Presti-digitation: What is OKC going to do?

nattysez

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And thus:

Rd. 1, 4th best lottery odds
Rd. 1, Pick 16 – from Boston, Kemba Walker trade
Rd. 1, Pick 18 – from Miami or Houston via Chris Paul-Russell Westbrook trade
Rd. 2, Pick 35
Rd. 2, Pick 36 – from Minnesota, vested from Kelly Oubre trade with Golden State Warriors
Rd. 2, Pick 55 – from Denver, vested from Kelly Oubre trade with Golden State Warriors

2022
Rd. 1 – unprotected pick – from Los Angeles Clippers, Paul George trade
Rd. 1 – Top-12 protected pick – from Phoenix, Chris Paul trade
Rd. 2

2023
Rd. 1
Rd. 1 – pick swap – from Los Angeles Clippers, Paul George trade
Rd. 1 – Top-14 protected pick – from Denver, Steven Adams trade
Rd. 1 – Top-14 protected pick – from Los Angeles Clippers via Miami, Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade
Rd. 2
Rd. 2 – from Dallas or Miami (more favorable pick), James Johnson trade
Rd. 2 – from New Orleans via Washington, Steven Adams trade
*one of Oklahoma City’s 2023 second-round picks will be sent to Boston in the Kemba Walker deal

2024
Rd. 1
Rd. 1 – Top-4 protected pick – from Houston, Russell Westbrook trade
Rd. 1 – unprotected pick – from Los Angeles Clippers, Paul George trade
Rd. 2
Rd. 2 – from Charlotte via New Orleans, Nick Richards trade
Rd. 2 – from Minnesota, Ricky Rubio trade

2025
Rd. 1
Rd. 1 – pick swap – from Houston or Los Angeles Clippers, Russell Westbrook trade
Rd. 1 – Top-6 protected pick – from Philadelphia, Danny Green trade
Rd. 2
Rd. 2 – protected 31-55 – from Atlanta, Danilo Gallinari trade
Rd. 2 – from Philadelphia, George Hill trade
Rd. 2 – from Boston, Kemba Walker trade

2026
Rd. 1
Rd. 1 – Top-4 protected – from Houston, Russell Westbrook trade
Rd. 1 – unprotected – from Los Angeles Clippers, Paul George trade
Rd. 2
Rd. 2 – from Dallas, Trevor Ariza acquisition
Rd. 2 – from Philadelphia, George Hill trade
The Thunder currently have the following guys under 22 years old: Maledon, Bazley, Poku, and Josh Hall.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will be 24 next year and Lou Dort will be 22.

I didn't watch them much last year, but my general impression is that they were a tanking team that looked like it at times. With all of that youth, they showed flashes of brilliance mixed with a lot of ineptitude. They felt a little under-coached to me.

So what is the best use for all of these picks? They clearly can't draft players with all of them -- they'd essentially turn into a college all-star team + SGA.

With this many picks, is anyone off-limits? How many picks would you have to offer before New Orleans would consider a Zion trade? What would you have to offer Dallas for a sign-and-trade for Luka given his unhappiness? It's a fascinating situation, and I have no idea what OKC is going to do.

Edit: as referenced below, the Houston/Miami pick listed as the 18th pick in the draft above is described as follows by NBA.com:

Conveyed from Houston with top-four protection in Chris Paul-Russell Westbrook trade. Conveyed from Miami via Phoenix to Philadelphia to L.A. Clippers to Oklahoma City. The Thunder will get the two most favourable picks of its own, Miami's first-round pick and Houston's first-round pick if outside top-four
 
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Ale Xander

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Find the modern version of KD, Russ, Beard, and Ibaka, via all your picks, and then add a 5th guy via FA to complete the team.


Easier said than done.
 

PedroKsBambino

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It's more or less:

- Seek to package to move up
- Seek to trade into future years
- Draft BPA

Roughly in that order right?
 

AMS25

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And thus:
I didn't watch them much last year, but my general impression is that they were a tanking team that looked like it at times. With all of that youth, they showed flashes of brilliance mixed with a lot of ineptitude. They felt a little under-coached to me.
The Thunder played fairly well until the trade deadline. In these early months, they made sure to play Horford and George Hill (when healthy) to showcase their play. After the deadline, SGA got injured, and Dort sat quite a bit, sometimes due to injury, sometimes for "rest." Heck, they even stopped playing Mike Muscala, who'd been having a solid year. At that point, the Thunder seriously tanked. They brought in some international players (Gabriel Deck -- Argentina and Jaylen Hoard -- France), and let them play alongside some of their other players from the scrapheap of the NBA. I don't know if they were under-coached, but Mark Daigneault gets an "A" for sounding enthusiastic about his players and their development, even after the worst blowouts. (He was a G-League coach so he's all about development.)

The scrapheap players --- think Isaiah Roby and Kenrich Williams -- played hard and sought to impress the Thunder with their work ethic. (Some formed a Breakfast Club, where they showed up to practice early and worked out together.) So, even though they sucked in the second half of the season, they were entertaining on some level.
 

nighthob

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It's more or less:

- Seek to package to move up
- Seek to trade into future years
- Draft BPA

Roughly in that order right?
The problem is that those move up trades are harder since scouting improved. They're reaching the saturation point with young players. They have a star in SGA, two guys look like keepers that need court time to develop in Dort and Bazley, young draft picks like Pokey that need playing time to develop, and now six draft picks this year. Two of whom could be lottery picks. The 16th pick will get lots of time to catch up on their reading.
 

AMS25

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The problem is that those move up trades are harder since scouting improved. They're reaching the saturation point with young players.
I agree, though most of these players are easily let go (on short contracts without much in the way of guaranteed pay/years). This year's Draft Lottery is super important for the Thunder. They could have two high picks if Houston falls out of the top 4.
 

nighthob

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I agree, though most of these players are easily let go (on short contracts without much in the way of guaranteed pay/years). This year's Draft Lottery is super important for the Thunder. They could have two high picks if Houston falls out of the top 4.
I listed five that aren't easy to let go, and they're adding six more.
 

nighthob

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I mean he already has one linchpin in SGA. He should get his second star this draft. If he's smart he'll open the vault and send out an unprecedented haul for a young star. Honestly if he came out of thir draft with two top five picks he should be on the phone to Dallas and New Orleans to land either Luka or Zion.
 

cheech13

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I mean he already has one linchpin in SGA. He should get his second star this draft. If he's smart he'll open the vault and send out an unprecedented haul for a young star. Honestly if he came out of thir draft with two top five picks he should be on the phone to Dallas and New Orleans to land either Luka or Zion.
I don’t think there is any package of players or picks that would land Zion or Luka. Those are the two most valuable assets in the league.
 

nighthob

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I don’t think there is any package of players or picks that would land Zion or Luka. Those are the two most valuable assets in the league.
I mean if they had 1/5, they could add 4-6 firsts to that. No way the Pelicans do better. Dallas is probably a better bet, though, with Doncic's unhappiness.
 

nighthob

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Actually it's a lot less if he goes to free agency and threatens to sign a QO. Most players don't because they don't really want out of their current situations. But we could very well see Luka go that route because it looks like he hates everyone in his organization now. I wouldn't be shocked if Williamson went that route. Though his body/game lends itself to sudden catastrophic injury so he probably doesn't.
 

bosockboy

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Actually it's a lot less if he goes to free agency and threatens to sign a QO. Most players don't because they don't really want out of their current situations. But we could very well see Luka go that route because it looks like he hates everyone in his organization now. I wouldn't be shocked if Williamson went that route. Though his body/game lends itself to sudden catastrophic injury so he probably doesn't.
It might be a subtle warning that they had better nail the coaching hire.

But the Pels saw first hand with AD, life is miserable if someone truly wants out.
 

nighthob

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Yeah, it's one of those things, if he truly wants out that's the most valuable contract in NBA history (post-free agency era anyway). Presti probably empties the vault for Zion.
 

cheech13

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I’ll believe that signing the QO is a legitimate threat as soon as one star player actually does it. Until then it’s all just posturing.
 

Cellar-Door

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Actually it's a lot less if he goes to free agency and threatens to sign a QO. Most players don't because they don't really want out of their current situations. But we could very well see Luka go that route because it looks like he hates everyone in his organization now. I wouldn't be shocked if Williamson went that route. Though his body/game lends itself to sudden catastrophic injury so he probably doesn't.
Luka made it pretty clear he intends to sign the designated extension. I don't think that has changed, if anything I think Carlisle going is in part to get a guy for Luka.
 

nighthob

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Luka made it pretty clear he intends to sign the designated extension. I don't think that has changed, if anything I think Carlisle going is in part to get a guy for Luka.
Yeah, Dallas has to repair the damage in that organization. They have one star and a bunch of bad deals for players of varying production levels. They're between a Doncic and a hard place.
 

Jakarta

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It's more or less:

- Seek to package to move up
- Seek to trade into future years
- Draft BPA

Roughly in that order right?
Small quibble, but doubt they draft BPA. Given where there are in the rebuilding stage, and the number of picks they have, they almost have to shoot for the moon with these picks (if not packaged to trade for a star or 2). They should really be aiming entirely for the highest upside players (maybe this is what you meant by BPA). Drafting high floor, low ceiling types with mid-first rounders does nothing when you aren’t making the playoffs anyways. Draft a bunch of guys you hope turn into Giannis or Gobert. With so many picks, a couple are likely to hit, and then they have SGA, likely a few studs from their high draft picks, a couple studs from their mid round picks, and then a number of busts. That’s a formula for repeating the early 2010s team and hopefully this time the owners spend the money to keep the team together.
 

Average Game James

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I’ll believe that signing the QO is a legitimate threat as soon as one star player actually does it. Until then it’s all just posturing.
Zion reportedly has a shoe deal that pays him north of $12 million annually with LeBron, Durant, Steph, and Harden the only guys getting more than him. In that regard, he has a bit more leverage than most guys still on rookie deals because he already has a great deal of financial security. It’s one thing to not take a 5 year, $160 million deal when you’ve made $25-30 million, but it’s probably a bit easier to take the risk having already earned almost 9 figures. I agree, I’ll believe it when I see it, but Zion is probably one of the better candidates we’ve seen to play on a QO.
 

BigMike

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Small quibble, but doubt they draft BPA. Given where there are in the rebuilding stage, and the number of picks they have, they almost have to shoot for the moon with these picks (if not packaged to trade for a star or 2). They should really be aiming entirely for the highest upside players (maybe this is what you meant by BPA). Drafting high floor, low ceiling types with mid-first rounders does nothing when you aren’t making the playoffs anyways. Draft a bunch of guys you hope turn into Giannis or Gobert. With so many picks, a couple are likely to hit, and then they have SGA, likely a few studs from their high draft picks, a couple studs from their mid round picks, and then a number of busts. That’s a formula for repeating the early 2010s team and hopefully this time the owners spend the money to keep the team together.
I basically agree with you.. To some degree it matters where their pick ends up If they get 16/18, then absolutely I think one of the 2 picks will be spend on the highest upside possible guy. Maybe they follow that up with a more BPA at a position of need with the other pick.

In terms of the second round picks, those will be mostly Euro's, and or swapped for future.

This lottery this year with the depth of talent in the top 5, the somewhat flattened odds, and of course the potential league changing possibilities with GS, and OK makes it one of the most interesting lotterys of all time
 

nighthob

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Zion reportedly has a shoe deal that pays him north of $12 million annually with LeBron, Durant, Steph, and Harden the only guys getting more than him. In that regard, he has a bit more leverage than most guys still on rookie deals because he already has a great deal of financial security. It’s one thing to not take a 5 year, $160 million deal when you’ve made $25-30 million, but it’s probably a bit easier to take the risk having already earned almost 9 figures. I agree, I’ll believe it when I see it, but Zion is probably one of the better candidates we’ve seen to play on a QO.
I hadn't realized that his shoe deal paid him that much. He really doesn't have to sign the QO, he just has to refuse to sign the extension and the Pelicans are screwed. Because once he hits RFA status the mere threat of signing the QO leaves them high and dry. Again, I don't know if he's actually unhappy, but if he is the Pelicans might want to consider milking OKC's surplus.
 

bosockboy

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I hadn't realized that his shoe deal paid him that much. He really doesn't have to sign the QO, he just has to refuse to sign the extension and the Pelicans are screwed. Because once he hits RFA status the mere threat of signing the QO leaves them high and dry. Again, I don't know if he's actually unhappy, but if he is the Pelicans might want to consider milking OKC's surplus.
The Pels have over a dozen first rounders through 2027. Do they need that many more?
 

lovegtm

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I’ll believe that signing the QO is a legitimate threat as soon as one star player actually does it. Until then it’s all just posturing.
Porzingis reportedly was set on doing it, which is why the Knicks dealt him.

Most guys are just fine with current teams and locking up the money after year 3. I suppose we'll find out this summer where Luka is at. But I'm guessing the threat of not signing the extension is how Donovan, Tatum and KAT were all able to get the 5th year player option.

If a player doesn't sign the extension, the team is on the clock, because if you get to the post year 4 summer without a deal, actually signing the QO would probably generate a trade very quickly.
 

nighthob

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The Pels have over a dozen first rounders through 2027. Do they need that many more?
I was thinking more along the lines of two top five picks this year. At least some of those inbound #1s in hand are likely to be cruft, so a few picks in a draft with a lot of starpower in the top 10 might help give them a replacement corps with enough draft picks left over to go fishing for the right vets to add to the mix. However I still doubt that he’s really unhappy.
 
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Porzingis reportedly was set on doing it, which is why the Knicks dealt him.
There was a semi-decent argument at that time that Porzingis was overrated and not worth a max contract, an argument that looks much better with he passage of time. I've always been a bit of a Porzingis hater so I liked the trade for the Knicks at the time.

I'm just saying it's possible that the Knicks were sick of a disgruntled, oft-injured player who doesn't really have a position (he's a tall, slow wing but because of his slowness is forced to play C) and were happy to get rid of him for some salary relief and a couple firsts. It's possible that the threat of accepting a qualifying offer never entered into things.
 

lovegtm

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There was a semi-decent argument at that time that Porzingis was overrated and not worth a max contract, an argument that looks much better with he passage of time. I've always been a bit of a Porzingis hater so I liked the trade for the Knicks at the time.

I'm just saying it's possible that the Knicks were sick of a disgruntled, oft-injured player who doesn't really have a position (he's a tall, slow wing but because of his slowness is forced to play C) and were happy to get rid of him for some salary relief and a couple firsts. It's possible that the threat of accepting a qualifying offer never entered into things.
It's possible, and it definitely worked out well for the Knicks. I need to check back though; I feel like I remember credible reporting that he was threatening to sign the QO.
 

BigMike

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I was thinking more along the lines of two top five picks this year. At least some of those inbound #1s in hand are likely to be cruft, so a few picks in a draft with a lot of starpower in the top 10 might help give them a replacement corps with enough draft picks left over to go fishing for the right vets to add to the mix. However I still doubt that he’s really unhappy.
Maybe, but the Thunder would have to believe he would be willing to stay there. Zion seems like a guy who wants to get to NY/LA as fast as humanly possible, because it is likely his basketball contract will end up being less than half of his future earnings
 

Cesar Crespo

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Maybe, but the Thunder would have to believe he would be willing to stay there. Zion seems like a guy who wants to get to NY/LA as fast as humanly possible, because it is likely his basketball contract will end up being less than half of his future earnings
Does it really matter where you play nowadays re sponserships?

I'm guessing most want LA or Miami due to the warm weather. No one wants to play for NY now.
 

128

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Does it really matter where you play nowadays re sponserships?

I'm guessing most want LA or Miami due to the warm weather. No one wants to play for NY now.
At least three guys really wanted to play for BKN.
 

nattysez

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I'm just here to compliment the thread title - outstanding.
This is the best thread title I've seen in two decades.
Thank you, thank you very much...

This is a good rundown on all of the Pelicans' issues. But long story short, none of this screams "trade Zion" to me. More like "build a better team around Zion ASAP in order to save our jobs." That said, if you want to get crazy, there's a dream NYK Zion scenario where Julius Randle+ goes to OKC, OKC and NYK picks go to New Orleans, and the Knicks get Zion. But after his playoff performance and given the fact that he's on the last year of his deal, I'm not sure Randle is a safe enough bet for OKC to send NYK a massive haul. And that's probably what the NYK would need, along with their own picks, to land Zion.

In terms of stars with dysfunction around them, KAT, Luka, Dame, Tatum (!), Jaylen Brown (!), and Gobert (less dysfunction than the fact that he winds up getting exposed by small-ball schemes in the playoffs) seem like the highest-profile targets. Or if you just want to hope a dumb team does something dumb with a good player, dangling a couple of picks for D'Aaron Fox might also work.
 

nighthob

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If the Thunder end up with two top five picks I could totally see Presti making a godfather offer for Tatum to add to SGA. KATman's another I could see them going after.
 

lovegtm

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If the Thunder end up with two top five picks I could totally see Presti making a godfather offer for Tatum to add to SGA. KATman's another I could see them going after.
Didn't realize they had a 48% chance at getting Houston's pick, even with Rockets having the best odds. Wonder whether teams will start protecting more like top-6 to 8 to protect themselves in the event of sudden tanks.

Would you trade two top-5s for KAT in this class? I guess I'm just insanely low on his defense and might prefer to build with the picks themselves.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Didn't realize they had a 48% chance at getting Houston's pick, even with Rockets having the best odds. Wonder whether teams will start protecting more like top-6 to 8 to protect themselves in the event of sudden tanks.

Would you trade two top-5s for KAT in this class? I guess I'm just insanely low on his defense and might prefer to build with the picks themselves.
If they can sign a max guy to pair with KAT and SGA, yes. They'd be in great financial shape to add guys and still have a treasure chest of picks left.
 

benhogan

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Didn't he sign with NY after 2 knee injures? He had 1 good year and then fell apart, predictably.

Even using Amare, that was 2010/11.
sounds familiar, except our guy lasted 4 months and relied on quickness to create seperation

I'm pounding my last few nails in that Kemba coffin
 

sezwho

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sounds familiar, except our guy lasted 4 months and relied on quickness to create seperation

I'm pounding my last few nails in that Kemba coffin
I 100% wish him the best, as do most here I believe, but my nerves still aren’t recovered from watching his on-again/off-again presence turn both ends of the court into jenga.