The Oklahoma City Thunder somehow have a stockpile of draft picks over the next decade, at least it seems like it. General manager Sam Presti has overhauled the roster, traded away players, and in turn stockpiled an insane amount of assets as the Thunder aim for a full-fledged rebuild and youth rejuvenation after the failed NBA title attempt with Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook.
So, how did the Thunder get all these picks? Well, here’s a timeline, and somewhere Sam Presti has this framed on his wall.
A timeline of how the OKC Thunder got 36 NBA Draft picks
July 10, 2019- Oklahoma City traded Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers for a massive haul. The Thunder received Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and a total of five first-round picks and a pair of pick swaps.
July 16, 2019- The blockbuster of all blockbusters and the end of an era for the Thunder organization. OKC dealt Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets in exchange for veteran Chris Paul and a pair of protected first-round draft picks.
November 15, 2020- The Thunder ship out Dennis Schroder to the Los Angeles Lakers in return for Danny Green and a first-round pick.
November 16, 2020- The Thunder trade Chris Paul to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Kelly Ourbe Jr., Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque, and a 2022 first-round pick.
November 18, 2020- 76ers trade Al Horford to OKC for Danny Green. The Thunder received a protected 2025 first-round pick and the No. 34 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
November 19, 2020- James Johnson traded to the Thunder as the final piece of Ricky Rubio’s draft night swap.
November 20, 2020- Thunder send Steven Adams to the New Orleans Pelicans for two future first-round picks and the right to two pick swaps. They also receive George Hill, Darius Miller, a protected 2023 first-round pick, and two future second-round picks.
November 20, 2020- A three-team deal involving the Dallas Mavericks and Detroit Pistons. The Thunder ended up acquiring Trevor Ariza, Justin Jackson, and a draft pick.
November 23, 2020- OKC is granted a $27.5 million trade exception after the Steven Adams deal.
March 12, 2021- Thunder trade Hamidou Diallo to the Pistons for Svi Mykhuliak and a 2027 second-round pick.
March 17, 2021- OKC receives Meyers Leonard and another 2027 second-round draft pick and sent Trevor Ariza to the Miami Heat.
March 25, 2021- OKC trades George Hill to the Philadelphia 76ers in a three-team deal. The Thunder received Austin Rivers, Toney Bradley, and a pair of future second-round draft picks.
June 3, 2021- The Oklahoma City Thunder officially own a total of 34 draft picks through the next seven years. Sam Presti has accumulated 17 first-rounders and 17 second-round draft picks.
Wait, there’s more!
June 18, 2021– The Brad Stevens GM era begins in Boston with a stunning deal. The Celtics trade Kemba Walker, 16th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, and a 2025 second-round pick to OKC. In return, the Thunder acquire Al Horford (again!), Moses Brown, and a 2023 second-round pick.
The running count for Sam Presti and the Thunder’s insane load of draft picks is 18 first-rounders and 18-second-rounders, likely with more on the way.