Trade season is officially underway as the Oklahoma City Thunder were the first team to make a trade yesterday.
The Thunder have traded Hamidou Diallo to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Svi Mykhailiuk and a 2027 second round pick from the Houston Rockets. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the details on Twitter last night.
Oklahoma City is trading guard Hamidou Diallo to Detroit for forward Svi Mykhailiuk and a 2027 second-round pick, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 13, 2021
Detroit's 2027 second-round pick on way to OKC is via Houston, sources say. Diallo will be a restricted free agent this summer and Pistons see him a core player moving forward. Lu Dort's emergence made Diallo expendable, and Thunder add to massive stockpile of picks. https://t.co/6JPHL8Y5VL— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 13, 2021
This is a bit of a shocker. The Thunder were going to be sellers this trade deadline, but many expected players like Al Horford, George Hill, Mike Muscala and Trevor Ariza to potentially be moved. The 22-year-old Diallo has made impressive improvements to his game in his third season, averaging career highs in points (11.9), rebounds (5.2) and assists (2.4).
Many would assume that Diallo is young enough to be part of the next era of the Thunder, but him being a restricted free agent this summer means that the Thunder would have to shell out money in order to keep Diallo’s services.
The emergence of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lu Dort and Theo Maledon has made Diallo expendable to the Thunder. They did not want to hand out money for a player who would be in a logjam at the backcourt spots and would most likely get the short end of the stick. Shai and Lu have both shown that they are better players than Hami. Theo Maledon has shown flashes of potential this season that justify his position with the Thunder.
The Pistons are also a rebuilding team, but do not have the guard depth the Thunder do. It makes sense for both teams to trade young players who play at stacked positions on their respective teams. For OKC, that would be the guard spots with SGA, Dort and Maledon. For Detroit, that would be the forward spots with Jerami Grant, Saddiq Bey and Sekou Doumbouya.
Mykhailiuk is 23 years old and is in his third season in the NBA. He was drafted 47th overall in the 2018 Draft by the Lakers. Svi spent the first half of his rookie season with the Lakers before being traded to the Pistons for Reggie Bullock.
Mykhailiuk is a young forward who can shoot from outside at a respectable level. In 134 career games, Mykhailiuk is averaging 6.6 PPG, 1.6 RPG and 1.5 APG while shooting 36.9% from three on 4.1 attempts.
Mykhailiuk’s has taken a step back this season after an impressive sophomore campaign where he averaged 9.0 PPG while shooting five threes a game on 40.4% shooting. This season has see Mykhailiuk play just 18 minutes a game after playing nearly 23 minutes a game last season. Mykhailiuk started 27 of his 56 games last season while he has only started five of his 36 games this season.
Mykhailiuk will become a RFA this summer as well, so the Thunder will have the second half of the season to find out if they like him enough to offer him a contract extension. The 2027 second round pick could be potentially valuable as the Rockets have been on a rapid decline since Tilman Fertitta purchased the franchise.
Another wrinkle from this trade is that the Pistons are now ran by Troy Weaver, a former Thunder Front Office Member. It could be a case where Weaver’s support for Diallo began when he was still employed by OKC.
With Diallo departing, there are no players left on the Thunder roster who played with Russell Westbrook. Diallo was also the longest tenured player on the team. This provides perspective as to how much the Thunder roster has changed in just two seasons.