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Thunder reportedly looking to move up in NBA Draft to target Jaden Ivey, Shaedon Sharpe

Sam Presti has amassed draft picks that make trading up a practical move for Oklahoma City.

Sam Presti Preseason Media Availability Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images

The Seattle SuperSonics hired Sam Presti as their general manager in 2007.

He was among the most notable names that can take responsibility for accruing James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Durant, all of which were drafted by Presti’s management. Drafting three MVPs is easier said than done, and it doesn’t even sound easy.

Retaining that level of skill and personality wasn’t quite as easy, but Presti has shown he and his team have one of the best eyes for talent in the NBA.

That makes it even more impressive that he’s looking to move up from No. 12 and draft Kentucky star Shaedon Sharpe.

Sharpe didn’t play for the Wildcats, but having committed to John Calipari’s side, he’ll forever be associated with Big Blue Nation. Sharpe and Jaden Ivey, who was a standout for Purdue, are the two names that RealGM reported Presti has an interest in.

Ivey is expected to go no later than No. 4 while Sharpe could fall all the way to No. 8, especially considering the risk associated with him. Per RealGM, the Thunder are “aggressively pursuing trade conversations.”

Sharpe is being projected as a top-10 pick because of his ceiling. The athleticism and playmaking Sharpe possess has the ability to make him a multi-time All-Star at the sport’s highest level.

“His explosiveness is all-worldly. And if he plays as long as Gerald Green in the League, I think that’s a win,” Justin Young, a writer for hoopseen.com said on Sharpe.

That can be seen as both a positive and negative as most top-10 picks should have a better career than Green, although he did play for over a decade which is likely what Young meant in his analysis.

Sharpe is being mocked as high as No. 3 yet could also slip outside the top-10 picks if people don’t find the upside worth the risk. On Thursday, we’ll see if these top-five rumors have much credence to them.