There were only four picks left in the 2018 NBA Draft when the Oklahoma City picked UT-Arlington’s Kevin Hervey. The Thunder front office personnel think they got a steal though, and he may be right.
“He’s a person that has been able to stretch the floor on offense, make some plays and cover a couple different positions,” VP of Identification & Intelligence Will Dawkins said of Hervey. “He’s someone that was asked to carry a lot of load for his team at UTA 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.”
Hervey became the first Mavericks player drafted in 36 years when the Thunder selected him in last week’s draft. He’s UTA’s all-time leader in rebounds and second in points and field goals. His 36 double-doubles are a program record. He led UTA in scoring the last three seasons, including 20.5 points a game in 33 games in 2018.
Making the most of a difficult draft situation, Oklahoma City went with defense and offense with their two late second round picks. Hervey is clearly the offensive selection over Devon Hall’s defensive intensity.
“We’re really excited about the guys that we were able to add this evening,” OKC GM Sam Presti said on the evening of the draft. “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.”
A four-year player in college, Hervey left UTA just two points shy of the program record for scoring, at 676 career points. At 6-7/212 he’s a big body who can score inside and outside but will still need to refine some skills, in order to improve defensively, but even if he spends a season or two in the G League the Thunder will have a great scoring option when he makes the roster.