Within all the crazy moves occurring in this years free agency, the OKC Thunder are one of the most intriguing teams to look at for the future. With that being said, the teams involved OKC made it fun to watch
On July 6th, 2019 It was announced that Kawhi Leonard announced going to the Los Angeles Clippers. Leonard forced the Clippers to land Paul George, trade follows as –
OKC Receives: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, 4 Unprotected 1st Round Picks, and other Pick Swaps.
LAC Receives: Paul George
Winner of trade: Even
Not much to complain about this deal, OKC got a pretty solid SF and a great young talent in Shai. Along with many picks, but this trade got the Clippers PG and Kawhi. Since he demanded it to happen.
Speaking of Kawhi, he alone made this team a threat, but having a MVP candidate boosts their chances so much more. What does PG bring to the Clippers though? He brings the ability to guard the other teams best player while dropping 25+ a night. But with Kawhi, they can easily be interchangeable night to night. I do not see how these offseason moves don’t work for the Clippers. But with this trade, we also saw another Superstar in rumors. That player was Russell Westbrook
On July 11th, the most beloved Oklahoma City Thunder player of their short history, Russell Westbrook was moved. The team he was moved to was Houston, which pairs him back with an old teammate, James Harden.
OKC Receives: Chris Paul, 2 Unprotected Picks, and 2 Pick Swaps
HOU Receives: Russell Westbrook
Winner of Trade: Houston
Houston wins this deal because they got what they need to stay in contention, while OKC wanted to send Russ where he wanted.
Russell Westbrook getting paired with James Harden is already getting a bad rap, but many don’t believe two ball dominate guards can work. Last time the two played with each other, James Harden was a 6th man; who is a phenomenal offensive talent. Russell Westbrook was becoming an elite guard in the league. Where are they now? They have both MVP’s and historical seasons behind them. Harden is now coming off of a MVP caliber season, while Russ nonetheless was disappointing to a degree. His number one goal this offseason was to improve his shooting. So we will see, if he becomes a decent shooter do rockets have a good chance at contending? We will see.
Along with the two Stars, there was one more piece moved so far. OKC traded away my personal second favorite player on the team, Jerami Grant. The trade was as follows –
OKC Receives: Denver’s First Round Pick
NUG Receives: Jerami Grant
Winner of Trade: Denver for
Personally, I think OKC undervalued him greatly, along with Denver getting another great piece to their already amazing young core.
Now what does this deal mean for OKC? It means they are going for a whole rebuild, why though? Me being an OKC fan, I felt we were a few shooters short from a possible great run. Super teams were out, we had a great starting lineup. Really only needed a SG and a bench. But as Jalen Rose said, “they didn’t wanna pay the luxury tax.” Which could be a very possible reason.
With majority of the moves done, where does OKC stand? I think if they keep CP3 and Adams, they could be a relevant team, but not a contender or even playoff guarantee. I’d say they are far from a lock for the playoffs. Most I can hope for is a little coaching from CP3 to Shai.
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