With the NBA Draft less than a month away, the Oklahoma City Thunder is getting closer and closer to an opportunity to make a selection in the first round for just the second time in the last four drafts. The Thunder had the 21st selection in the 2017 draft as well when they went with Terrance Ferguson, who has bloomed tremendously in two seasons in OKC. Despite not having a lottery pick, the Thunder could still be looking for a young player to come in and contribute immediately.
As the draft draws nearer, more and more mock drafts are coming out across sports media outlets, and there is a variety of prospects that could end up in a Thunder uniform. Over the next few weeks, I will be breaking down potential draft choices for Oklahoma City, so let’s start off with a popular prospect—both by experts and fans—Tyler Herro, a 6’6″ guard out of the University of Kentucky.
Herro played just one season at Kentucky where he averaged 14.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 37 games for the Wildcats. The Thunder should be particularly interested in Herro because of his 3-point shooting abilities. In his 37 games, he made 35.5% of his 3-point attempts while averaging 4.6 attempts a game. OKC had just three players shoot at least that high of a percentage, and Paul George was the only one of the three to average at least 4 attempts per game.
On top of his deep-threat shooting abilities, Herro is capable of driving and finishing at the rim. He is not an above-the-rim type of player, but he’s not afraid to finish with contact. He is also solid from the charity stripe, knocking down 93% of his free throws. This is especially appealing considering that OKC has been one of the league’s worst free-throw shooting teams over the last few years.
Defensively, Herro started off his freshman season struggling to hold any opponent accountable, but by the end of the NCAA tournament, he had proven himself as a much-improved defender.
Throw into the mix that Herro is a solid passer, and he looks like the type of guy that could immediately find himself in the Thunder’s rotation. If he is still on the board by the time OKC’s 21st pick rolls around, then there’s a solid chance he will be taken.
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