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Three NBA transfers so that the Oklahoma City Thunder ends up being unstoppable before the trade deadline.
Oklahoma City Thunder is one of the big surprises of this 2023-2024 season. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ‘s team has taken a giant leap that puts them one step away from leading the Western Conference. A situation that raises the following question: what will they do in the transfer market?
OKC has several interesting contracts such as Davis Bertans (17M), Lu Dort (15.2) or Josh Giddey (6.5M). Although the most relevant thing about the franchise is its enormous list of Draft rounds available to transfer.
The picks are the great asset in favor of Oklahoma, being able to match and surpass any offer that one team makes to another. The problem? When someone has so much at their disposal, the other party to the negotiation always demands something more. It will be in Sam Presti’s hands to decide if it is worth overpaying in the form of draft rounds to win now or be patient and wait for a good opportunity in the market.
Therefore, with the date of Thursday, February 8, 2024 on the horizon, it is time to look for and analyze three transfers that could change the course of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are one player away from looking like a true candidate for the ring.
Thunder receive: Lauri Markkanen and Simone Fontecchio
Jazz receives : Josh Giddey, Lu Dort, 2024 First Round, 2024 First Round (via Rockets), 2025 First Round (via Rockets/Clippers) and 2025 Second Round (via 76ers)
Lauri Markkanen ‘s name has barely been mentioned in the transfer rumors to OKC, but it would, without a doubt, be the name that would make them become a serious candidate for everything. The Finn does not seem to coincide with Utah’s line of development and the team, although competitive, does not have what it takes to fight for anything more than being on the verge of the Play-In.
According to what has emerged, what those from Salt Lake City are seeking to obtain in exchange for the Player with the greatest improvement from last year is a good batch of Draft rounds. And there is no other franchise capable of putting more picks on the table and still being competitive than the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The balance of the operation would be three First and one Second, all of them in the period of 2024 and 2025 . A price perhaps too high depending on your point of view, but it will surely be what Danny Ainge demands for letting Markkanen leave. In addition, OKC would let Giddey and Dort go , although this operation could also be done with Bertans instead of the Canadian financially.
Oklahoma would win a four that would fit alongside Shai and Holmgren, also freeing up a lot of space for Jalen Williams with the departure of Giddey so that he can continue growing as a scorer.
Thunder receive : Pascal Siakam
Raptors receive : Davis Bertans, Lu Dort, Aleksej Pokusevski, 2024 Second Round (via Rockets), 2025 First Round (via Rockets/Clippers), 2025 Second Round (via Celtics/Grizzlies) and 2026 Second Round (via 76ers/Mavs)
Pascal Siakam’s value is an unknown, especially considering that his contract is ending and there are doubts as to whether his style would fit anywhere other than Toronto. The Raptors will not transfer someone so valuable for nothing, especially when it is likely that the Cameroonian could renew if he does not find another favorable destination in Free Agency.
This is where Oklahoma City could play a crucial role. A First Round and two Second Rounds seems like a more than optimal price for a player who has constantly been on the All-Star and All-NBA quintet barrier . On the other hand, the Raptors could unite RJ Barrett and Lu Dort under the same roof, adding a key name from the brilliant Canadian National Team, further bolstering their rotation.
For OKC Thunder, the move would fit the needs of the group, influencing the versatile and versatile nature of its rotations. With Siakam Holmgren he could continue playing the five role , significantly improving the interior defense and gaining size and experience. Again, the “investment” in rounds would not be too high taking into account everything the franchise has, being a low risk move in case the African one does not work out.
Thunder welcomes : Mikal Bridges and Lonnie Walker IV
Nets receive: Josh Giddey, Davis Bertans, 2024 First Round (via Clippers), 2024 Second Round (via Rockets), 2025 First Round (via Rockets or Clippers) and 2025 Second Round (via 76ers)
This scenario was already raised in the article about which teams would be buyers and sellers in the transfer market , which does not mean that it remains a logical move for both parties. The Nets seem undecided , halfway between fighting for the Playoffs and rebuilding. Given the draft assets they have, they would be more interested in moving now than waiting to see what some players become.
Mikal Bridges is Brooklyn’s top asset . A 3&D with the potential to be something more, but he has made it clear that he does not have what it takes to take a team to the next level. Among the three mentioned here, Bridges would be the one who could contribute the most to OKC, although his market value is not close to that of Markkanen.
The 27-year-old outsider would be a more than optimal secondary manager, someone to pair with Shai and Williams without either stepping on each other. And Bridges knows how to be important with and without the ball. However, this season he has taken a step back in jump shots (39.3%).
Meanwhile, from the Nets’ perspective, losing Bridges in exchange for Giddey is an easier horizon from which to build something meaningful. Yes, Brooklyn would have two Australians without a shot , but the current member of OKC Thunder has proven to be capable of progressing despite now experiencing a difficult time on and off the court.
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