As part of the Harden trade, the Thunder received a protected first round pick from the Toronto Raptors. If it turns out to be one of the top 3 picks or worse than the 14th pick, the Thunder would have to wait at least another year to get the pick.
Obviously, the dream scenario would be for it to be the number 4 pick.
Right now, the Raptors are tied with Detroit for the second-worst record in the NBA with a .214 winning percentage. The Whizzers are winless, and Cleveland is 1/2 game better than Toronto (notice how all the truly pitiful teams are in the East).
Kyrie Irving's injury is a bit of a plus for the Thunder as it might help push Cleveland below Toronto.
Yes, I know that there is an element of randomness in the lottery, but it looks like, at this early point in the season, the Raptors might be too crappy for the Thunder to get their pick this year.