The NBA trade deadline is quickly approaching, and with defense being a liability for the Oklahoma City Thunder, rumors continue to fill the web on what trade Sam Presti is working on. Various names such as Avery Bradley, Lou Williams, Rodney Hood, Dewayne Dedmon, and even Marcus Smart have been mentioned. While anyone of those names would look good on an Oklahoma City roster, the truth in these rumors vary, depending on the website one is to view.
Andre Roberson, Oklahoma City’s defensive leader, ruptured his patellar tendon January 27th, ending his season. With Roberson out of the line-up and the playoffs a couple of months away, the Thunder are being pushed to make an immediate trade to fill his role. The prime replacement will have the defensive capability of Roberson, as well as a heavy offensive presence.
Lou Williams is one of the big names in the trade talks for the Thunder. After being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers this past off-season for Chris Paul, along with other Houston Players, Williams has been having a career year. Williams is averaging 23.3 points per game, 5.3 assists per game, and 1.1 steals per game. Williams could not only help defensively, but he would make Oklahoma City more lethal from beyond the arc.
The likelihood of Williams coming to Oklahoma City is slim to none at this point. According to Thunderwire, the Clippers are looking for a first-round draft pick. Unfortunately, Oklahoma City’s next first round pick isn’t until 2022, as their 2018 and 2020 picks are already wrapped up in other trades.
Lou Williams was one of the earlier rumors, dating back to early January. However, the most recent news on Williams reports he will more than likely sign an extension with the Clippers. According to ESPN, “Extension discussions between guard Lou Williams and the LA Clippers have gathered significant momentum, and a new contract is within reach before Thursday afternoon’s NBA trade deadline, league sources told ESPN.”
Update: ESPN confirms Lou Williams has a signed 3-year extension with the Los Angeles Clippers(1st reported by Yahoo Sports)
Avery Bradley has been one of the more recent names popping up in the trade talks. Bradley’s perimeter defense and shooting capability would be a great asset for the Thunder. Despite his defense regressing this season, Bradley tends to show-up in the playoffs and could disrupt opponent’s game plans.
According to Kevin O’Connor from The Ringer, ” landing Bradley would be challenging since the Thunder would have to strike the right balance between sending enough salary to the Clippers and keeping key pieces in place for the stretch run.”
In an updated report from O’Connor he writes, “The problem is it’s unclear whether the Thunder have anywhere close to what it takes to acquire Bradley. One deal that works financially and makes sense on paper would be Alex Abrines and Terrance Ferguson for Bradley, but all indications are that the Thunder highly value Ferguson.”
Rodney Hood is the next big name popping up among the rumors. Hood is having a career-season, averaging 16.4 points a game and shooting almost 39 percent beyond the arc. While Hood is not known for his defense, he does have more experience on the court then Ferguson and Abrines combined. According to Basketball Insiders’ Steve Kyler, “OKC may be willing to part with future draft picks as part of a trade package to bring in a difference-maker.” With Oklahoma City’s next draft pick not until 2022 it doesn’t look likely for the Thunder to acquire Hood.
Update: Rodney Hood has been traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 3-team exchange for Derrick Rose and Jae Crowder(Per Adrian Wojnarowski)
Dewayne Dedmon’s named starting buzzing within the trade talks yesterday. Dedmon is currently with the Atlanta Hawks and having his best season yet, averaging 10 points per game along with 7.7 rebounds. Dedmon is also known for his defensive rebounding and ability to guard in the paint. The combination of Steven Adams and Dedmon near the rim would make it almost impossible for opponents to drive the lane.
According to Sean Deveney at Sporting News, “Sam Presti and the OKC Thunder have expressed interest in Atlanta Hawks center Dewayne Dedmon. The Hawks want a late first round pick, something OKC doesn’t have. Dedmon is likely to decline his player option in search of a bigger contract – it’s likely he’d be a half-season rental.” There has been no other information released in regards to this trade rumor at this time.
The most recent and one of the most intriguing trade rumors is the Thunder being interesting in Marcus Smart. A player of Smart’s physicality could be very beneficial for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Smart is one of the strongest defenders in the league to go along with his offensive assets.
While a lot of Thunder fans would love to have Smart beside Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony, the likelihood is slim to none. According to Kevin O’ Connor of The Ringer, “the Thunder could have a difficult time acquiring Smart since the Celtics are looking for a first-round pick in return.” Unfortunately, Thunder doesn’t have what the Celtics are asking for.
With the deadline 12 hours away, all eyes are on Sam Presti to so what move, if any, is made. The possibility of no trade occurring at all exists, although fans seem to expect a move after Presti performed magic this off-season, acquiring Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. Honestly, after Oklahoma City demolished Golden State for a second time this season, Thunder fans should feel pretty content with their current team.
This report will update as new information is acquired.