Eyebrows were raised early Friday afternoon when Sam Presti traded swing-man Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for a protected 2020 second-round pick and cash considerations. Was this the necessary first move before Presti’s grand finale? It’s only natural for Thunder faithful to expect some February fireworks as the deadline approaches, therefore let’s take a peek at five trade ideas before Thursday’s trade deadline passes.
OKC receives: Wayne Ellington
MIA receives: Alex Abrines & 2019 second round pick
Despite January’s impressive shooting display for the Thunder, which saw them shoot 40.4 percent from beyond the arc; good for second in the entire association, this team desperately craves more shooting. The Heat are currently in the least desirable spot, stuck in between full tank mode and nowhere near contention. The Heat are 24-26 and seventh in the Eastern conference, staring down the barrel of a first round sweep in Dwyane Wade’s final season. Since the 2016-17 season, Ellington is shooting 38.3 percent from distance on seven attempts per game, one of the most underappreciated veterans in the NBA today. Ellington would provide a much needed shot of life to the Thunder rotation, while Pat Riley acquires another asset for his long-term rebuild in South Beach.
OKC receives: Reggie Bullock and Ish Smith
DET receives: Alex Abrines, Raymond Felton, and 2019 second round pick
Bullock is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st, where he’ll garner plenty of interest after shooting 40.9 percent from three since the 2017-18 season on over five attempts per game. Similar to the Heat, the Pistons are simply not winning enough games to be taken seriously, but not losing enough in order to be optimistic about landing a generational player in the upcoming draft. Instead of losing Bullock for nothing in a lost season, the Pistons pick up a second round pick in exchange for a Bullock rental for the Thunder’s stretch run.
OKC receives: Jeff Green
WAS receives: Raymond Felton & 2019 second round pick
Sensing a trend here? After losing John Wall for the year back in December, as it stands now the Wizards are on the outside looking in on the 2019 postseason. Jeff Green is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year, so the Wizards pick up an extra asset before Green walks in the offseason. The Thunder would absolutely welcome a reunion with Green, as he’s shooting 37.9 percent from deep on nearly four attempts per game. Another useful Three-and-D for Billy Donovan’s rotation. If Green isn’t dealt by the deadline, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him pop up on the buyout market.
OKC receives: E’Twaun Moore
NO receives: Alex Abrines, Raymond Felton, and 2019 second round pick
With Monday’s report of Anthony Davis’s trade request, the walls are closing in on the Pelicans. Coming off a surprising berth in the Western Conference Semis last season, the Pelicans are filled with capable contributors for other contenders. I’m sure Pelicans’ GM Dell Demps’ phone has been ringing off the hook this week, and not just from rival GMs looking to acquire Davis. Moore is shooting 42.2 percent from three since 2017-18, on three and a half attempts per game. Time for the Thunder to pounce on the fire sale down on the bayou.
OKC receives: Bradley Beal and Tomas Satoransky
WAS receives: Dennis Schroder, Andre Roberson, Terrance Ferguson, OKC’s 2019 second round pick, and OKC’s 2024 first round pick
Scared money don’t make none. The Wizards have endured reports for a vast majority of the year regarding Beal and his availability throughout the league. However, Beal refuted these reports back in November. Right when those trade reports were coming out, Russell Westbrook threw Beal a follow on the ‘gram. Since when does Westbrook associate himself with the enemy? The Wizards have dealt with its fair share of dysfunction over the years, with plenty of rumblings of a potential teardown. Even though Wizards owner Ted Leonsis publicly stated on Thursday that he would not be trading Wall, Beal, and/or Otto Porter, I wouldn’t put it past Presti to call his bluff. Beal is a 25-year-old all-star that more properly aligns with the Thunder’s current championship window. With this trade, the Thunder’s core would all be under contract until 2021, when Beal and Steven Adams are set to hit the market. The Thunder officially become a super-team for years to come after Donovan reunites with his former Florida Gator.