The Oklahoma City Thunder head into the 2022 NBA Draft with three total picks, and the No. 2 pick overall. After struggling for the last couple seasons, finishing 14th in the Western Conference for the past two consecutive years, they can use the stockpile of picks in the 2022 NBA Draft to really get their rebuild underway. Three first-round picks will certainly help their situation.
The Thunder need some more offensive-minded players especially in the front court, as their talent is a little thin on the inside. They’ll need to fill the stretch five spot as they currently don’t have a solid big man who can consistently play on the outside. They could also use another forward who can do it all, from solid defending to knocking down triples on a consistent basis. Let’s take a look at how the Thunder’s draft is shaping up, and what effect it will have in terms of fantasy.
Thunder 2022 NBA Draft selections
No. 2: Chet Holmgren, F, Gonzaga
No. 11 (via NYK): Ousmane Dieng, SF, NZ Breakers
No. 12 (via LAC): Jalen Williams, SG, Santa Clara
No. 34: Jaylin Williams, C, Arkansas
The Thunder have some time before they’re ready to contend, so they can develop Holmgren into a two-way force while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey continue to grow as one of the league’s most exciting young backcourts. We’ll see how much weight Holmgren can add and what position he’ll end up playing soon enough, but this could be the missing piece for Oklahoma City to start a new window of contention quicker than expected.
Dieng has plenty of potential, but the production leaves a lot to be desired. Luckily for him, the Thunder are a long ways away from contending. We’ll see if he can make an impact like Josh Giddey, but it’ll likely take some time before he sees consistent minutes.
Williams fits into the Thunder’s plan for rangy and athletic players. Williams has the potential to slot in and be a productive scorer off the bench. Last season, he averaged 18.8 points per game on 51 percent shooting and nearly 40 percent from three for Santa Clara. He could be a candidate to start in the G-League.
Fantasy basketball outlook
It’s hard to back Holmgren as a fantasy option in 2022-23 for several reasons. He’s not quite as complete of a product as Jabari Smith and Paolo Banchero are, and he doesn’t have a natural position. Oklahoma City is a struggling team at the moment in no hurry to win, which will impact Holmgren’s playing time and statistics. He has some upside, but might start out the fantasy season on the waiver wire.