According to the different reports published this Sunday, the Thunder and the Lakers They would have an agreement in principle to send Dennis Schroder to Los Angeles, while OKC would receive the 28th pick of the next Draft, in addition to possibly Danny Green for a salary issue.
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The movement is one more example of the direction that Oklahoma City seems determined to face as of 2020-2021: an absolute reconstruction, which will surely see the departure of Danilo Gallinari in the Free Agency and of several other of his veterans via transfer. Schroder may not be the only one: a possible Chris Paul to Phoenix trade is also rumored, while it remains to be seen what happens to Steven Adams, who also does not seem to enter the long-term plans of the franchise. Same outlook for Green, if he arrives via Lakers.
Of course, that decision of the Thunder is far from being sudden, but they have been preparing for that moment for years: since Kevin Durant’s departure to Golden State that this seemed to be the inevitable outcome and the truth is that Sam Presti could not have left his team in a better position to face this process.
To get started, they already have an interesting young core with pieces like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lu Dort, Darius Bazley or to a lesser extent, the athletic Hamidou Diallo and Terrance Ferguson, all of them under 22 years old. But what really stands out in Oklahoma City’s situation is the arsenal of 1st-round picks they’ve built up for the next seven drafts.
If the trade with Lakers is confirmed, OKC will have 15 1st Round picks from 2020 to 2026, by far the highest number of any of the 30 franchises. And that’s not counting what they can eventually get for Chris Paul. More in favor? Several of those 15 picks have the option of swap with Miami, Houston and Clippers, assuring the Thunder that they will have the best possible selection in each case. That, added to the fact that if the team bets on a reconstruction, it will probably have high teams of its own in the years ahead, leaves a dream context when it comes to imagining a long-term plan.
Oklahoma City already had its golden years at the beginning of the last decade, precisely because of its successes with the rookies: chose Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and James Harden with four consecutive 1st Round picks between 2007 and 2009, in what has probably been the most spectacular stretch of a franchise in Draft history. Expecting three MVPs to be reinstated may be over the top, but the record gives the go-ahead to the leadership of Presti and company.
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To be patient in OKC, because although some negative campaigns may come in terms of record, the future looks brighter and brighter.
Los picks del Thunder
The Thunder already have the 25th pick on the order, obtained via Denver during the trade with Jerami Grant. In addition, according to what was reported by different journalists this Sunday, OKC would also add the 28th pick, until today held by the Los Angeles Lakers, in a move that will leave Dennis Schroder in LA.
In the powerful 2021 Draft, OKC will also have two 1st Round selections, with an even more interesting addition: it will receive the two best selections among the picks of Miami, Houston and its own, according to different moves they have made in the past. (mainly the exchanges of Paul George and Russell Westbrook). This means, for example, that if OKC chose fifth in the order, Houston tenth and Miami 15th (just to give an example), the Thunder would stay with 5th and 10th place.
In order not to lose the habit, in 2022 Oklahoma City could also have two 1st Round selections: they got the one from the LA Clippers in the trade for Chris Paul, while although theirs sent it to Atlanta in the trade for Dennis Schroder, if it is from Lottery (picks 1 to 14), it will continue to be held by OKC.
The double picks continue in 2023. For starters, they have the option of swapping positions with the LA Clippers, if the Angelenos’ pick is better than theirs. In addition, they also have the pick of the Miami Heat (as long as it does not finish in the Top 14).
The backlog of picks grows by 2024, where they will have three 1st Round picks: their own, Houston’s (if it doesn’t fall into the Top 4) and the LA Clippers’.
In this case they only have a 1st round pick, but with the versatility of being able to exchange it for the best placed among the Houston, Clippers and their own team.
Same situation as in 2024, with three 1st round picks: his own, Houston’s (Top 4 protected) and Clippers’.
The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the NBA or its organizations.