OKC Thunder Draft Picks 2023 – Traded Up The Draft But The Pick Puzzled

The OKC Thunder made two picks during the 2023 NBA Draft. For the first they traded up to the 10th pick but their choice puzzled many as Cason Wallace is a player that doesn’t seem to fit in the current roster and also the Thunder could have easily got him with their own 12th pick without trading. Their other pick of the night was only the 50th, the Thunder traded their 37th pick to the Nuggets, so with this second selection, not much extra quality was added.

We look at the OKC Thunder 2023 draft picks below, including a grade for the night.

NBA Draft 2023
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA – Photo by Icon sport

No. 10 Cason Wallace

  • Position: Shooting guard
  • Age: 20
  • Height: 6-4 (1.93 m)
  • Weight: 195 (88 kg)
  • College/Club: Kentucky

Cason Wallace proved himself at Kentucky as a very good disruptive point guard that can also hit open threes and produce a bunch of assists any given night. Wallace is a disruptive defender and he can guard very well off-the-ball too.

He has quick hands, intelligence and good jump-shooting motion. Wallace simply will have way too much competition if he stays with the Thunder but we think this move by OKC might be targeting a longer plan with Wallace traded sooner rather than later. Cason can develop into a very solid 3-and-D player in this league, with plenty of teams looking exactly for such type of skills right now.

No. 50 Keyontae Johnson (Houston)

  • Position: Shooting guard/Small forward
  • Age: 22
  • Height: 6-4 (1.93 m)
  • Weight: 239 (112 kg)
  • College: Kansas State

The Thunder’s second pick of the draft was the 37th but they sold that to the champions Denver Nuggets. This left Peshi with the 50th pick and he took a wild swing with it by adding a pretty risky player to the roster.

Less than 2 years ago Keyontae Johnson collapsed on the court playing for Florida University. He then took an entire year off and only this season returned to playing with Kansas State. Johnson is a combo wing that can defend the perimeter very well despite his lack of length.

Still, with his health issues so serious so early in his career and knowing what demand on the body of players an NBA season puts we’re not sure this was the best pick the Thunder could have made.

Thunder Draft Grade: B-

The Thunder could have done much better in our opinion. Still, with so much flexibility their GM Sam Presti could have made these picks for a specific reason. Monitoring the team’s trade activity in the coming weeks will reveal more on that front.

In terms of grading the draft night for the Thunder we can’t give them more than B-. Not that Cason Wallace is a bad player. In fact, it’s totally the opposite. Just he’s coming to a roster that is already heavily loaded on the frontcourt.

In terms of their second pick, we wish Keyontae Johnson all the health in the world. Who knows if he finds a way to keep his health issues away he might prove to be a great addition at the 50th pick. Still, it was a risky move that only the future will show if was worthy.

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About the author


Iskra had a promising, at least she believed so, tennis and volleyball careers as a junior but a series of injuries ended her hopes to become a professional athlete very early.

Instead, she focused all her energy on her other passion, writing. For over a decade, Iskra had been a freelance sports writer. Football, basketball and tennis are the main fields of her expertise.