The 2010 SB Nation NBA Mock Draft is still(!) underway, with each SB Nation blogger making selections for their respective teams. Welcome To Loud City, SB Nation's Oklahoma City Thunder blog, checks in to make the twenty-sixth overall selection in this year's mock.
With the twenty-sixth overall pick in the 2010 SB Nation NBA Mock Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder will select Gani Lawal, forward-center, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
WTLC explains: Gani Lawal is probably the best big man prospect remaining, and that's exactly what the Thunder need at this point.
Sure, we could have drafted another guard, but right now we have Sefolosha, Harden, Westbrook, and Maynor, all of whom are long term solutions at their respective positions. Anyone who could push them out of their spot in the rotation wouldn't come late in the first round. That being said, our future at the Center position is extremely uncertain, as neither Collison or Krstic are seen as long term solutions. We have B.J. Mullens and D.J. White, but both of them have yet to show anything on an NBA level, even if both have good D-League numbers. Serge Ibaka is definitely a long term solution there, but he is alone in that respect.
Now, of course, that's a good case as to why you'd draft Kevin Seraphin at 21, as the Thunder already did in this mock draft. But why go with Lawal when the Thunder would now have 7 players at Center and Power Forward?
Well, for one thing, Lawal is insurance for Seraphin. There's a good possibility Seraphin will stay overseas for one or two more years, and the Thunder will want someone to work on now, just in case. Another reason to draft Lawal at this point is because he's more of a PF/SF, meaning that he could slide down to the Small Forward slot and back up Kevin Durant. Even if it is just a few minutes of mop-up duty.
Personality-wise, he fits in perfectly. As noted in our preview of him, he is a highly disciplined player who gave opposing college teams fits. He is also used to playing in a more up-tempo offense, as the Thunder like to do sometimes. And who could argue about his work ethic? His stats improved every single year, and not because of more minutes or touches.
All in all, Gani Lawal is the safe pick. He's not going to be a breakout star, but he stands a darn good chance of becoming a productive NBA player. And if he isn't, it won't be because of something like attitude or lack of hard work. That's exactly what the Thunder want.
Ridiculous Upside reacts: This was the 26th pick in the mock draft. Unless something crazy happens, my reaction probably isn't going to astound you.
Ridiculous Upside's Top 5 remaining prospects: 1 - Daniel Orton, C, Kentucky. 2 - Stanley Robinson, F, Connecticut. 3 - Dominique Jones, G, South Florida. 4 - Elliot Williams, G, Memphis. 5 - Darington Hobson, F, New Mexico.
Sound off, SB Nation! What say you of the Lawal-to-OKC pick?
And please, remember to check out Welcome To Loud City for everything you need to know about the Thunder.