Thunder take Virginia’s Devin Hall with 53rd pick
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The Thunder hope they have run into some more good luck in the second round.
The Thunder got contributions last season from 2015 second-round pick Dakari Johnson and 2013 second-round pick Alex Abrines, and they hope Hall and Hervey can develop and eventually produce. Thunder general manager Sam Presti liked the fact that both were four-year college players.
”Hall and Hervey are guys that, any time you’re picking in the 50s, the main objective is to try to shift the odds and try to pick a player who can play in the NBA,” Presti said.
The 6-foot-5 Hall averaged 11.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game last season for the Cavaliers, who entered the NCAA Tournament as the nation’s No. 1-ranked team. The stout defensive player shot 43.2 percent from 3-point range last season. He was an All-ACC second team selection.
The Thunder said they watched Hall at the Portsmouth Invitational and had him work out in Oklahoma City.
”When you get guys who have been through it with top teams in the country, playing high-level ACC basketball, you’re happy to add those guys into the program.” Thunder vice president Will Dawkins said.
Hervey, a 6-foot-9 forward with a 7-3 wingspan, averaged 20.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game last season and was a first-team All-Sun Belt selection. As a senior, he scored 24 points against Alabama and 24 points against Creighton. He fell two points short of the school’s single-season scoring record.
As a junior, Hervey was the Sun Belt Player of the Year. He finished as the program’s all-time rebounding leader and second in total points scored, field goals and field goal attempts. He set a program record for most career double-doubles.
”With Hervey, he’s somebody that was asked to carry a lot of load,” Dawkins said. ”Offensively, he’s somebody who has some upside.”
Hervey missed 19 games as a sophomore due to a knee injury. Presti believes he’s better than his draft position would indicate.
They will join a team that has an uncertain future. The Thunder had high hopes last season after adding Paul George and Carmelo Anthony in trades to join Russell Westbrook, but the Thunder stumbled early, went 48-34 and lost in the first round of the playoffs. George has a player option on his deal and could leave this summer.
ESPN reported that the Thunder traded for the No. 45 pick, Kentucky redshirt freshman Hamidou Diallo. Brooklyn made the pick for Charlotte. Presti said only there was ”potentially some stuff that happened tonight.”
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