CLIFF BRUNT, AP Sports Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma City Thunder took Michigan forward Mitch McGary with the 21st overall pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night.
McGary, at 6-foot-10 and 255-pounds, averaged 9.5 points and 8.3 rebounds last season, but he played just eight games after electing to have back surgery. He tested positive for marijuana last season and faced a suspension, so he left after his sophomore year.
Oklahoma City might be looking toward the future at the power forward and center spots. Starting center Kendrick Perkins is entering the last year of his deal, and Steven Adams appears to be the future at the position. Reserve power forward Nick Collison also is entering the last year of his contract.
McGary joins a Thunder squad that features MVP Kevin Durant, point guard Russell Westbrook and defensive stopper Serge Ibaka and is knocking on the door of an NBA title. Oklahoma City is coming off a 59-23 campaign that ended with a loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals.
The Thunder have selected wisely over the years. They drafted much of the team that reached the NBA Finals in 2012 and the Western Conference finals three of the past four years, including Durant, Westbrook, Reggie Jackson and Serge Ibaka. The Thunder picked up solid contributors Adams and Andre Roberson on draft night last year.
The Thunder also had the 29th pick, and they still need help at guard. Starting shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha is an unrestricted free agent, and backup point guard Derek Fisher is now coaching the New York Knicks.
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