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ESPN proposes trade package that would land the Thunder Donovan Mitchell

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In his latest article, ESPN’s Bobby Marks drew up potential trade packages for certain NBA teams in order to acquire Utah Jazz star guard Donovan Mitchell.

The Jazz are reportedly open to trading Mitchell after previously trading away Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a collection of draft picks.

One of the teams Marks created a hypothetical trade with is the Oklahoma City Thunder, who argues that they have enough draft picks to entice the Jazz to trade Mitchell to them.

The trade involves the Thunder sending Tre Mann, Derrick Favors, JaMychal Green, Aleksej Pokusevski and five first-round picks that includes Utah’s 2024 pick, the LA Clippers 2024 top-two protected pick, the Houston Rockets 2024 top-four protected pick, the Miami Heat 2025 lottery-protected pick and the Philadelphia 76ers 2025 top-six protected pick.

“After appearing in the playoffs 10 out of 11 seasons, Oklahoma City has taken a methodical approach on how its roster is being constructed.

Instead of possessing All-Stars like Russell Westbrook, Durant, James Harden and Chris Paul, the Thunder have started a rebuild that centers around a young core — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Chet Holmgren, an abundance of draft capital and future cap flexibility.

For head of basketball operations Sam Presti, roster sustainability is the only goal in how this team is put together. Presti has preached patience, but there will be a time when the Thunder will be faced with a decision.

Do they push some of their draft equity to the middle for a chance to acquire a player like Mitchell, or wait until the next disgruntled All-Star becomes available and continue to focus on player development in the meantime?

A Mitchell trade to the Thunder does not mean the first-round picks Presti accumulated are wiped clean, though. Instead of unprotected firsts that opposing teams will offer Utah, Oklahoma City should take the quantity over quality approach.

The five first-round picks in the trade (including the Jazz first in 2024 that was sent in the Derrick Favors trade) are considered tier-B draft picks. None of them are the Thunder’s own and each has some type of protection in at least the first year.

The Thunder would also retain the two unprotected firsts (2024 and 2026) that were acquired in the Paul George trade, along with a top-5 protected first from Houston in 2026 and a Denver top-6 protected first in 2027.

For Utah, is a blue-chip prospect like guard Tre Mann and an unprecedented five first-round picks the best offer on the board? Or should they take the Thunder’s offer and leverage a team like the Knicks to offer more.

Including the four first-round picks acquired in the Gobert trade, Utah would have the most first-round picks of any team, while also setting a goal much like what Oklahoma City is currently doing — building roster sustainability.”

While the strategy of bundling up a ton of draft picks to get a disgruntled star is a sound one for the Thunder, using it on Mitchell right now is a year too early for a player that doesn’t really excite the fanbase.

While Mitchell is awesome, the team already has Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey — adding another guard to feed possessions would complicate the situation further.

Considering a few star players ask out for trades yearly, it’s safer to bet someone that’s a better fit and could help the team win after this upcoming season will become available.

List

Bleacher Report suggests four trade idea ideas for the OKC Thunder