As the 2024 NBA trade deadline nears, expect contenders to make moves to help them win now along with possibly refortifiying their draft pick stock.
According to Yahoo Sports NBA reporter Jake Fischer, several teams, including the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers, have contacted the Oklahoma City Thunder about acquiring first-round picks this year in exchange for future picks.
“The Bucks, along with the Sixers, are among several teams that have contacted the likes of New Orleans and Oklahoma City, sources said, attempting to trade future first-round pick swaps or packages of second-round picks to acquire extra first-round selections. Phoenix, you may recall, dealt two future first-round swaps (2024 and 2030) to Memphis for three seconds before this season began. Now it seems like several teams are trying to deal those same assets for an even more meaningful return.”
The Thunder own four 2024 first-round picks; the lowest is being sent to the Toronto Raptors. OKC owns its own pick, the LA Clippers’ pick, the Houston Rockets’ top-four protected pick and the Utah Jazz’s top-10 protected pick.
Considering how rich the Thunder are with young talent, they likely will not add three rookies to their roster this offseason, which means they have 2024 draft picks to shed.
The Thunder can either use those picks to acquire win-now players before the deadline or to kick the draft can down the road once again by acquiring a contender’s first-round draft pick deep in the future.
In return, contenders such as the Sixers and Bucks would have a chance to add immediate cost-control young talent to their expensive rosters. They could also package 2024 draft picks to acquire win-now players.
If that happens, OKC enriches the quality of its draft pick capital without sacrificing the quantity. It might not move the needle for the fan base, but this would be smart asset management that can pay dividends down the road.