Thunder Add Two Players to First Round of 2024 Draft

Before the 2024 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder made the first big move of the offseason. They sent Josh Giddey to the Chicago Bulls for Alex Caruso. This trade made a top-five defense even better. Before the draft, the Thunder only had one pick at No. 12. Everyone expected the Thunder to add a big player in the draft as most see that as their biggest need.

However, that wasn’t the case as they added Serbian guard Nikola Topic at the age of 12. Topic was expected to be a top five or top 10 pick. A late knee injury in April left him on draft night as he is expected to miss most if not all of next season. The Thunder didn’t end the night by just adding Nikola Topic. They traded back into the first round and acquired no. 26 from the New York Knicks in exchange for five future second-round picks. With that pick, the Thunder selected forward Dillon Jones from Weber State.

Thunder Add two players in the first round of the 2024 Draft

Nikola subject matching thunder

Nikola Topic could be one of the biggest steals of this draft class as he was expected to go much higher before the knee injury. The Thunder drafting him at No. 12 is of great value, even if he most likely won’t play at all next season. Either way, Topic is expected to be a replacement for Josh Giddey. He is a bigger point guard with a height of 6-foot-1 and great playmaking skills.

In addition to his playmaking skills, he is a great finisher around the rim and shot 88% from the free throw line. Topic still has areas to improve, especially his defense and outside shooting. But with his touch around the rim and his free throw percentage, he could very well make a splash from the perimeter. Defensively, he doesn’t have to be a great one-on-one defender on this team. He just has to be a good team defender.

Nikola Topic gives the Thunder another playmaker with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. He gives them the playmaking they lost in Giddey, with better upside in three-point shooting and defense. He will most likely be the second unit leader for the Thunder with the potential to play alongside Shai in the starting lineup.

Dillon Jones Fit with the thunder

Unlike Nikola Topic, Dillon Jones is more of a project player. However, he still adds value to the Thunder as another 6’6″ playmaker. Jones fits the Thunder’s needs up front. His 6’11” wingspan gives the Thunder the versatility to play him at positions 1-4.

To go along with the playmaking, he adds more physicality to the team with a 237-pound frame. It will be very difficult for opponents to stop if he drives to the rim. Jones will be able to guard multiple positions for the Thunder. He will also help in the Thunder’s rebounding department as they were in the bottom five last year. Even though he stands 6-foot-4, he averaged almost 10 rebounds per game.

There is still room for growth for Jones, as does Nikola Topic. He needs to become a more consistent outside shooter and learn to play more off-the-ball. He was asked to do a lot of work at Weber State and will play more off-ball with the Thunder.

The last word

With night one in the books, the Thunder are gearing up for night two, which starts today at 4:00 PM ET. Even though the Thunder don’t have a second-round pick, they do have the assets if they want to trade back into the second round to select someone. Still, the Thunder haven’t addressed their biggest need by adding size. However, with around 30 million in cap space, expect them to be able to fill that need through free agency. Finally, with the Thunder adding Caruso, Nikola Topic and Dillon Jones in the offseason so far, they’ve had a great start to the offseason.