Who should OKC Thunder target in Central division at deadline?

Zach LaVine #8 of Chicago Bulls (Photo by Anatoliy Cherkasov/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Zach LaVine #8 of Chicago Bulls (Photo by Anatoliy Cherkasov/NurPhoto via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The Central Division is defined by the Milwaukee Bucks and the Indianapolis Pacers who are strong Eastern Conference contenders

There is not really a trade involving the two top central teams and the OKC Thunder. I guess a minor move for Robin Lopez or someone of that ilk could happen. I just do not see either central team mixing it up and biting on any of the trade offers the OKC Thunder can toss out there. However, just when you think that Sam Presti could pull a rabbit out of his hat.

The Bucks sit with just 7 losses entering Tuesday night, and the Pacers have done more than just stay afloat as they waited for the return of All-Star level guard Victor Oladipo. These are two top-five teams in the Eastern Conference will almost no rumors surrounding who they would even entertain moving on from.

So what is the trade for the Central Division?

Honestly, I do not see one working out, but if I had to pick one it would be a Luke Kennard deal.

The Trade:

Okay, it is important to know what the larger-than-life NBA reporter Woj said was the deal on the table that was close for the Suns to nab Kennard. The Suns only had to give up Jevon Carter, Elie Okobo, and a first-round pick for Kennard. That is pennies on the dollar for the Duke product. Yet still, that was the package “gaining traction” for Kennard.

So how can Sam Presti swoop in and steal this deal from the Suns? It seems simple on paper.

Offer up Terrance Ferguson, and Mike Muscala along with their 2020 first-round pick for Luke Kennard.

Why would the Pistons accept this offer?

Let’s look at Terrance Ferguson compared to Jevon Carter. Ferguson is actually younger than Carter. T Ferg comes in at 21 years old, while Carter is 24. On a losing team, Carter has only been able to earn half of Ferguson’s minutes who has played for a playoff team every year of his NBA career.

Terrance Ferguson has more upside and potential as a three and D guy, and someone you can build around when you contend again. Which for the Pistons will be a few years, so The Tulsa natives youth is huge.

Mike Muscala is there to make the money work but can add something to the Piston’s roster for the end of the year. I do not believe Okobo will develop into anything remotely special. So the expiring deal of Muscala becomes a bit more valuable.

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Now, the first-round picks. Right now, the Suns are slotted for the 11th overall pick, and the Thunder are down at 18. That is a big difference, but I wonder if the leap in talent between Ferguson and Carter can prove to be enough to get this deal done.

Note, the Thunder can also throw in Denver’s first-round pick this year to sweeten the pot.

The big concern in this move is not the future for the Thunder. If you pull it off you get a 23-year-old Luke Kennard who was averaging 15 points per game this season and flashed a ton of potential and upside.

A guy that actually sparks your rebuild. At what cost? Terrance Ferguson who has proven over the last few weeks to be expendable and a late-round pick in a supposed weak draft class? You always make this deal if you are OKC. The only concern is how will Kennard’s knees hold up? The injury risk.

Again, would I do this deal if I was Detriot in general? Honestly, no if I was in charge I would not even shop Luke Kennard. However, if they are so close to dealing the young guard for Jevon Carter and a Suns first-round pick, this deal is a much better option.

Next. The Pacific division. dark

Do you see any other deals working out in the Central Division?