The NBA trade deadline has come and gone, so let’s recap all the moves the Oklahoma City Thunder made Thursday.
George Hill to Philly
The Oklahoma City Thunder have agreed to trade George Hill to the Philadelphia 76ers in a three-team trade that also involves the New York Knicks.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are finalizing trading George Hill to the Philadelphia 76ers, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 25, 2021
The full trade is as follows:
Thunder get: Tony Bradley, Austin Rivers, 2025 and 2026 second round picks, $9.6M trade exception
76ers get: George Hill, Ignas Brazdeikis
Knicks get: Terrance Ferguson, Vincent Poirier, 2021 second round pick
In 14 games with the Thunder this season, Hill has averaged 11.8 points and 3.1 assists a game while shooting 38.6% from the three-point line.
Hill has not played since late January as he has been recovering from thumb surgery.
Sixers will get a reliable guard who can score and shoot well from outside.
Bradley is a 23-year-old center who has backed up Joel Embiid. In 20 games, Bradley has averaged 5.5 points and 5.2 rebounds.
Bradley will be a RFA this summer, so the Thunder will have the next six weeks to figure out whether or not they want to extend him.
Austin Rivers’ future with the Thunder is currently fluid. In 21 games with the Knicks, Rivers is averaging 7.3 points on 54.5 TS%. There’s the real possibility that the Thunder simply waive him since the 28-year-old does not really fit this team.
The Athletic reports that Rivers would generate a market for his services among playoff contenders.
Ferguson will join his third team in a four month span with the Knicks. Ferguson spent his first three seasons in Oklahoma City, and outside of a good sophomore season, never really found his footing with the franchise.
Ferguson was dealt to the 76ers in the Al Horford trade. Ferguson rarely played for the 76ers, only seeing the court for a total of 49 minutes.
Ferguson will not head to New York in hopes of reviving his NBA career and recapture the 3 & D abilities he displayed during the 2019 season. If not, it’s going to be a difficult path for Tulsa Native to find a second NBA contract.
Overall, I thought this was a decent return for Hill. The two second round picks are not in the immediate future, which is great for OKC.
The farther picks are, the more valuable they become in terms of trades. Franchises will be enamored with the mysterious aura surrounding long term picks as where they will be is an unknown quantity.
I wish the Thunder would have done more, specifically trading away expiring deals like Mike Muscala and Justin Jackson.
Especially in Muscala’s case, who is averaging a career high in points and three pointers made a game and is on a $2.3 million salary. I can definitely see the Thunder buying Muscala out since he is no longer part of the rotation and letting him sit on the bench would be a waste of his talent.
Other buyout candidates for the Thunder include Meyers Leonard and Darius Miller.
Leonard will get bought out soon after he was recently caught on camera using an anti-semantic slur while recovering from season-ending shoulder surgery.
The Thunder have already made it publicly known that they would Leonard would not be an active member of the franchise.
Miller is on an expiring $7 million salary and could get bought out. The sharpshooter has been sitting at the end of the bench all season long and OKC will most likely give the 31-year-old the chance to sign with a contender in his first season back from a torn Achilles injury.
Jackson was garnering interest from some reports, but nothing materialized. He is most likely not a part of the Thunder’s long term plans and could be a potential buyout candidate to free up some minutes for the younger players.