With a loaded war chest of assets, the Oklahoma City Thunder have plenty of options for the future.
With 18 first round draft picks in the next 7 drafts, the Thunder will have the flexibility to grab any number of star-level players. The only question is who and for what timeline.
Aligning players with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will be key.
Over the next few weeks, InsideTheThunder.com will be evaluating what it would take to land some of the top available talent in the NBA, and Dallas forward Kristaps Porzingis could be one of the most available talents.
Here are SI Thunder’s thoughts on what it will take to trade for the Mavericks forward:
Derek Parker: Porzingis, regardless of his less than adequate postseason, can still be a valuable contributor on the right team. And he's one that would function much better on OKC's timeline than Kemba Walker. Walker, injury bug aside, may be better suited to help Dallas maintain Luka Doncic, one of the top talents in the league. It's a deal that almost makes too much sense to happen, especially with Thunder general manager Sam Presti's love of international talents. Money-wise, it's one of the few deals involving either player that get done easily.
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Nick Crain: After trading for Kemba Walker, a re-route to Dallas makes a ton of sense. After a rough outing in the postseason for Porzingis, the Thunder could look to buy low. The Mavericks really want a pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, as they don’t own one, so perhaps Walker and a 2021 second rounder for Porzingis and a future second rounder could benefit both sides. Oklahoma City gets a young stretch big while the Mavericks get much needed playmaking as they try to shift into win-now mode around Luka Doncic.
Ryan Chapman: The Unicorn could be Sam Presti's next great revival process. Showing so much promise in New York, Porzingis has struggled to say healthy, and has looked a shell of himself when he has been on the floor. He is reportedly unhappy playing alongside Doncic as the Serbian star is the centerpiece in Dallas, so the Thunder could easily send Kemba Walker to give the Mavericks another guard to play alongside Doncic. Personally, I would want to seek further compensation if I were Presti, but this could be about as close to a straight up swap as you get as the players involved could be much happier with the given timelines of OKC and Dallas.
Oklahoma City's Offer: Kemba Walker, the No. 36 pick in the 2021 Draft and a future second round pick for Kristaps Porzingis