Will the Oklahoma City Thunder address their publicized outside shooting needs at the eleventh hour of this year’s trade deadline? A definitive answer to this pressing question will crystallize today by 3 PM ET.
However, as Thunder Nation awaits, here are Oklahoma City’s top rumors and reports that could shed light upon Sam Presti’s immediate intentions for Thunder Nation.
While names such as DeMarcus Cousins, Buddy Hield, and Lou Williams have been moved from their previous employer, Oklahoma City has been linked to an assortment of perimeter-oriented players.
The first such link materialized in the form of Wilson Chandler. At 6’8, and sporting the versatility to man three different positions, Chandler (15.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.1 apg, 45/33/73 split) is capable of filling holes along an offensively incomplete Thunder frontline.
Further, it is no secret that the 29-year-old Nugget is disgruntled with Denver’s front office after losing his starting job this season.
However, following days of speculation, information recently surfaced that Oklahoma City has opted to end its pursuit of the multi-faceted Chandler. Reasons for this decision haven’t been revealed publicly, though speculation abounds that OKC lacked available assets.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have given up on trying to trade for the NBA veteran. https://t.co/vBQjQmBdXj— Thunder247 (@OKC_Thunder247) February 22, 2017
Another player to briefly appear on Oklahoma City’s trade radar —and perhaps more closely fit the needs of OKC’s roster deficiencies (29th 3P%)— was Bojan Bogdanovic. This season, in 26 minutes of play, the small forward has averaged a career-best 14.2 ppg, while netting 1.8 3PM (35.7%) per contest.
Some reports postulated OKC would tender the expiring contract of Anthony Morrow (career-low 29% 3PM) and a 2nd-round draft pick to Brooklyn for Bogdanovic.
Unfortunately, though, the red-hot Wizards recently struck a palatable deal with the Nets for their enticing former sharpshooter. To acquire Bogdanovic’s services, Washington parted with Marcus Thornton, Andrew Nicholson, and a 2017 first-round pick.
Nevertheless, with time elapsing to negotiate, and these initial options removed from the table, league reports indicate that Sam Presti maintains heavy interest in a perimeter upgrade to enhance his 32-25 #7-seeded team’s playoff chances.
With Enes Kanter’s return to practice, in addition to Cameron Payne’s Wednesday absence from an annual team event, possibilities for a Thunder trade abound in a league replete with attainable outside-shooting talent.
At this critical juncture, does Presti hold another ace up his sleeve?
The Thunder are frequently good for a Deadline Day surprise and league sources say Chicago's Taj Gibson has emerged as an OKC trade target.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 23, 2017
According to several sources, Thunder General Manager Sam Presti is heavily pursuing Chicago PF Taj Gibson. The 31-year-old Gibson (11.6 ppg, 7 rebs, 27 mpg) would likely supplant current front-court starter Domantas Sabonis.
However, a Gibson trade alone does nothing to address OKC’s perimeter issues. Furthermore, Gibson’s traditional back-to-basket game would presumably clash with Steven Adams’ already congested paint space.
Perhaps a deal featuring Gibson and an outside shooter could materialize for the Thunder.
And an acquisition of fellow Bull, Doug McDermott (10.2 ppg, 37.6 3PM%) would definitely open the floor.
Piggybacking off @ESPNSteinLine and the Thunder's interest in Taj Gibson: Another Bull known to interest OKC is Doug McDermott, sources say.— Royce Young (@royceyoung) February 23, 2017
Other reports link OKC interest to Nick Young (13.8 ppg, 26.5 mpg, 41% 3PM) and Sacramento’s Arron Afflalo (7.8 ppg, 39% 3PM, 25.6 mpg).
WTLC will keep you posted regarding Oklahoma City’s late-breaking trade-deadline developments.