The Oklahoma City Thunder are in the midst of a rebuild with a very young roster. Oklahoma City has done a great job of turning star players into a young core with a plethora of draft picks.
The Thunder have three first-round picks, at number two, 12, and 30. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is their current star, with Josh Giddey as his backcourt partner. Giddey had a solid rookie season and will grow alongside Gilgeous-Alexander.
The biggest need for the future is finding a big man, which this draft class is filled with. Having the second pick in the draft will allow them to select a big to help the foundation of the team.
Oklahoma City will look to build upon its young core in this draft. With that said, here are the three best trades the Thunder can make using the 30th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
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3. Nuggets receive: Mike Muscala and the 30th overall pick
Thunder receive: 21st overall pick
The Thunder are looking to add more valuable young players. So, a trade-up could make sense. In this deal, they are sending Mike Muscala and the 30th pick to trade up nine spots with the Nuggets.
Muscala is a valuable stretch big but doesn’t fit the timeline of Oklahoma City. A team like Denver could utilize his talents as a role player off the bench. He has a team option of $3.5 million, which is cheap for a role player like him.
Muscala had a solid season before getting injured, averaging eight points per game on efficient shooting from outside. He shot 45.6 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from behind the arc.
Trading him away to move up allows Oklahoma City to take a higher-ranked prospect, especially if one they want is still on the board.
2. Celtics receive: 30th overall pick
Thunder receive: 2024 lottery-protected first-round pick
Another route for Oklahoma City is trading away the 30th pick for a future first-round pick. If the Thunder don’t have a prospect they want at the 30th spot, they could trade it away to a team looking to get into the first round.
Boston traded their first-rounder in the Derrick White trade and could look to acquire a pick. Sending a future lottery-protected pick could get the deal done for them.
If Oklahoma City decides to trade down, this deal with the Celtics would be a viable option.
1. Bulls receive: Mike Muscala, 30th overall pick, and the 34th overall pick
Thunder receive: 18th overall pick
Another way for the Thunder to trade up is this deal with the Bulls. Chicago is trying to improve their roster to make a deeper playoff run. A player at the number 18 spot may not be able to help them right away.
Acquiring a solid role player in Muscala while moving down and a second-rounder could be beneficial for the Bulls. Chicago did not have a deep bench this season. That contributed to their loss against the Milwaukee Bucks in the playoffs. While the Bulls have more pressing issues this offseason, with Zach LaVine as a free agent, they still need to look at minor moves like this.
For Oklahoma City, this deal allows them to jump up significantly to draft a better prospect. The Thunder have an abundance of draft picks and need to find core pieces. Trading up to get a more talented player with more potential should be a no-brainer for Oklahoma City.
The Thunder have a bright future ahead with their young talent and draft picks. Making one of these moves could help them make their future even more promising.