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2 unrealistic trades Thunder must try to make in 2022 NBA offseason

Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Durant, Zion Williamson

The Oklahoma City Thunder are attempting to build a winning team. OKC features a core of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, and recently drafted big man Chet Holmgren. Despite the brewing potential on this team, they are still a few pieces away from becoming a legitimate contender. However, the Thunder could instantly boost their contention chances with a big trade or two. Today, we are discussing 2 unrealistic trades the Thunder should make during the 2022 NBA offseason.

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2 unrealistic trades Thunder must try to make in 2022 NBA offseason

Shock the world and acquire Zion Williamson

Build a young core with one of basketball’s highest ceiling players leading the charge? Why not!

There is no question watching Zion Williamson play alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would be entertaining. But is this a deal that actually could happen?

Bleacher Report published an article a few months ago detailing a potential trade between the Thunder and Pelicans. The proposed deal had Zion Williamson heading to OKC, while Darius Bazley and multiple first round picks would be sent to New Orleans.

I would imagine the Pelicans would want more NBA-ready talent than just Bazley in this deal. But a Williamson-led trade to the Thunder is not unimaginable. However, it certainly qualifies as fairly unrealistic.

Williamson has dealt with his share of injuries, but possesses arguably the most potential in the NBA. The sky’s the limit for him. And the Pelicans obviously still believe in him given his recent 5-year max contract extension. And the Thunder likely wouldn’t be able to match his contract.

Still, the thought of Williamson leading the Thunder has to excite OKC fans.

Enter the Kevin Durant sweepstakes

Almost every team seems interested in the KD sweepstakes. But the Thunder would likely need to make this a three team deal if they actually wanted to acquire Durant. The odds of them realistically matching Durant’s contract are slim. But this is an unrealistic trades article.

Let’s discuss what the fit may look like if this trade came to fruition.

Durant and Gilgeous-Alexander would immediately become a top-tier scoring duo in the NBA. Both feature strong driving ability. Durant would command the majority of defensive pressure which could lead to open looks for Gilgeous-Alexander.

Chet Holmgren would benefit as well. The big man could score in the post and receive open looks from beyond the arc.

Durant would bring a natural aura to the team. And he certainly knows OKC well, given the fact that he began his career with the Thunder. His leadership would be vital for this young squad.

The Thunder would need to surrender picks and young talent. Josh Giddey would probably be a trade chip in a Kevin Durant deal. A team such as the Lakers could enter the conversation and help the Thunder with contract matching.

Final thoughts

Can the Thunder acquire Zion Williamson or Kevin Durant? The odds are extremely slim without question.

But this is a young team on the rise. They have a bright future and could contend in the West as soon as this year. No, they aren’t going to be making a Finals run in 2022-2023. But their core might receive valuable postseason exposure this season.

And if the Thunder can prove they are on the rise in 2022-2023, that will entice big name free agents to sign with them next year.