The Oklahoma City Thunder own the rights to three first-round picks in the 2021 NBA Draft, as well as three second-round picks, and are a team that are expected to be aggressive in their pursuit for more talent. Gathering draft picks throughout the years has been a goal of GM Sam Presti and the Thunder now have enough assets to make some pretty big changes to their roster.
They already have a lot of talented, young players in the likes of Darius Bazley, Luguentz Dort, Aleksej Pokusevski and Theo Maledon, but their most prized young talent with All-Star caliber potential is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Oklahoma City acquired SGA in a large trade package when they traded Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers back in 2019.
Since coming to OKC, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has continued to get better and better as a combo-guard in this league and before injuring his foot during the 2020-21 season, he was putting up All-Star-like numbers. The young guard averaged 23.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists and shot 50.8% from the floor, 41.8% from three-point range in just 35 games.
He is the face of this young Thunder franchise, so it seems crazy to think they will be trading him anytime soon, but he is in the final year of his rookie contract and Oklahoma City reportedly did offer him in a trade package to try to move up to No. 1 in Thursday’s draft in order to get Cade Cunningham.
According to Matt Babcock of Basketball News, The Thunder offered their young guard and the No. 6 pick in this year’s draft for Detroit’s No. 1 pick, but this trade was declined by the Pistons.
Again, it seems highly unlikely that the Thunder will just go shop Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for nothing and look to move him just because, but there are some teams that could give them a pretty decent return in terms of value for their young guard. With this said, let’s take a look at three hypothetical trade packages that the Thunder could actually consider for Gilgeous-Alexander.
Philadelphia 76ers Receive: G Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, F Kenrich Williams, BOS 2021 1st Round Pick (Pick #16), MIA 2021 1st Round Pick (Pick #18), OKC 2021 2nd Round Pick (Pick #34)
Oklahoma City Thunder Receive: G Ben Simmons, F Matisse Thybulle
After their defeat to the hands of the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Philadelphia 76ers have been gauging trade interest in Ben Simmons league-wide and have not only received trades for the All-Star, but have been actively offering him in various trade packages as well.
Simmons really struggled in the postseason for the 76ers this year and as a result, his time in Philadelphia could be coming to an end. The former #1 overall pick in 2016 is now 25-years-old and still growing as an overall two-way player in this league, but the Sixers do not have time to waste sitting around and waiting for Ben Simmons to become the two-way star he was destined to be.
Philly is in a situation right now where their championship window is small and closing not only because the Brooklyn Nets will be healthy with their “Big 3” next season, but because the Milwaukee Bucks surpassed them this year and won the 2021 NBA Finals. The 76ers, even though they were the 1-seed in the Eastern Conference, are being viewed as the third best team in their conference, which is why they need to make a big move to add more talent.