The OKC Thunder kicked off trade season for the NBA Offseason, making the first move of the 2022 offseason with the Denver Nuggets. Sam Presti did not even wait for the NBA Finals to wrap up featuring his hometown Celtics before making a move shipping off the 30th pick in next week’s 2022 NBA Draft and two future second-round picks, and in return getting a 2027 protected first-round pick and veteran forward JaMychal Green from the Nuggets.
The Oklahoma City Thunder for the second straight offseason has made a trade before the NBA Playoffs wrap up, Last year the Thunder sent Al Horford to the Boston Celtics in the middle of the postseason as the veteran big man went on to be a catalyst to the Celtics NBA Finals run. This offseason trade has a bit of a different feel.
The OKC Thunder shipped the 30th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft to the Denver Nuggets in return for veteran forward JaMycal Green and a protected 2027 First Round pick
The OKC Thunder are sending out the 30th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft to the Denver Nuggets and are kicking the can down the road on the value of a first-round pick. Think of it as restoring their treasure chest of future draft picks.
by the 2027 season, the Thunder expect to be very good packaging the 2027 Nuggets’ first-round pick in a trade leading up to that season holds a lot more value than whatever package OKC could have come up with using just the 30th pick. Especially for a team that has plenty of players on their roster that equal the same value of whatever prospect will fall to 30 in this year’s class.
When you question why Sam Presti is piling second-round picks, this is the reason. The Thunder just used two future second-round picks and turned them into a first-round pick which holds more value in future trades when the team is ready to improve.
This move was not to save a roster spot, the Thunder can carry 20 players on their roster from now through the end of training camp in October and just as the 30th pick would need a roster spot, so does Green.
JaMychal Green is on an expiring contract worth 8.2 million dollars and fell out of the rotation in Denver last season. The veteran forward needs to recoup some value. This is a money-saving move for Denver and a great move for OKC.
The Thunder not only get a better trade piece in the 2027 first-round pick than pick 30, but their roster crunch is more clear. After the 2022-23 season, JaMychal Green, Derrick Favors, Darius Bazley, Mike Muscala, Ty Jerome, Kenrich Williams, and Isaiah Roby are all free agents (Lu Dort is technically a free agent to be but many expect OKC to decline his option this offseason and work out a long-term extension). The Thunder would have no doubt given their 30th overall pick a longer runway than one year, so this move does clear up a roster spot next offseason.
Green’s value is in the fact he is on an expiring contract, however, if Sam Presti holds firm in not wanting to take on long-term money in 2023 and beyond right now, then the benefit to other teams drops. The positive side of taking on Green, beyond the roster-saving move listed above, is the fact that even if he has a bounce-back season and is coveted by NBA teams, it will not improve OKC’s win total a ton allowing the organization to still tank in the 2022-23 season if they so choose.