Could Thunder Make Major NBA Draft Trade With Jaden Ivey Suitor?

Jaden Ivey, NBA Draft Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

With just about a month until the 2022 NBA Draft, things are going to start heating up in regards to which prospects teams are going to be targeting with their selections. Now that we know the order of the draft, we can start pinpointing which prospects may be landing where.

With the pre-draft process underway, combines and private workouts are taking place. Things will certainly change between now and June 23rd, as players will rise and fall on draft boards. As of now, there seems to be a consensus on the top-3 forming.

Jabari Smith Jr. of Auburn is the player mocked most to go No. 1 to the Orlando Magic. After that, it is some combination of Chet Holmgren of Gonzaga and Paolo Banchero of Duke. However, draft analysts’ boards may not match up with what teams are thinking.

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Over at Basketball News, Matt Babcock believes that there is a chance Sam Presti and the Oklahoma City Thunder have Jaden Ivey atop their board.

Babcock went as far as to say that more teams have Ivey at No. 1 or 2 than 4 or 5 where many draft analysts have pegged the Purdue product to get selected.

“My big question is: Does Sam Presti take Jaden Ivey? …I believe that he’s No. 1 or No. 2 on more teams’ boards rather than being No. 4 or No. 5 as he is on most of the media’s mock drafts,” Babcock wrote.

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Ivey had an excellent 2021-22 season and is certainly worthy of being a top pick in this year’s draft class. While many have him in the tier below Smith, Holmgren and Banchero, Ivey has the kind of game that teams love from backcourt players as an explosive athlete that can fill up the basket.

Ivey averaged 17.3 points last season to go with 4.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists. He helped lead Purdue to 29 wins last season and was named an All-American. Even in the worst-case scenario, Ivey should hear his name among the first four or five picks in the draft.

Should the Thunder pass on him and the top-three goes as many are expecting it to, the Sacramento Kings could be open for business with the fourth pick. Teams could be willing to offer an established player in exchange for the chance to select Ivey should he make it that far.

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If the Oklahoma City Thunder take Ivey at No. 2, then someone will likely make an aggressive offer for whichever of Smith, Holmgren and Banchero makes a little slide down the board.

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