There's no better way for small market teams to rebuild than through the Draft. They have a shot at landing top-tier talents at a discount, develop them, and turn into a competitive team. Otherwise, they'd have a huge disadvantage as a free agency destination.
That's why General Managers are so obsessed with stacking up as many first-round picks as they can. They know that worst-case-scenario, they can pile up some of them and trade them away for a star in the case they don't like what they see in the Draft.
And that's also why Oklahoma City Thunder GM Sam Presti has drawn that much praises lately, as the's stacked up first-round picks at a historical rate. As Tommy Beer of Forbes pointed out, the Oklahoma City Thunder are currently in possession of not 5, not 6, not 10, but 16 first-round picks from now to 2026:
- 2020 DEN (#25) 2020 LAL (#28) 2021 Own (HOU 5-30 swap right) 2021 MIA (HOU 5-30 swap right) 2022 Own (1-14) 2022 LAC 2022 PHX 2023 Own (LAC swap right) 2023 MIA (15-30) 2024 Own 2024 LAC 2024 HOU (5-30) 2025 Own (LAC and HOU 11-30 swap right) 2026 Own 2026 LAC 2026 HOU (5-30)
More than that, the OKC Thunder have found a building block in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, while young players like Lu Dortz and Darius Bazely could also turn out to be pretty good for them in the future.
The Thunder have made a huge splash in the Draft, landing Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, James Harden, and Steven Adams; so they definitely know how to make the most of their draft assets.
Moreover, they're also reportedly interested in shopping Danny Green once his trade becomes official, which means they could add even more first-rounders to their collection. Lookout, as the Thunder have a bright future ahead of them.