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DRAFT PICKS: Round 1: #3, #25 Round 2: None

Draft History
2008 2007 2006 2005
24. Serge Ibaka 2. Kevin Durant 10. Mouhamed Sene 25. Johan Petro
4. Russell Westbrook      
* Draft rights traded      

2008–2009 Record

  • 23-59


  • 102.9 (29th)


  • 109.4 (20th)

Free Agents:

Areas of Strength:

Youth and enthusiasm: The franchise owns plenty of both, especially within the precocious core of Durant, Russell and Green. This team gets along and plays hard.

Needs Work:

Overall depth: Even with the starting lineup finally getting settled, every position can stand a quality backup. Frontline beef is in short supply and the shooting guard spot is in flux.

Two Stats That Matter:

  • 14 -- Losses by five or fewer points during the season.
  • 20-30 -- Team’s record after the brutal 3-29 start.

The Way To Go:

There’s money to spend (at least $13 million in cap space) and draft picks to work with (seven first rounders over the next three years) to speed along the building process. GM Sam Presti worked quickly to eliminate any coaching confusion by naming interim Scott Brooks the full-time coach. Brooks has his summer plan in place, which should include an infusion of new blood. Look for Presti to be creative during the Draft and free agency. Though another impact rookie is always welcome, Presti can package picks and/or existing contracts (Earl Watson at $6.6 million) for a solid veteran(s) to plug into the rotation. A Tyson Chandler-type would be ideal up front. Paul Millsap would be nice, too. Don’t expect Presti to break the bank this summer or in 2010, but the Thunder will spend for the right guy. OKC has a great chance to do what Portland has done and become competitive in the next few years. An enthusiastic fan base and eager-to-please front office doesn’t hurt the recruiting process.

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