Thunder Trade Deadline: 10 potential targets
The Oklahoma City Thunder are in the midst of rebuilding, remaining patient as they seek to become a cohesive playoff team again. With Thursday’s trade deadline approaching, they may be looking to take another step in that direction.
With a ton of roster flexibility, an open roster spot, and plenty of business strengths, Oklahoma City could go in many different directions.
While it’s highly likely the Thunder will be passive at the deadline and part of a larger deal to take a salary while acquiring more assets, they could also consider adding talent. At the stage they are at, adding a player that fits the timeline is of extreme importance. Still several years away from being competitive again, a still fairly young player should be the top priority in any trade.
Let’s take a look at 10 players who could realistically be acquired if the Thunder decided to go aggressive at the trade deadline.
Oklahoma City clearly doesn’t have its center of the future. Although Thomas Bryant is not a household name, his production speaks for itself.
Despite being injured quite a bit, Bryant averaged 12.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game while shooting 40.3 percent from deep the past three seasons. At this point, it doesn’t appear that anyone in Washington outside of Bradley Beal is out of bounds on the deadline.
After being a top ten pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Obi Toppin didn’t have many chances. Despite being almost 24, he still fits the Thunder timeline and fits a position of need up front.
The Knicks need a roster shakeup at the deadline. The way he’s currently built, New York isn’t the postseason threat he’d like to be.
With the option to play forward or centre, Marvin Bagley would be a fun player to explore in OKC. Former No. 2 overall, Sacramento just hadn’t been a good choice.
The Thunder parting ways with major assets to acquire Bagley wouldn’t be smart, but if they’re able to buy low and take a chance, it could pay dividends. On the current roster, there would be plenty of minutes to go around the old lottery pick.
Another former No. 2 overall pick, James Wiseman has been injured for the majority of his NBA career so far. In his first two seasons, he only played 39 games in total.
Wiseman’s raw talent is off the charts. The 7-footer would need a carry to get him away from the Warriors, but he could end up being a franchise cornerstone in Oklahoma City. If the Thunder wanted to make a major move and part ways with quite a few Trumps, Wiseman would be the guy to chase at the deadline.
Although the Thunder don’t necessarily need a guard, Collin Sexton would be an interesting target on Thursday. He’s due for a payday, but is also out for the rest of the season.
In terms of OKC’s lottery odds, acquiring Sexton would make sense given he won’t play again until next season. However, would the Thunder want to part ways with the capital draft and pay it off in the offseason as well? It would be a tough trade to pull off, but Sexton is a massive scoring threat who produced 24.3 points per game last season.
How ironic it would be if Domantas Sabonis ended up in Oklahoma City? The Thunder traded him on the night of the 2016 NBA draft, then traded him for Paul George just a season later.
At 25, Sabonis is now a star and someone who would instantly make the Thunder better. With that in mind, this move could make them competitive sooner than they would like. If Thunder GM Sam Presti is interested in really speeding up the rebuild, Sabonis would be one of the best options on the market which is still quite young.
Another young forward who is playing at the All-Star level and who may be available for a trade at the deadline is John Collins. Less than a season after signing a wide extension with the Atlanta Hawks, he could be on the move before Thursday if they receive an offer they can’t refuse.
This would be another situation where Presti really felt the need to speed up the rebuild, which might not make sense at this point. However, strikers of Collins’ caliber who are only 24 years old don’t come on the market very often.
Although he’s emerging as a cornerstone in the rebuilding of the Detroit Pistons, Presti has what it takes to acquire a guy like Sadiq Bey. At just 22 years old, he’s a legit 3-D winger who’s shot 36.0% from deep since entering the league.
For that to happen, the Pistons would have to be offered a pretty hefty package. However, Bey is a guy who would be the starting wing of the future in Oklahoma City and would be worth a lot of assets.
The former sixth overall pick, center Mo Bamba has a breakout season. A 7-footer who can impact both ends of the floor, he’s averaging 10.2 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game this season while shooting 35.3% from beyond the bow.
Although he is starting to progress in Orlando with the Magic, Bamba is believed to be available at the deadline for the right package. Before he becomes a restricted free agent this summer, a team like the Thunder could step in and acquire the 23-year-old.
P. J. Washington
Former college teammate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, P. J. Washington would be a perfect fit in Oklahoma City. The modern forward has been great with the Charlotte Hornets since entering the league, but they have to pay multiple players this summer, which means they may have to deal with a guy like Washington to avoid paying too many guys .
During the season, the 6-foot-7 forward averaged 9.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game off the bench while shooting 39.5 percent from deep. At either forward position, he would have the chance to thrive with the Thunder.
Again, the Thunder don’t have to make a deal. At this phase of the rebuild, perhaps taking unwanted pay from another team while earning another draft pick would be their best bet.
However, if Oklahoma City wants to add another building block, there are plenty of options.
Want to join the discussion? Like SI Thunder on Facebook and Follow us on twitter to stay up to date on all the latest Thunder news. You can also meet the team behind the cover.