As we close in on 24 hours until the NBA Draft, rumors are rampant regarding OKC Thunder VP Sam Presti attempting to move upward. What was once tagged as a definitive top-five in the class shifted to a quartet of generational talents but as the event looms that group has narrowed to an elite trio.
Not surprisingly Presti is linked to rumors of trying to trade up to grab two of those three prospects. Neither Jalen Green nor the Rockets have been attached to OKC likely because Houston has been linked for eons to the G-League Ignite sharpshooter.
Earlier this week rumors swirled Presti had offered up Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and a draft pick swap with the Pistons for Cade Cunningham. Whether there is veracity to SGA being on the table (or whether he should be) is moot since the same source stated Pistons GM, Troy Weaver turned down the offer.
Toronto holds the fourth pick with differing reports on a desire to trade up to third (for Evan Mobley), to trade down (for picks and assets), pick outside the projected top-four prospects (Scottie Barnes) or simply select Jalen Suggs who is among the elite quartet. Like the Pistons and Cavaliers, the Thunder have been linked to the Raptors as potential trade partners.
OKC Thunder – Cavaliers deal heats up with Collin Sexton in the mix
But, the loudest and most recent banter is revolving around the Thunder and Cavaliers. While Koby Altman is said to be asking for an outrageous package to pry the third pick and opportunity to draft Evan Mobley, the main media members state SGA was not part of the Presti offer.
Clouding the issue further are reports the Thunder are among the teams interested in Collin Sexton. Per Sam Amico on July 12th, the Thunder, Heat, Knicks, Pelicans, and Lakers had shown interest in the mercurial Cavaliers guard who is due for a rookie extension and said to be desirous of a max deal.
Cleveland has long been rumored to be shopping Sexton as they aren’t keen to pay him the max and while my cohort Rylan Stiles likes his fit in OKC I’m more of the belief his skillset is better suited as a Sixth Man.
Today, the Sexton to Thunder rumors took on new life and I think it’s more than just coincidental.
Considering the Cavaliers have Jarrett Allen and despite their continual proclamations Mobley and Allen will fit I’m not buying it.
In the initial reports about Sexton, Amico called the deals in the exploratory stages and stated some of the potential trade partners were open to taking on the Kevin Lover contract which becomes an even bigger albatross after his struggles with Team USA prior to his departure.
Love still has two seasons of $31.3 and $28.9 million left on his contract. Granted the Thunder has been the leading career rehabilitation ground for aging talented vets. Kemba Walker was seemingly tapped to fulfill that roster role this coming season but perhaps Presti would be willing to add another resurrection project. Particularly because this season it will behoove the OKC Thunder to continue the full-out tank.
Let’s dive a little deeper into the pros and cons of a trade for Sexton…