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Ever since the Thunder went all-in on the rebuilding process, Sam Presti’s activity in the trade market has been focused on loading up on picks. Oklahoma City has an unrivalled collection of picks; no other team has made it a priority to acquire picks.
Chris Grant, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ coach, prioritized asset acquisition. However, that strategy was born out of the need to completely rebuild the roster. Grant accidentally built up reserves that David Griffin used in winning a championship in 2016. Presti’s effort has been much more concerted.
The Thunder are very close to completing their acquisition stage. Oklahoma City has two young stars in Josh Giddey and Shai Gilgeous Alexander. The Thunder have Luguentz Dorothy, a defensive defender, and a variety of useful role-players. Sam Presti has a lot to learn.
At this moment, I think the Thunder are a wing. They can also be a long-term solution at the center. But they don’t have a core that can grow together. Oklahoma City will likely be the center of the future, which means that the wing spot is not a priority in the foreseeable future.
I have thought about this closely and came up with a list of players that are acquirable and fit with the Thunder’s requirements. There will not be any strange, unrealistic trades that sound great on paper, but are highly unlikely to ever happen.
Any discussion about Ben Simmons was therefore tossed in the trash. While I prefer Simmons in the best case, that player is not guaranteed. Moreover, I cannot see Sam Presti making a trade for a player who will not be committed to the Thunder’s project.
Cameron Reddish – Atlanta Hawks, 6’8 wing, 1+1 yrs on contract (Team Option)
Cam Reddish was part a legendary Duke triumvirate, which drove fear into many college basketball programs. No one knew how to deal with three outstanding perimeter players, Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish.
It is worth noting that Williamson and Barrett have both grown in stature. RJ and Zion are widely considered to be two future All-Stars. Cam is not the same. Cam’s inconsistency and two seasons of play have caused his career to slow down in Atlanta.
The upheaval in Atlanta over two years and intense competition for minutes have not helped him, but he hasn’t excelled as many thought. It was believed that Hunter and Hunter had found their long-term wing duo when they drafted them in the same draft class.
Nobody could have predicted Bogdan Bodganovic’s arrival on the roster and Kevin Huerter keeping his place in his rotation. All of this has meant that Reddish has slipped to something like Nate McMillan’s 4th choice at the wing spots.
Reddish, despite all this, is a solid young wing. He competes hard defensively but has a great offensive game. Cam has all the tools to be a great 3&D wing. He just needs an environment that allows him to work on his game and not be under pressure.
Cam Reddish’s trade status is another point worth noting. Atlanta’s cap sheet will balloon hugely in the coming years and the Hawks will be a tax-paying team. Young, Gallinari and Bodganovic will be paid $110m by Atlanta for Collins, Collins, Young, Gallinari, Bodganovic and Capela next year. They are unable to maneuver under the luxury cap for guys like Hunter, Huerter, and Reddish.
Reddish is a little too rich for the Hawks’ blood at this moment in time and it was heavily rumoured that they were shopping him for a mid-first round pick in July. The asking price will not be unreasonable for a player who has the potential to satisfy the Thunder’s needs at the 3.
Reddish may never pan out as an NBA player but I feel that he is worth a try if the asking price is simply a first round pick or one of the Thunder’s reserve guards. Atlanta is lacking in playmaking and would appreciate Ty Jerome, who can absorb minutes while still producing steady, efficient production.
Desmond Bane – Memphis Grizzlies, 6’5 wing, 1+2 yrs on contract (Team Option)
This name might seem clickbait, a unrealistic trade in an realistic trade article, but I think Bane can be a viable trade for the Thunder. He is a great 3&D wing in this league, but Memphis will be an expensive team going forward.
If the Grizzlies want to keep a talented young core together, they will have to pay Ja Murant, Jaren Jack Jr and Brandon Clarke a lot. The Grizzlies are serious about their plans to grow as a team. They will also need to add some steady veterans to keep the team on track. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Steven Adams or Kyle Anderson brought back on mid-sized deals.
After all these expenses are taken into account, the Grizzlies will be a costly team to keep together. However, they will still need that flexibility if the team plans on adding the kind of talent that can propel them into championship contention.
The Thunder will need to offer Desmond a strong deal. Although it is difficult for a player to shoot 43.2% from behind, I believe Memphis would consider such a transaction if they were able to get value.
Oklahoma City could have Kenrich Williams, a veteran forward who can provide the connective tissue necessary for bench units to thrive. Williams demonstrated his versatility last season. He can create off the ball, guard three positions, and bring an intensity that is hard for others to match.
I believe the Grizzlies would appreciate an upgrade in their reserve guard spots. De’Anthony Melton is a great young player but Kris Dunn and Tyus Jones are more spotty quantities. Jones and Dunn are excellent perimeter defenders at 1 but they cannot be relied upon to stretch or run the offense.
Ty Jerome is a change agent for the Grizzlies. Jerome is a skilled pick and roll operator who makes plays on behalf of others and scores efficiently from downtown. Jerome shot 42.3% last year from deep on 5.1 3PA.
His marksmanship is not as efficient as his efficiency. Jerome pulled-up threes (43.4%) and was very efficient when he was protecting the defense.
Jerome’s gravity as a shooter would create even more room for Ja Morant to detonate inside. Nobody would ever think of defending someone who can hit from downtown with incredible regularity.
Deni Avdija – Washington Wizards, 6’9 wing, 1 + 2 yrs on contract (Team Option)
Deni was a complete mess last season in Washington. While he had flashes of talent, he was very inconsistent. His rookie season was quite a shock for a player like him, who used to see a lot of ball with Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Deni was matched up with two ball dominant players, Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook, in his first season. He rarely had the time to find a rhythm in the game due to the Wizards’ abysmal defense. Washington would often fall behind, and the rest would chase the deficit down.
When the Wizards found themselves in such dire situations, they turned to Westbrook and Beal to help them out. Avdija would go for minutes without touching a ball, which meant that he tried too hard to be productive once the ball was in his hands. He didn’t play his normal game last season, and he was not a good player.
When you think of the Wizards’ storming run to make it into the postseason, it was defined by players like Daniel Gafford and Rui Hachimura stepping up. Avdija faded to the background, his confidence in tatters.
It’s hard to see how his situation in Washington will improve. The Wizards traded Russell Westbrook to acquire Spencer Dinwiddie, Montrezl Harrell, and Montrezl Harrell. Both players will need to contribute a lot to the game’s success.
It is obvious that the Wizards want to win now, and this season is a last ditch effort to keep Bradley Beal at the DMV. Deni is not the right player for Washington. Avdija is a potential player whose talent needs to be nurtured over a long time, and the Wizards don’t have that time right at this moment.
Avdija’s passing and shot creation would fit nicely with a team like the Thunder who play a selfless style of basketball. Oklahoma City’s ball is always moving and the ball determines who scores. Outside of Shai Gilberteous-Alexander, there are no predetermined scoring options.
Avdija was a shining example of European promise, and I believe that the NBA will fulfill that promise. Deni is an example of how young players can blossom when they have a coach who understands their game. He spent a whole season under Coach Scott Brooks, a team that was looking for a postseason berth. However, he missed out on opportunities for growth. He can only climb from here.

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