The Oklahoma City Thunder are trying to build a winning team. At its core, OKC consists of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey and recently drafted Big Man Chet Holmgren. Despite the brewing potential on this team, they are still some way from becoming a legitimate contender. However, the Thunder could immediately increase their competitive odds with a big trade or two. Today we discuss two unrealistic trades the Thunder should make during the 2022 NBA offseason.
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2 unrealistic trades Thunder must try in the 2022 NBA offseason
Shock the world and acquire Zion Williamson
Are you building a young core while one of the players with the highest ceiling in basketball leads the charge? Why not!
It would no doubt be entertaining to see Zion Williamson play alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. But is this a deal that could actually happen?
Bleacher Report ran an article a few months ago detailing a potential trade between Thunder and Pelicans. The proposed deal saw Zion Williamson join OKC while Darius Bazley and several first-round picks would be sent to New Orleans.
I imagine the Pelicans would want more NBA-eligible talent than just Bazley on this deal. But a Williamson-led trade with the Thunder is not inconceivable. However, it is certainly to be classified as quite unrealistic.
Williamson has weathered his fair share of injuries but arguably has the greatest potential in the NBA. The sky is the limit for him. And the Pelicans obviously still believe in him as he recently renewed his contract for a maximum of 5 years. And the Thunder probably wouldn’t be able to fulfill its contract.
Still, the thought of Williamson leading the Thunder must excite OKC fans.
Enter the Kevin Durant Sweepstakes
Almost every team seems to be interested in the KD sweepstakes. But the Thunder would likely have to make this a three-team deal if they actually wanted to acquire Durant. The chances of them realistically fulfilling Durant’s contract are slim. But that is an unrealistic article of commerce.
Let’s discuss what the adjustment might look like if this trade comes to fruition.
Durant and Gilgeous-Alexander would instantly become a premier scoring duo in the NBA. Both have strong driving skills. Durant would handle most of the defensive pressure, which could open eyes for Gilgeous-Alexander.
Chet Holmgren would also benefit from this. The big man was able to score at the post and get candid looks from across the arc.
Durant would bring a natural aura to the team. And he certainly knows OKC well considering he started his career with the Thunder. His leadership would be crucial for this young side.
The Thunder would have to give up picks and young talent. Josh Giddey would likely be a trade chip in a Kevin Durant deal. A team like the Lakers could start a conversation and help the Thunder with the contract adjustment.
Can The Thunder acquire Zion Williamson or Kevin Durant? The chances are extremely slim without question.
But this is a young team on the rise. They have a bright future and could compete in the West later this year. No, they will not make a final run in 2022-2023. But their core could get valuable postseason presence this season.
And if the Thunder can prove they’re on the rise in 2022-2023, that will entice big-name free agents to sign with them next year.