Hollinger looked at the top five team’s trade options. For OKC he said:
If the pick is Thabeet, then it’s no worries for the Thunder. They would get the shot-blocking big man they were looking for when they made the revoked Tyson Chandler trade in February.
If it’s Rubio, things get a lot trickier. Oklahoma City already has Westbrook at the point, and he had an exceptional rookie season considering his youth and inexperience at the position. It’s not as simple as moving Westbrook to the 2, either. He has the size to play there, but he’s not a good shooter. Since Rubio is a lousy shooter too, it would invite opponents to double- and triple-team Kevin Durant while sagging way off the Thunder’s guards.
Yet the Thunder don’t seem anxious to trade Westbrook either, not after the season he had as a rookie, and not when his aggressive mentality seems to be exactly what the team was looking for as the yin to Durant’s laid-back yang.
So we need to at least ask the question: Would Oklahoma City trade down a spot with Sacramento? The Kings are dying to get Rubio, while at No. 4 the Thunder could snag a much-needed wing sniper like James Harden and earn a few other goodies in the process. As enticement, Sacramento could offer its No. 23 pick and/or Spencer Hawes, or agree to swap Jason Thompson for Thabo Sefolosha.
What an interesting scenario. Really, Sam Presti is going to have a chance to prove his worth come June 25th. At three, OKC is going to have more options than any other team. You can throw out the No. 1 pick – we know what’s happening there. But at two, there’s questions. So depending on what Memphis does, the Thunder could have their phone ringing off the hook. And Hollinger’s trade proposal doesn’t sound bad at all to me. I love James Harden and though I’d absolutely kill for Rubio, Harden may make for a more sound fit. And to be able to pick up a thing or two as a result wouldn’t be all bad either. I just don’t want to give up Thabo. Plus, it would be a little ironic to bring in Spencer Hawes after his little “fashion statement” earlier this year. I don’t think OKC needs another player at 23, especially with a pick at 25, but I wouldn’t object to Hawes or Jason Thompson.
And let’s say Memphis takes Rubio. There’s a lot of teams behind the Thunder that like Thabeet as well. So if whoever Presti pegs as his guy – Harden, DeRozen, Holliday, Hill, whoever – he could work his way to still getting him and picking up something extra. But then again, we thought the same thing might happen last year with Russell Westbrook. Presti’s hand was forced and he had to pull the trigger at four to get his man.
This doesn’t even include the outside trade scenario that could bring in something bigger to Oklahoma City. Toronto has been said to be interested in acquiring picks and possibly moving up. Chris Bosh is reportedly unhappy in Toronto. Put two and two together there.
So the question is, would you pass on Rubio to move down and take Harden and maybe pick up an extra pick or player? Common sense says yes, but the lure of Rubio says no. Tough question to answer.