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Thunder Draft: Could Houston Trade Back From No. 2?

As Sam Presti explores all options for the Thunder, the Rockets could be a potential target to trade up in the draft.
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The Oklahoma City Thunder are primed to move up in the draft later this month. With all of the future draft picks they’ve accumulated, these are the moments that they could strike gold and use this draft capital.

While it’s going to be extremely difficult to find a deal to move up to the first pick in effort to select Cade Cunningham, the second pick could be much more obtainable. 

Zach Harper of The Athletic reported last week that it’s believed the Houston Rockets have been fixated on Cunningham but arent willing to pay the price the Detroit Pistons are requesting for them to move up. If they’re not able to move up, Houston could look to trade out of No. 2 in exchange for a more definite young player, Harper says. 


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In this draft, with pretty clear tiers of talent, it would take quite the haul for the Thunder to move up four spots. They’d need to be prepared to send multiple future first round picks as well as a proven, young player.

While that young player wouldn’t be Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, they’d have to consider someone like Lu Dort, Darius Bazley or Ty Jerome as part of the pick package to move up.

With that in mind, the Rockets will still more than likely stay put. As much as they’d like to move up a spot to take the superstar point guard in Cunningham, they will still have the ability to draft a franchise altering player in Jalen Green, Evan Mobley or Jalen Suggs rather than move down.

It won’t be easy, but Oklahoma City could certainly strike a deal with Houston on draft night if they aren’t able to move up to No. 1 overall.