After an unexpected playoff run, the OKC Thunder need to answer a huge question. Do they bring this cast back or finally enter the rebuild mode? That this squad was good enough will surely entice the front office to continue competing. But with several NBA trade options to consider, especially when some of their players are likely to be in high demand, Sam Presti has his task cut out.
NBA Trade Options: OKC Thunder facilitating a rebuild with most valuable assets?
Blowing it all apart makes the most sense for OKC Thunder since they will remain a first-round exit team at best with the current roster. Instead, the can flip their biggest trade assets for future draft stock, especially considering that the 2021 class seems loaded with talent. On that note, let us look at the three most valuable assets for OKC Thunder going into the 2020-21 season.
#1 Chris Paul
Despite having a hefty $85 million left on his contract for the next two years, Chris Paul is once again a wanted man. Contending teams looking for an elite playmaker or simply that glue to stick the team together in the postseason will most certainly emerge as NBA trade options for OKC Thunder.
The best bet for OKC Thunder would be to get some expiring salaries, young players, or draft picks in return for CP3. They'll lose out on his mentorship but would also chalk off a huge portion of their wage bill for next season, an important factor since the Thunder are a small-market team.
#2 Dennis Schroder
Dennis Schroder proved last season just how well he can command a team coming off the bench. Not only has Schroder improved his shooting over the last two years, but he's also a much better defender as well. Interestingly, he's on an expiring contract worth $15.5 million, taking his NBA trade value to probably the highest it's ever been.
OKC Thunder could ship Schroder to another contending team in need of a ball-handler and that extra punch off the bench. He could most certainly yield a young player or a few draft picks while once again taking some salary off OKC's books.
#3 Danilo Gallinari
Yes, Danilo Gallinari is definitely set to enter free agency next season. But given that the OKC Thunder retained his Bird Rights, they can go over the salary cap to re-sign the sharpshooter. They can thus consider NBA trade options involving teams lacking the necessary cap space to sign Gallo as a free agent.
At 32, Gallinari still has some gas left in the tank. Besides his three-point shooting ability, the Italian's 6'10 frame makes him a prime option for the stretch five role. So OKC Thunder could most certainly enter into sign-and-trade deals with contenders who could maybe attach a young player, draft stock, or both in return.
Published 09 Oct 2020, 23:59 IST