If the Oklahoma City Thunder cash in their trade assets to go after a superstar at the NBA Trade Deadline, who would be the best fit next to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander?
The Shai Gilgeous-Alexander-led Oklahoma City Thunder have usurped all expectations this year. They are currently the second-best team in the Western Conference at 23-11. They are currently the second-youngest team in the NBA. It wasn't all that long ago that the Thunder had a young roster including Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Serge Ibaka, and Steven Adams. While that roster is bonkers crazy in hindsight, this current roster's potential might just be higher.
While the season has been a success so far, the Thunder could accomplish something great this season. The Championship is within reach, but it feels like the Thunder are one more superstar away from truly being Championship contenders. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (SGA) is having an MVP-type season. If the Thunder are looking to be contenders, it would be smart for them to make a move at the trade deadline.
The Thunder have the assets and then some to make a big move, the question is, will they? So far, they have proven to be hesitant to make the big move. Nevertheless, we will explore four players who could take this team from dreamers to believers ahead of the trade deadline.
Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors are currently in no-man's land. After the trade with the New York Knicks, they have restocked the cupboard with young talent and assets. However, the Raptors still have some difference-making veterans on the roster who should be moved for more assets. Does this make Pascal Siakam available?
If it does, the Thunder should give the Raptors a call. It feels like the Thunder are missing a formidable forward on this roster. Siakam neutralizes this concern. The trade assets needed to acquire Siakam honestly shouldn't overwhelm the Thunder. What it ultimately comes down to is, is Sam Presti willing to utilize his 10,000 draft picks on a player like Siakam? He will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason which makes things a bit more complicated, but the Thunder could overlook this concern easily with the amount of trade capital at their fingertips that are expendable.
Siakam offers playmaking that Shai could utilize to make him even more efficient on offense. He'd instantly open up driving lanes for Shai, as well as be able to hit open threes if/when the defense collapses on Shai. He'd also take a lot of defensive pressure off of Shai and the Thunder. This would be a slam dunk of a trade.