Photo Credits: Marc Lebryk/USA TODAY Sports
Oklahoma City made two major statements ealier in the draft selecting guard Josh Giddey at pick No. 6, and moving out of pick No. 16 in search of future assets. The Thunder put a halt to their firework display of transactions, standing pat at pick 18. With it, the Thunder took their second crack in the guard pool, selecting Florida guard Tre Mann.
Mann, age 20, hardly scathed the Florida Gators roster in his Freshman season, averaging a mere 5.3 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 0.7 assists in 17.8 minutes a contest. Mann made a monumental shift in his sophomore campaign, rallying the Gators to the NCAA Tournament while leading the team with 16.0 points while contributing 5.6 rebounds, and 3.5 assists to the cause.
The 6-foot-5 guard mirrors much of the same tendencies as the Thunder’s centerpiece in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Mann shot an efficient 40.2% from distance last season on near five tries a game. In Mann’s three-point expedition, his hallmarked stepback jumper created a trusty cushion between himself and his man — the majority of the time leading to points. Even in working in the catch-and-shoot, Mann remained dominant working in the shadows.
Mann also has the art of the pick-and-roll down to a tee. Though he is not a refined passer in a traditional halfcourt setting, once Mann is penetrating off a screen, he’s an established decision-maker kicking outside, dumping the ball off, or going up for layups and floaters.
Mann is an ideal project piece at 20-years-old, and though he may not draw the same recognition as other guards in the draft class. His wide palette of shot-creation and playmaking puts him right in line with guards Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Theo Maledon, Ty Jerome, and recently acquired Josh Giddey.