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OKC Thunder Stay Active As Roster Continues To Change

The Oklahoma City Thunder had an extremely active draft night earlier this week, but haven’t slowed down in the slightest. Since Wednesday night’s draft, the Thunder have been part of another handful of transactions, leaving the team looking even more different than last season.

For starters, it was announced that in their draft night trade with the Wizards, the Thunder would be bringing back Admiral Schofield. He is an athletic, young forward who was a second-round pick in 2019.

From there, the Thunder would make yet another small transaction, this time with the Boston Celtics. In exchange for a heavily-protected second round pick, the Thunder would receive Vincent Poirier and cash considerations. Although 27 years old, Poirier just finished his first ever NBA season and adds depth to the center position for Oklahoma City.

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Next, Oklahoma City would flip recently acquired Kelly Oubre to the Golden State Warriors, who were desperate for wing depth with Klay Thompson set to miss the upcoming season with an achilles injury. Although it wasn’t the return we’ve seen Thunder GM Sam Presti get for players over the past week or so, the Thunder were able to receive a highly-protected first round pick from the Warriors for Oubre.

This is when things started getting crazy for the Thunder. Presti had begun to start working on multiple deals at one time that would send shockwaves throughout the NBA. The first was a three-team deal with the Dallas Mavericks and Detroit Pistons. Oklahoma City would send out James Johnson, whom they acquired on draft night in the Ricky Rubio deal to move up in the draft. In return, they would get Trevor Ariza, Justin Jackson, and draft compensation.

Ariza is 35 and on an expiring contract. He is a veteran who can still shoot well from deep and defend, meaning he will be a prime target for Oklahoma City to flip later on for additional assets. Jackson is 25 and is still looking to find his way in the league. He is a former first round pick in 2017 and averaged 5.5 points per game last season in limited action for the Mavericks.

Finally, with a trade would officially send the Thunder into a new era, Steven Adams was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans. Adams was the final member of Oklahoma City teams of the past. Now, looking back at the 2017-18 roster, there are zero players remaining today. In just two seasons, there has been a complete overhaul of the roster.

The deal that would send Adams to New Orleans was a four-team transaction that also included the Denver Nuggets and Milwaukee Bucks. In return for Adams, the Thunder would get a future first round pick, two second round picks, George Hill, and Darius Miller. Hill is yet another veteran who could be attractive to contenders and be flipped for additional assets down the road.

Although it’s only been a week, it has been perhaps the most active offseason for their Thunder in the history of their franchise when it comes to trades. Along with all of these transactions, it’s worth nothing that Danilo Gallinari did sign a three-year, $61.5 million deal with the Atlanta Hawks, which ended the idea of a potential sign-and-trade for the Thunder.

Additionally, in parallel with everything going on, Mike Muscala opted in to the final year of his deal, while the Thunder picked up the final year of Hamidou Diallo’s contract. Due to this, there will be two familiar faces staying in Oklahoma City that could have hit the free agent market otherwise. Diallo, with two years under his belt on the Thunder, will now be the longest tenured player on the roster.

As Presti continues to build towards the future, he has complied a record amount of future draft capital, while also adding young talent and acquiring veterans who can be flipped later. Nobody should be surprised if there are still a few more moves that the Thunder make before the start of the 2020-21 season on December 22.

Source: Forbes – Business

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