Comment Opinions Please. Is This Good? Read The Full Description As All The Trade Details, Draft Picks, & Free Agent Signings Are There.
1. Trade Luguentz Dort To The New Orleans Pelicans For 2022 LAL 1st(#8)
2. Deal Darius Bazley, Derrick Favors, 2023 DEN 1st(Lottery Protected), & 2024 Top 5 Protected LAC 1st To The Indiana Pacers For Myles Turner
• Extend Turner Another 3 Years Worth $63 Million(21 Per Year)
3. Deal Ty Jerome & Mike Muscala To The Memphis Grizzlies For 2024 TOR 2nd
4. Trade Vit Krejci, Kenrich Williams, 2024 CHA 2nd, & 2024 TOR 2nd To The Sacramento Kings For Harrison Barnes
• Extend Barnes Another 1 Year Worth $19M
5. Draft Chet Holmgren(PF, 7’0 195) With The #4 Pick In The 2022 NBA Draft
6. Draft Shaedon Sharpe(SG, 6’6 200) With The #8 Pick In The 2022 NBA Draft
7. Draft Tari Eason(SF, 6’8 215) With The #12 Pick In The 2022 NBA Draft
8. Draft JD Davidson(PG, 6’3 195) With The #30 Pick In The 2022 NBA Draft
9. Draft Ismael Kamagate(C, 6’11 225) With The #34 Pick In The 2022 NBA Draft
10. Sign Robin Lopez Using The MLE To A 1 Year Deal Worth $5 Million
11. Sign Danuel House Using The MLE To A 1 Year Deal Worth $5 Million
Explanation & Analysis
It’s been three full seasons currently after Oklahoma City went full rebuild mode by trading away Paul George & Russell Westbrook. The Thunder have missed the post season two years in a row now after CP3, Dennis Schroeder, & Steven Adams were all dealt. It’s now time for OKC to make some franchise altering moves & compete for a playoff spot once again with Giddey & SGA on the rise.
The first move I’d make is to trade Lu Dort to the New Orleans Pelicans for the 8th pick in the upcoming draft. Now this might surprise some of you, as Dort has been a solid part of our team as a 3 & D player the past couple of seasons, but the fact of the matter is that he’s on an expiring contract & is quite undersized at 6’3 to play the small forward position. He needs to be on a team where he’ll strictly be a guard, like on the Pelicans next to CJ McCollum. His value is currently at an all time high & many teams would come calling if he was made available. Acquiring another lottery pick, giving us three in total, & using one of them to draft his replacement (Eason) would be a very smart move.
Next transaction I’d make is to land Myles Turner from the Indiana Pacers for Darius Bazley, Derrick Favors, & two future 1sts. Turner would be a huge addition in Oklahoma City, as we badly need a center to play alongside our young core. Myles is a perfect example of what the modern day big man should be. He’s an excellent rim protector, overall defender, & floor spacer on the offensive end. Turner would take a lot of pressure off Holmgren & allow him to play his game without doing too much of the dirty work. Both of these guys ability to block shots will make it very tough for opposing teams to score in the interior.
The third trade I’d make is to move Ty Jerome & Mike Muscala to the Memphis Grizzlies for 2024 TOR 2nd. This is basically a salary move & part of a three team trade that will allow Oklahoma City to acquire a different targeted player which I will share next.
Now onto the fourth final trade, which sends Vit Krejci, Kenrich Williams, 2024 CHA 2nd, & the 2024 TOR 2nd that was just acquired for MEM to the Sacramento Kings in return for Harrison Barnes. A lot of people may question this trade but I believe having Eason come off the bench behind Barnes for his first couple of seasons is a very smart move. Barnes is a veteran that can hold the fort down at the small forward position until Eason is ready to start full time. He’s got great size being 6’8 & can do a little bit of everything really well. Don’t get me wrong though, Eason will still get his minutes off the bench & would be used in lineups alongside Giddey, SGA, & Holmgren.
To summarize these four trades, the Thunder become a much more competitive team in the tough western conference by adding starting caliber players in Myles Turner, Harrison Barnes, & flipping Lu Dort for a lottery pick that turns into Tari Eason.
It’s time for the 2022 NBA Draft, & with the 4th overall pick, the Oklahoma City Thunder select Chet Holmgren, center out of Gonzaga, & a generational talent. Chet is a tremendous athlete for someone of his stature. He’s an agile skinny big man that is a force defensively in paint with his ability to impact incoming shots. On the offensive end, he plays more like a forward due to the fact that he can score & shoot over everybody from anywhere. Chet has a great 3pt stroke & will allow guys like SGA to attack the paint/kick it out without any problem.
Then with the 8th pick, I’d have the Thunder take Shaedon Sharpe, a quick & bouncy guard out of Kentucky. He’d be an amazing pickup for OKC as an off ball player & solid defender to start out his professional career. Sharpe is a great cutter that can bring the whole stadium down with his ferocious dunking ability. He’s someone though who does need to work on his game as a whole & improve in areas like ball handling & outside shooting. But those things should come with time.
And with Oklahoma’s last lottery pick, I’d draft Tari Eason, forward out of LSU. This right here is Dort’s replacement. A 6’8 combo forward that can impact the game on both ends of floor. Eason has the length, versatility, & athleticism to be a great two way player in the league. Offensively, Eason is a smart player that has good court bison & knows when to make the right plays. He just needs to work on his 3pt shooting, which should develop over time.
Next up is our last two picks at 30 & 34, where I’d take JD Davidson, PG from Alabama, & Ismael Kamagate respectively. JD is someone who reminds me of Dennis Smith Jr due to his ability to destroy the rim with his bounce. He’s got an outside shot which is always great when you’re an undersized guard. He could possibly pass up Theo Maledon in the rotation if he plays well enough. And then Kamagate is a decent big man who projects to be a solid rim protector & pick & roll partner in the league. He’s a great athlete but does need to improve though in a lot of facets of the game including rebounding & passing. Turner should be a nice mentor to him while he develops.
And at last, free agency. Not much for OKC to do here except add a couple veterans with the MLE. Robin Lopez & Danuel House are both guys that have experience in the league & can be beneficial as third string veterans off the bench. Lopez is someone who alongside Turner can help mentor Robinson-Earl & Ismael Kamagate. And same thing with House teaching Tari Eason the ways of the league.
Wow, what an offseason. Now this is how you go from a lottery team to a potential title contender in two-three seasons. After all these moves & excellent draft picks, there is no doubt in my mind that OKC will be at least a play-in team next year(7-8 seed). You’ve got Giddey running the offense with SGA as the slasher/scorer. Holmgren & Turner carrying the defense & spacing the floor for their guards. And Sharpe, Eason, & Barnes all being solid role players that can provide valuable minutes as two way players.
Lastly, I’d also like to mention that after this next season, Kemba Walker’s contract will be off our books & we’ll have even more sufficient cap space to improve our squad further.
Thunder Ideal Starting Lineup:
Giddey, SGA, Barnes, Holmgren, & Turner
Maan, Sharpe, Eason, Roby, & Robinson-Earl
Rest Of Bench:
Maledon, Wiggins, House, Poku, & Lopez
Two Way Players/G-League
JD Davidson & Ismael Kamagate