11 best OKC Thunder acquisitions in franchise 11-year history

General Manager Sam Presti OKC Thunder Trade Deadline Primer 2019 (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
General Manager Sam Presti OKC Thunder Trade Deadline Primer 2019 (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder, Serge Ibaka (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder acquires Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, and Ersan Ilyasova:

This trade is number one not because it alone is so great, but because of what it led to. Without this trade Presti never would have been able to turn Ilyasova into Jerami Grant and eventually a first-round pick and even more importantly without this trade, OKC couldn’t have turned Oladipo and Sabonis into Paul George and eventually into Gallinari, Gilgeous-Alexander, and the fleet of first-rounders they now possess.

This is the trade that started the ball rolling and with an excellent GM like Presti, OKC was able to turn that first trade into an incredible return. The net of this trade for OKC ended up being Ibaka and a top-20 protected first-round pick for Gallinari, Gilgeous-Alexander, a 2021 first-round pick (Heat), a 2022 first-round pick (Clippers), a conditional 2023 first-round pick (Heat), a 2024 first-round pick (Clippers), a 2026 first-round pick (Clippers), and first-round pick swaps in 2023 and 2025, and a top-10 protected first-round pick (Nuggets).

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That is just crazy, especially considering that Ibaka’s effectiveness declined immediately following the original trade.

OKC won the original trade by a fairly wide margin in hindsight when considering how Ibaka played afterward and how Oladipo and Sabonis ended up developing, but again this trade is ranked here because of what it led to.

Thunder fans should be very thankful for Presti and his excellent ability to work the trade market. Without the Ibaka trade in 2016, OKC’s rebuild would be in much worse shape right now.

With what they were able to acquire for Paul George this should be a very exciting rebuild with tremendous potential. OKC may not win as many games in the next few years, but it is still a great time to be an OKC Thunder fan!

Next. Lessons Presti can learn from counterparts in Thunder rebuild. dark

The question that remains is: will OKC keep all of the drafts picks they have accumulated or will Presti again work some trade magic and use some of the picks to acquire a star at some point in the future?