Thunder pick up Nikola Topic, Dillon Jones, & Ajay Mitchell in NBA draft

The Associated Press - June 29, 2024 1:03 pm

(AP) — After a multitude of minor trades throughout the Northwest Division on Thursday, only two teams netted players in the second round of the NBA draft. Oklahoma City reportedly wound up with guard Ajay Mitchell at No. 38 overall, continuing their playmaking theme from the first round with guard Nikola Topic and forward Dillon Jones.

Other details from the two-day draft:

Needs: The Thunder had their rebounding deficiencies exposed by Dallas in the Western Conference semifinals and recently traded their best rebounding guard, Josh Giddey, to Chicago. They also have a centerpiece in Chet Holmgren who is slender and plays more like a wing despite his 7-foot-1 frame.

Drafted: Nikola Topic, Serbia guard, No. 12 pick in the first round. Dillon Jones, Weber State forward, No. 26 pick in the first round after a trade with New York. Ajay Mitchell, UC Santa Barbara guard, No. 38 pick in the second round, after proposed trades with Golden State, Portland, and New York.

Comparison: Topic could be the next Giddey. With good size at 6-foot-6 and strong court vision, Topic does most of his damage with dribble penetration. He’ll need to improve his 3-point shot, but his first priority is rehabilitation. The 18-year-old suffered a left ACL injury last month, and it’s unclear when he’ll be ready to play. Jones profiles like Utah’s Talen Horton-Tucker. Mitchell’s best-case scenario might be New York’s Jalen Brunson.


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