Photo Credits: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Ten days separate the mindset of Thunder GM Sam Presti, and the utterances of Adam Silver as he helps induct the newest members of the NBA.
With that being said, we’re turning back the clock ten years to see how Presti and company performed in 2011.
Setting the table for the 2011 Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers hit big in the lottery selecting the nation’s top prospect in Kyrie Irving.
Outside of Irving, this class also stored mid-round talent in Kemba Walker (9), Klay Thompson (11), Kawhi Leonard (15), and Nikola Vucevic (16) among others.
However, Oklahoma City lacked any sort of luxury with their draft selection earning the 24th selection after a surprising 55-27 campaign that saw them fall in the Conference Finals to the eventual champion Dallas Mavericks.
Sam Presti made use of their singular pick in the draft to select Boston College guard Reggie Jackson.
Jackson entered the Thunder organization as a seemingly unknown prospect. He had flashed signs of athleticism with the Eagles — but it wasn’t too farfetched to think he was fairly callow as a player.
Jackson looked far from a draft steal in his first two seasons averaging 3.1 points and 5.3 points in his rookie and sophomore campaigns respectively. This all changed however in year number three as Jackson saw a boom in playing time, and production.
Jackson’s third season with the Thunder saw his numbers bump to 13.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.1 assists in 80 appearances with the team.
Playing behind Russell Westbrook throughout this stint, Jackson wanted more.
At his peak with the team, Jackson flashed moments of Harden-Esque performances off the bench. Jackson’s kodak moment came in round one, game four of the 2014 Western Conference Semifinals when he went on to carry the Thunder with 32 points in a pivotal swing game.
Jackson’s time of being an upper-echelon sixth man came to a close following his postseason heroics as the guard openly discussed his frustration with the rotation and organization in keeping him as a member of the bench. By the time Jackson reached his fourth season, he was over it.
In his fourth year with the Thunder tempers publicly flared between guards Jackson and Westbrook as both players argued over their placement on the roster, and the chatter simply became too much.
After a 50-game run with the Thunder, Jackson caught the axe being moved in a three-team trade that saw Oklahoma City bring in D.J. Augustine, Kyle Singler, and Enes Kanter.
Clearing the noise surrounding Jackson’s relationship with the franchise, he was a major steal at pick no. 24. Plus, for the 255 games he suited up with the Thunder, his energy and shot-making ability made him a must-watch.
Also fun tidbit for Tulsa 66ers fans, Dwight Buycks was snagged by the Thunder as a UDFA in this draft. Buycks lit up the G-League ranks earning G-League All Rookie First Team honors helping to build momentum for an NBA gig signing a two-year contract with the Toronto Raptors in 2014.
Buycks went on to rejoin the now Oklahoma City Blue for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons before earning a two-way deal with the Detriot Pistons in 2018.
He last played for Nanterre 92 of the LNB Pro A.
Not too shabby of a job from Presti.