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Ranking The Thunder's Top 25 Draft Prospects: 7-5

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It's day No. 7 of the Thunder's NBA Draft countdown. To read about how the countdown works and about prospects 25-23, it's highly suggested that you click the link below.

RELATED STORY: Ranking The Thunder's Top 25 NBA Draft Prospects: 25-23

To read about prospects 22-8, click the following links.

Ranking The Thunder's NBA Draft Prospects: 22-20

Ranking The Thunder's NBA Draft Prospects: 19-17

Ranking The Thunder's NBA Draft Prospects: 16-14

Ranking The Thunder's NBA Draft Prospects: 13-11

Ranking The Thunder's NBA Draft Prospects: 10-8

7. T.J. Warren – SF – NC State

Grade if picked 21st: A-

Grade if picked 29th A+

Strengths

Warren is exactly the type of guy the Thunder likes. He's a team-first, experienced winner who  has a killer instinct with the ball. Despite playing with subpar teammates last season at NC State, Warren singlehandedly carried the Wolfpack into the NCAA Tournament behind 25 points and seven rebounds per game. Warren stands at 6-foot-8 with a 6'10 wingspan and possesses solid strength for his position. He can score from anywhere on the floor.

Weaknesses

The only hole in Warren's offensive game is his 3-point shooting. He shot just 29 percent from the college 3 last season, but his mechanics are good and the percentage is likely to rise. Defensively, Warren's lateral defensive footspeed must improve in order for him to check quicker players on the perimeter.

NBA player comparison

Paul Pierce, Shawn Marion, Otto Porter, Perry Jones

How he fits the Thunder

Warren is an NBA-ready small forward who has a nose for scoring. The Thunder needs guys who can provide solid contributions off the bench and Warren fills that need. He'd be an instant-impact guy.

6. Zach LaVine – SG – UCLA

At 21: A

At 29: A+

Strengths

LaVine is possibly the most athletic player in the entire draft. He runs and jumps as if he were shot out of a cannon, similarly to Russell Westbrook. In addition, LaVine is a terrific shooter who uses his length and quickness to shake off defenders. He's got one of the highest ceilings in this draft.

Weaknesses

Despite his endless upside, LaVine has more than a few factors holding him back. To begin, he's weak. He'll have to gain weight in order to crack an NBA rotation. In addition, his basketball IQ isn't the highest. This leads to sloppy possessions, poor situational awareness, subpar shot selection and a lack of passing. In addition to all that, LaVine still struggles to finish with his left hand.

NBA player comparison

DeMar Derozan, Russell Westbrook (at the 2)

How he fits the Thunder

LaVine isn't as NBA-ready as a guy like Warren, but he does fit the Thunder's No. 1 position of need moving forward. He also has the tools to be a star, but it probably won't happen for 2-3 years. Can the Thunder afford to wait that long?

5. Rodney Hood – SF – Duke

At 21: A

At 29: A+

Strengths

Hood is a long and lanky small forward with a smooth release and a deadly stroke. He may not be Kevin Durant 2.0, but perhaps he's the next best thing. At 6-foot-8, Hood can release his jumper over the top of defenders, and does so quite well – he shot 49 percent from the floor and 42 percent from 3 last season at Duke. Hood can handle the ball well for his size and balances his attack with some scoring in the paint. And as you would expect from a Duke guy, Hood brings a high basketball IQ to the table.

Weaknesses

For someone his size, Hood isn't a very good rebounder or defender. Part of that is his lack of weight – something he'll be wise to improve on. In addition, Hood needs to improve his passing and court vision.

NBA player comparison

Chandler Parsons, Harrison Barnes, Mike Dunleavy

How he fits the Thunder

Like Warren, Hood doesn't fit one of the Thunder's ideal positions of need, but he's too good to pass up. He'd be an instant-impact player who would help the Thunder space the floor offensively. Hood is a threat from anywhere and would provide OKC with excellent bench depth.

Stay tuned on Wednesday for the final day of the countdown, where prospects 4-1 will be revealed. 

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