Future outlook: How OKC Thunder build from here

Nick Collison, Sam Presti, OKC Thunder - trade deadline overview (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nick Collison, Sam Presti, OKC Thunder - trade deadline overview (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Sam Presti, OKC Thunder (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Although this may seem quite obvious, the OKC Thunder should look into offloading anybody of value. There are a handful of players on this roster that I think should be expendable and available in trade talks. Those players include Chris Paul, Danilo Gallinari, Dennis Schroder, and Andre Roberson. I covered what a CP3 trade would look like above, so let’s look at what some of these hypothetical deals that I would make if I was GM might look like.

Danilo Gallinari:

Seemingly overlooked in the massive haul OKC received for trading away Paul George, Gallinari was a very good player for the Clippers last season and could have multiple teams interested in acquiring him if he was available on the market.

Coming off a career year in 2018 where he averaged 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists in only 30 minutes a game on a staggering 63.3 true shooting percentage. In addition to his counting stats, he also led the NBA in points per possession at 1.17 points per.

Gallinari is a great player and one I would have loved for OKC to acquire before they began this rebuilding project, but at the moment he just doesn’t fit the timeline that OKC is operating on. Thus, I expect him to be available during the season, most likely during the trade deadline.

Gallinari is on an expiring one year deal worth $22,615,559 million dollars which should make him easily tradeable to a contending team such as the Portland Trail Blazers.

This is purely wishful thinking, and Blazer fans might think I am crazy for bringing this up as a possibility but a trade with the framework of Gallinari for Bazemore and Zach Collins would really excite me as an OKC fan. Would Portland do that trade? Probably not by itself, but if you sweeten it with picks it could be possible.

Gallinari would instantly be far and away Portland’s best wing and provides them with a legitimate third or fourth option ahead/behind of Nurkic when he comes back giving them one of the best starting lineups in the Western Conference.

Bazemore would be a salary filler and expiring contract for OKC and Collins, who will be buried behind Nurkic at the center spot for the foreseeable future in Portland, could get starter minutes if the OKC Thunder decide to deal Steven Adams and would be the perfect center in today’s NBA who is capable of elite rim protection and floor spacing.

Now again, do I think this exact swap will happen? No, but Gallinari was as close to an All-Star level player that there was and could be re-signed with the Blazers after the season with Hassan Whitesides expensive deal coming off the books.