I’m the kind of guy that loves trade deadlines. I love roster moves. I love speculating over what could be or what might have been. I love thinking about the what-ifs and the maybe-could-happens. So with Thursday’s trade deadline approaching, if you assumed that I was excited about it, you’d be right.
A lot of people in the know figure Sam “Give Me Draft Picks!” Presti and Oklahoma City will be major players at the deadline. The Thunder’s got expiring contracts, draft picks and a few enticing veterans on the roster. All that adds up to Presti spending more time on the phone than Kelvin Sampson.
But before you can do anything – in anything – you’ve got to know what you’ve got. You’ve got to take inventory and rank your assets. So that’s what we’ll do. (Nenad Krstic is excluded because he can’t be traded for another two months.) You can really break the Thunder’s roster into seven simple categories.
We’re going to want the keys to your city
1. Kevin Durant. He’s OKC’s top asset and he’s not going anywhere. There’s maybe two players in the entire league that I’d trade him straight up for. LeBron and Dwight Howard. Nope, not Kobe. Nope, not even Chris Paul. From what we’ve seen from KD in just this little time, I think we’re looking at a steady top five player with the potential to be a top three. And because by law, any time you talk about Kevin Durant’s awesomeness, you have to mention this: He’s only 20 years old.
It’s going to have to be good. Real good.
2. Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook. Uncle Jeff is quickly establishing himself as a scorer from both the inside and outside, but also as a quality defender and physical rebounder. Russell is considered by some to maybe be the best player from the 2008 draft. For these two, I honestly don’t know too many players I’d take in exchange for them. I love the chemistry between them and KD and with their ages being 20, 20 and 22, it gives OKC long-term stability. By “real good,” I’m talking, like really, really good.
3. 2009 first round pick. Regardless of what happens from here on out, the Thunder are in the lottery. And most likely, barring some 25-game win streak, OKC will be in the top five or six. While with the way it’s looking, picks 2-30 don’t look all that wonderful, teams still would love to have the Thunder’s No. 1. Keep Reading…