The 2021 NBA Draft is coming up fast.
With a loaded war chest of assets, the Oklahoma City Thunder will be looking to make a splash.
With 18 first round draft picks in the next 7 drafts, the Thunder will have the flexibility to move up in the draft. The only question is what that move will cost.
Here are SI Thunder’s thoughts on what it will take to trade up to the No. 3 pick in the 2021 Draft:
Derek Parker: Potentially the draft pick with the highest value, there's a legitimate shot whoever owns it could land a player worthy of the top spot. Evan Mobley and Jalen Green are the two most likely options at three, both with tons of upside. Cleveland hasn't had this high of a pick in awhile, but there have also been reports that they favor Jonathan Kuminga. With Oklahoma City specifically, offloading Kevin Love will be a must in any trade. Cleveland's in a bit of an awkward spot, so it's not clear whether they value prospects or picks more, but OKC will have plenty of both. Either way, it's not going to be cheap.
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Nick Crain: Cleveland’s third overall pick in the upcoming draft is highly valuable. The top three prospects in this class all have clear superstar potential. Whether it’s Jalen Green or Evan Mobley that fall to three, the Cavaliers should be happy regardless. With that in mind, Cleveland could certainly be a team that trades their pick for the right price. In what could be an active offseason for them, they’ll be shopping Kevin Love and Collin Sexton. With that in mind, the No. 3 pick could be packaged with Love to a team like OKC who has cap space to get him off Cleveland’s books. Regardless of what the trade looks like, the Thunder would have to be prepared to send the Cavs at least three future first rounders to move up three spots.
Ryan Chapman: A trade with Cleveland is perhaps the most interesting potential outcome for Oklahoma City. Rarely is the No. 1-overall pick traded, so Sam Presti could be targeting a pick that still holds great value since one of Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley or Jalen Green will still be available. OKC will have to take on Kevin Love, but the most fascinating part will be if the Cavs want to take on Kemba Walker to help mentor Darius Garland and Collin Sexton. With the jury still out on Sexton, Cleveland may only want to take on picks as compensation, something the Thunder have in bunches.
Oklahoma City’s Offer: No. 6 pick, No. 16 pick, Clippers 2022 first round pick, Heat 2023 first round pick