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
Chris Paul, Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder acquires Chris Paul, two first-round picks, and two first-round pick swaps:

This one might be another surprise pick to be featured in this list but hold for the explanation. Obviously, any rational Thunder fan hated to see Westbrook go, but sadly it was time.

It would have been great to see Westbrook finish his entire career in OKC, but the team was going into rebuild mode and that would not be fair to Westbrook. Nor would it be smart to put Russ through it.

Westbrook does not like to lose so he would have ended up winning more games and worsening draft odds for OKC. As hard as it was to see the greatest player in Thunder history leave, it was time.

So this trade was good from two angles. First, the OKC Thunder were able to put franchise great, Russell Westbrook in a place where he has a much better chance at competing. And, it was great to see the Thunder were able to respect Westbrook enough to get him to a better situation.

Now from the benefit of the team perspective, this was a solid return for Westbrook. Chris Paul is unlikely to remain with OKC through the entirety of the 2019-2020 season, so we can’t really grade that portion of the trade yet, but we can grade the draft capital.

Paul could end up bringing in even more draft capital for the Thunder or he could end up costing draft capital to get his contract off the books, that remains to be seen. But what we can see right now is two top-four protected first-round picks in 2024 and 2026, a 2021 top-four protected first-round pick swap, and a 2025 top-20 protected first-round pick swap is a pretty good haul.

This trade was a tear-jerker, but again it was time. Presti capitalized and got a pretty good haul for Westbrook while still landing him in a great situation. Even with this trade being good from both Westbrook’s and the Thunder’s perspective, it just couldn’t be too high on this list because of how hard it was to see Westbrook go to a different franchise.