In 2018 NBA Draft’s 2nd Round, Thunder Picks Up Hall and Hervey

By Nick Gallo | Thunder Basketball Writer | mailbag@okcthunder.com

Although the Thunder didn’t have a first round pick in this 2018 NBA Draft, General Manager and Executive Vice President Sam Presti, Vice President of Identification & Intelligence Will Dawkins and the rest of the basketball operations staff underwent their relentless due diligence in order to make the best possible decisions during the draft to help enhance the team. This season, that meant standing pat with its two second round selections, where Presti welcomed in two upperclassmen to help bolster the roster.

At the number 53 spot in the 2nd round, the Thunder selected Devon Hall, a 6-foot-5, 211-pound guard out of the University of Virginia. The Virginia Beach, Va. native played all four seasons for the Cavaliers and averaged 11.7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game while shooting 43.2 percent from the three-point line during his senior season. On a defensive-minded Virginia team that played one of the slowest tempos in college basketball and averaged just 67.1 points per game, Hall was the team’s second-leading scorer while also earning ACC All-Defensive team honors.

“We feel like we know him really, really well,” Dawkins said of Hall. “He’s a guy who improved his shooting every single year he was in college, in attempts and accuracy. He’s able to play on the ball and off the ball. We’re interested in seeing him just kind of get on the floor and fit in with our other wings.”

Four picks later, at number 57, the Thunder selected another senior, this time a 6-foot-9, 230-pound forward, Kevin Hervey, out of Texas-Arlington. After averaging 20.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in his senior season, Hervey was named to the first-team All-Sun Belt for the second straight year. Hervey is known as a solid shooter, and a potential three-and-D forward. Hervey’s lengthy 7-foot-3 wingspan, frame and rebounding ability give him a chance to be an impact energy player moving forward.

“He’s a person that has been able to stretch the floor on offense, make some plays and cover a couple different positions,” Dawkins said of Hervey. “He’s someone that was asked to carry a lot of load for his team at UT-A and he responded well, not just in conference but when you watched him against some of the bigger teams he went up against, those were some of his better games. He’s a guy on the offensive end who has the ability, it’s very valuable in the league now, to dribble, handle, make decisions and also shoot the ball.”

Both players have high levels of experience in comparison to many of the underclassmen that are taken in the NBA draft. While Presti did not disclose whether either or both players would see time for the Thunder or the OKC Blue next season, both will likely be available for the Thunder’s Summer League team, which will practice in Oklahoma City before competing in Las Vegas starting on July 6.

“We’re really excited about the guys that we were able to add this evening,” Presti said. “Anytime you’re picking in the late 50’s there, really your main objective is to try to shift the odds the best that you can and give yourself a chance to find a player who has a chance to play in the NBA.”

“We went about it the same way, with the same amount of detail, trying to make sure that we were prepared for tonight,” Dawkins added. “We were able to come away with two guys tonight that we feel fit our program as people. Character guys that are going to come in and work and embody some of the things we look for on the basketball court and off the basketball court.”

On October 7, the Thunder will host the Atlanta Hawks in a preseason game at the BOK Center in Tulsa, giving fans in Oklahoma their first chance to watch Hawks guard and former Oklahoma Sooner Trae Young compete against the Thunder. The game tips off at 2 p.m.

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