Trade grades: Examining what the OKC Thunder did during 2024 deadline

The 2024 NBA trade deadline is officially over and the Oklahoma City Thunder made a pair of moves.

The Thunder bolstered their wing depth with the addition of veteran Gordon Hayward from the Charlotte Hornets. In exchange, OKC sent out Tre Mann, Davis Bertans, Vasilije Micic and two future second-round picks.

The other deal the Thunder made is more about improving the quality of their draft assets without sacrificing the quantity. They traded the second-worst of their four 2024 first-round picks to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for 2028 first-round pick swaps.

This trade deadline perfectly exemplifies how the Thunder typically runs their franchise as they made improvements on the margins without sacrificing a ton while also having an eye on the future.

Let’s hand out trade grades for the pair of moves Thunder general manager Sam Presti made as OKC gets ready for the stretch run of the regular season and playoffs.

Gordon Hayward: A-minus

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Trade details:

  • Thunder receive: Gordon Hayward

  • Hornets receive: Tre Mann, Vasilije Micic, Davis Bertans, two future second-round picks

This was an easy win for the Thunder. They acquired a veteran wing who can shoot and didn’t give up anything extremely valuable.

Mann and Bertans have been outside of the rotation the entire season and while Micic has recently played better, Hayward is a massive upgrade as a bench piece. The Thunder will be able to overcome Micic’s departure with Williams’ ascension as a playmaker with the second units.

In 25 games with the Hornets, Hayward has averaged 14.5 points on 48.6% shooting, 4.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists. He’s shot 36.1% from 3 on 2.4 attempts. Nearly all of his 3-pointers resulted in assists (95.5%), so he’ll be a nice catch-and-shoot option for OKC.

The 33-year-old is also on an expiring $31.5 million salary, so there’s no long-term commitment. He could simply be a rental if OKC goes that route.

Durability has always been a problem with Hayward and that’s been the case this season. He hasn’t played since Dec. 26 with a calf injury but is inching closer to a return. The good news is his role should be reduced with OKC, likely playing off the bench and in fewer minutes, which should help him stay healthy.

Hayward also brings a lot of valuable intangibles, led by his playoff experience. He’s been part of several deep playoff runs throughout his career, which can’t be said for the rest of OKC’s roster.

This is a calculated risk by the Thunder that Hayward can stay healthy and produce. If it doesn’t work out, then they didn’t give up anything too valuable. Bertans and Micic are filler and the two future second-round picks are easily replaceable.

The only way this deal comes back to bite them is if Mann turns into a productive scoring guard, which wasn’t going to happen in OKC anyway.

2028 first-round swaps with Mavericks: A-plus

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports


  • Thunder receive: 2028 first-round pick swap

  • Mavericks receive: Second-least favorable 2024 first-round pick

This was a classic Thunder move. Knowing they won’t have enough roster space to welcome in several rookies this offseason, OKC elected to kick the can down the road and possibly get a more valuable pick.

The second-least favorable of the four 2024 first-round picks the Thunder own will likely be their own or the LA Clippers in the 20s. Which is a meh area in a weak draft class.

Meanwhile, the 2028 first-round swap has some real juice to it. The pick being so far away in the future is what makes it intriguing. Who knows what the Mavericks look like by then but Luka Doncic can enter free agency in 2026 by declining his $49 million player option.

He’ll likely do so anyway — whether that’s because he signed a new deal with Dallas or leaves are two completely different scenarios. Either way, this swap has massive upside with no real downside as the worst-case scenario will be a pick in the 20s.

This is smart asset management by the Thunder, who remain sharp with their foresight and realize the potential value of a draft pick four years away from a team scrambling to win right now.

Story originally appeared on Thunder Wire