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    2 best players with No. 12 pick in 2023 NBA Draft – Fitnessnacks & Sports



    The Oklahoma City Thunder acquired face of the franchise Shai Gilgeous-Alexander via trade. But the rest of their roster around him has been built through the NBA draft.

    Josh Giddey and Jalen Williams, OKC’s two latest lottery picks, have both flashed All-Star potential in their early campaigns. 2022 second overall pick Chet Holmgren still has boatloads of potential as he’ll make his NBA debut next season.

    It’s clear that Sam Presti and the OKC Thunder are building through the draft using their war chest of first-round picks. With their path toward playoff contention likely beginning next season, this may be the last time that their own pick lands in the lottery for the foreseeable future. That adds a little more weight to getting this year’s selection right.

    Here are the two (2) best players the Thunder must target with the 12th pick in the 2023 NBA Draft:

    1. Jarace Walker – Houston Cougars

    During OKC’s final loss of the season against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the play-in tournament, one thing was made clear – the Thunder are seriously lacking in size. The T-Wolves continuously pounded them in the shaded lane, winning the points in the paint battle 58-30. That’s a whopping +28 advantage.

    Adding Chet Holmgren will surely help given his potential to become a Rudy Gobert-like shot-blocker. But his slight frame likely demands that he be paired with a bundle of brute strength in the frontcourt. Enter Jarace Walker.

    2+ minutes of Jarace walker giving hell as a defender, great agility and awareness on that end, he’s been a terrific help-side shot blocker and disrupter.

    There isn’t a whole lot of guys that have the defensive and offensive versatile as Jarace and that’s what makes him special pic.twitter.com/GTsy7rPOYk

    — Pistons Draft Talk (@PDTScouting) May 22, 2023

    Walker stands at a sturdy 6’8″ in shoes while offering an insanely wide wingspan of 7’2.5″ – the longest for a non-center at the recent NBA Draft combine – that he uses to his full advantage as a strong weakside shot-blocker.

    He’s also surprisingly agile for a man who weighs in at 250 pounds. He can move his feet to keep up with taller wings if he gets switched on in the perimeter and can more than hold his own against big men who dare take him on in the paint.

    But Jarace Walker is more than just a big body with quick feet. Aside from being one of the best defensive prospects in the draft, he also has shown flashes as an offensive playmaker. He didn’t get to handle the ball as much in a guard-heavy Houston Cougars offense, but he was constantly able to make advanced reads and find guys in the corner as the defense collapses on his drives.

    He fills a huge hole, literally and figuratively, for the Thunder and has enough skills to seamlessly integrate to what OKC is trying to build on both ends of the floor. Walker is projected slightly higher than 12th, so if Presti gets antsy hoping for him to fall he could very well attach a future first and move up to be able to take him.

    2. Cason Wallace – Kentucky Wildcats

    The Oklahoma City Thunder have an endless amount of young, stretchy wings who can do a little bit of everything. That description basically applies to almost all their rotation players. Beyond adding some size in the frontcourt which the Thunder can address via free agency as well, there’s also a need to bolster the backup point guard spot.

    Tre Mann has had his moments, but he’s hardly been a dependable sub when Shai Gilgeous-Alexander steps off the court. He’s a score-first guard who hasn’t been able to average two assists in his 20 minutes per game through two seasons. He can’t really co-exist well with SGA and can’t defend well given his lack of athleticism and length.

    With all due respect to Mann who is still developing in his own right, Cason Wallace out of Kentucky has the potential be the perfect guard for OKC to select in the NBA draft. He has the potential to be a game-altering defender at the guard spot.

    Wallace stands at 6’3″ but has a nearly 6’9″ wingspan that he uses to his full advantage on defense. He hounds guards with his length which is amplified by his acute instincts that led to his 2.0 steals per game in Lexington. He may not be John Wall going for chase-down blocks, but the man can certainly swat shots away the same way SGA was able to last season.

    Just falling in love with Cason Wallace’s ability to block shots.

    Idk, I watch him and just feel like I’d love to root for him on my team. pic.twitter.com/OgPSu90fJp

    — Darren Barker (@djbdarren) June 21, 2023

    While he’s not exactly the most adept playmaker and shot creator, that may work out perfectly for the Thunder given how they stagger Josh Giddey with the bench lineup. He projects to be a better three-point shooter than his 34.6 percent clip from deep suggests. He has a quick release and solid shooting mechanics as a spot-up option. He’d be a perfect complement to whoever starters are left on the floor with him at all times.

    He was a bit turnover prone with Kentucky but will probably see those miscues reduce as a secondary ball-handler in OKC’s offense. If Cason Wallace is there at 12, Sam Presti better pounce on him.





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    Courtesy : https://clutchpoints.com/2-best-players-thunder-must-target-with-no-12-pick-in-2023-nba-draft

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