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Keeping Dort Makes Sense for Chemistry and Consistency

With trade rumors swirling before the draft around Lu Dort, keeping him makes more sense than dealing him for another pick.

Oklahoma City fans have seen fan favorites traded away before, and it could happen again.

It’s been 10 years since Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and James Harden played their final game as a trio in OKC. The Thunder are now in the midst of building a new trio, but a key cog for the past three seasons is running out of contract time.

As the draft draws near, so does the end of Lu Dort’s contract, which is set to expire at the end of next season. Rumors and reports have begun to swirl about possible trades involving Dort for OKC to gather more draft capital and a big man.

But at what point does trading Dort not make sense?

Dort has been one of few consistencies in the Thunder’s young lineup. He averages 13.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per game in his career and is an elite-level defender.

The Thunder have been keen on making trades in recent years during their rebuild. If the Thunder have the opportunity to get Dort on a fair deal, after this season the Thunder have a large opening in cap space, then Dort would be a prime secondary option next to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

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The trade rumors surrounding Dort normally center on moving up in the upcoming draft, namely the No. 7 pick, which belongs to the Trail Blazers.

Dort was an undrafted free agent, so obviously on the ground floor flipping him for a No. 7 pick has huge value. But Dort developed at a rate few imagined when he first joined OKC.

The Thunder have rarely let fan impact get in the way of the rebuild, trading Westbrook for example, but at which point does a team decide to sit back with what they have and see how the team meshes together to create roster consistency.

The Thunder have pieces of the puzzle and with the No. 2 and No. 12 picks in the draft, they have the chance to add two elite talents to a pool of talented pieces already on the roster, including Dort.

Dort is still looming around his prime, and with time and a new contract, you can dangle his trade value, while keeping team chemistry high for the time being. 

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