Exploring Thunder trade ideas for the 2016-17 season
Now that the Thunder have finally managed to bring Alex Abrines over from Spain, they have reached their 15-man roster limit. If the team wants to make a deep run into the postseason though, then they are not even close to being finished.
Thunder General Manager Sam Presti has always managed to sneak in some great trades. Here are a few ideas of what Presti might be exploring this offseason.
The Blake Griffin Trade
This trade is perhaps the one that is the most fun for the Thunder. Not only would the team be adding a superstar talent, they would be bringing Griffin home to Oklahoma to play alongside Russell Westbrook. The only way this would happen and make sense for both sides is if Griffin told the Clippers he would be going to play in OKC next season no matter what they did. The Clippers would also have to get several draft picks from the Thunder to make it worth it. LA would still have tons of talent if they did this deal; Enes Kanter and DeAndre Jordan would run some great pick-and-rolls with Chris Paul. CP3 and Andre Roberson in the backcourt could do some great damage on the defensive side of the ball, maybe even enough to slow down the “Splash Bros.”
The Jimmy Butler Trade
This trade is a bit of a stretch and would only work out if the Bulls decide that they are going all in on a rebuilding mode. The Thunder would be losing tons of youth in this one but the talent of Jimmy Butler is undeniable. A backcourt of Westbrook and Butler could be unstoppable. Butler has the ability to also play the small forward position, giving OKC flexibility if they ever need it.
The Gordon Hayward Trade
This trade would be a major change for the Thunder and they would be giving up a man who has become one of the faces of the franchise in Steven Adams. If this trade would to work out then the Jazz would not only have to see great progress from Adams, but they would also need him to agree to a contract extension with the team. Most likely the Thunder would rather trade Kanter away from their center position than Adams, but there is no way that the Jazz are taking back Kanter after the ways he cut ties with the team.
Completing this trade for Hayward would give the Thunder a starting lineup of Westbrook, Victor Oladipo, Hayward, Trey Lyles, and Kanter. The Thunder would also have the ability to have a great small-ball lineup if they were to take out one of those big men and put in Andre Roberson instead.
The PJ Tucker Trade
This is where trades start to get a bit more realistic for OKC. If the Thunder were to trade for Tucker then they would be filling their biggest weakness in the lineup at small forward. The Suns in return would get two players who are almost complete opposite, but are both great at what they do. Anthony Morrow can help the team spread the floor if they need to and Roberson can come in to lock down anyone with his defensive play.
The Rudy Gay Trade
This is another trade that works great for the Thunder because it fills the small forward spot for the team. This move does not make the most sense for the Kings, but does anything they do really make sense? On the plus side they would be getting rid of the cancer that Rudy Gay can be and they would be saving some money in the deal. Chances are that Gay would only be a stop-gap for OKC until they can reach next offseason and make some free agent moves with their cap space. Nevertheless, having Gay join Westbrook and Oladipo in the starting lineup would pose some threats. It would be even better if the Thunder could find a way to get Gay to help them play small by playing power forward at times.