where OKC’s potential 2024 picks stand if the season ended today (draft order is sorted by winning percentage since teams have played an uneven number of games to this point):
11th overall (from Utah via a trade in 2021 involving Derrick Favors)
It would be wild if one of the NBA’s best young teams added a lottery pick. But don’t count this chicken before it hatches, Thunder fans. Utah keeps this selection if it lands in the top 10. If the Jazz are still on the border towards the end of the season, they may choose to do what Dallas did last season and pack up before the season ends.
This pick is top-10 protected in 2025 as well, before turning into a top-8 protected pick in 2026. An argument can be made that Utah may prefer to just convey this pick and get it over with. It’s more likely that the Jazz delay this and hope to pay up with a worse pick in the future.
15th overall (from Houston via a trade in 2019 involving Russell Westbrook)
If the season ended today, the Rockets would be in the play-in. That leaves open the possibility that they fall into the lottery — as the Clippers did in 2022 — and send over an even better pick. But for now, this pick is trending as a selection in the mid-first round.
The pick is top-4 protected, so it would take a series of unfortunate events for the Rockets to keep it this season. If the Rockets somehow landed a top-4 pick, they would send a pair of second-round picks to OKC instead.
24th overall (from LA Clippers via the Paul George/Shai Gilgeous-Alexander trade)
Credit the Clippers for righting the ship — pun intended — after a rocky start. Wherever this pick lands, it goes to OKC regardless. There are no funky protections here.
OKC’s own selection
There’s a reason the Thunder’s own pick isn’t listed above. OKC made a trade with Denver prior to the 2023 draft that sent a couple of picks to the Nuggets in exchange for a lightly-protected first-round pick in 2029. In the terms of that deal, the Thunder agreed to send its least favorable selection in 2024 to Denver.
Lo and behold, that pick could end up being OKC’s own, currently the 27th overall. Either way, at this point it’s all but certain that Denver will end up with either the Thunder’s pick or the Clippers’ selection, and it’ll likely be near the bottom of this draft.