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: Dion Waiters (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder acquires Dion Waiters:

Back in the 2014-2015 NBA season, it was apparent Dion Waiters needed a change of scenery and the Cavaliers were looking for veterans to strengthen their roster for a playoff run. Waiters didn’t end up spending much time in OKC, so this trade is mostly looked at as the J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert trade, but that doesn’t mean this wasn’t a good trade for OKC.

The change of scenery ended up being great for Waiters. It might not show in the stat books, but it was mainly good for how he is viewed as a teammate. There were rumors of him clashing with teammates in Cleveland and he was slowly sliding into the shadows anyway on a team that had recently added two All-Stars, so he was ready for a change. His short time in OKC was able to change his reputation and earn him a nice contract with the Miami Heat.

So we still haven’t really talked about why this was a good trade for the Thunder yet. At the time, Waiters was just a few seasons removed from being selected to the All-Rookie first-team after being drafted fourth overall and becoming an immediate scoring threat in the NBA, so the Thunder took a chance on him.

He only played in OKC for a year in a half but was a great piece off the bench and the Thunder gave up nothing for him. I mean literally, they basically gave up nothing for him. The player they sent to the Knicks, Lance Thomas, was immediately waived (he was eventually re-signed by the Knicks) and OKC ended up getting to keep the conditional draft pick they sent out and used it to take Cameron Payne the following offseason.

So let’s recap, the Thunder got Waiters for a player who was immediately waived and for a draft pick that they ended up actually keeping. That’s a pretty solid trade even if OKC was only graced with a year and a half of Waiters Island.