For the Oklahoma City Thunder, they were involved in two trades. One brought in Gary Trent Jr. while another sent out Kenrich Williams.
The Thunder will be entering another rebuilding season with the youngest roster in the league. Without their top draft pick, it’s hard to see them compete for a playoff spot and it will likely be another season where all eyes will be on the lottery odds.
Let’s take a look at both trades and the justifications for them.
Thunder receives Gary Trent Jr.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Oklahoma City Thunder receive: Gary Trent Jr.
Toronto Raptors receive: Derrick Favors, Darius Bazley, Theo Maledon and 2024 first-round pick (via LAC)
“At some point in the not-so-distant future, the Thunder will start converting some of their long-term assets into win-now accelerators. Is that time likely to be now? Not at all. OKC has plenty of young talent to develop, plus it must want to maximize its lottery odds for a draft class headlined by Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson.
If the Thunder made their move now, though, this might be how it looks.
Trent is just 23 years old and has already showcased high-level ability. He functions as sort of a turbo-charged three-and-D wing, as that label isn’t often attached to a 18.3-points-per-game scorer. A perimeter trio with him, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey could put all kinds of pressure on opposing defenses.”
Thunder ships out Kenrich Williams to Trail Blazers
Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Portland Trail Blazers receive: Kenrich Williams (can’t be traded until Jan. 16)
Oklahoma City Thunder receive: Keon Johnson and 2024 second-round (via CHA or MIN)
“The Trail Blazers are attempting to retool around 32-year-old centerpiece Damian Lillard on the fly, but they have a lot of young, unproven talent for a club hoping to compete for at least a playoff spot next season.
Flipping a prospect like Johnson and a pick for a (relatively) established commodity like Williams isn’t exactly a needle-mover, but it would at least make this roster more reliable.
The 27-year-old seems a touch too experienced for OKC, but he could hit the ground running in Portland. He’s an energizing role player who can defend multiple positions and consistently make the smart, simple reads. If his three-ball drops, he could handle a sizable role for a win-now club.”