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Oklahoma City Thunder Select Mitch McGary at No. 21

With the 21st pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder selected Mitch McGary, a 6’10 big man from Michigan.

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With the 21st pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder selected big-man Mitch McGary of Michigan. McGary’s season ended early last year – only appearing in eight games – after a nagging back injury resulted in surgery. The 6’10, 263-lb center is healthy now and should slide in well with the Thunder’s growing collection of bigs.

The left-handed McGary is a pesky and energetic player with a motor that just doesn’t seem to quit. His toughness and size are needed commodities on the frontline with center Kendrick Perkins now in his final contract year. McGary has a Nick Collison-style of play and attitude, i e. he’ll gladly do the dirty work off the bench. Both Collison and Perkins will surely enjoy sharing their bag of tricks with the rookie. McGary can pass the ball particularly well and has surprisingly nimble feet to go along with his ability to play the pick-and-roll.

McGary averaged 9.5 points and 8.3 rebounds in last year’s eight games in 24.6 minutes of play. One glaring weakness lies in his shooting efficiencies. He will need to diligently concentrate on that area of his game. It must be pointed out that McGary was suspended for one year by the NCAA after failing a drug test in April which may have pushed him to declare for the NBA Draft. This type of conduct does not meet the Thunder’s DNA guidelines we’ve come to expect, but surely the front office did their homework before deciding to draft him.

The Thunder may have been able to nab him with their 29th pick, but they elected to pull the trigger early. This pick was received from the Houston Rockets in the James Harden trade.

Susan Bible covers the Oklahoma City Thunder for Basketball Insiders and writes about all NBA teams. She is a Senior Newslines Editor and contributes to fantasy basketball coverage.

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