7 Players the Oklahoma City Thunder gave up on too soon

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

Player development in the NBA is a project based on mutual trust. Trust by the player that the organization will put in the work to help them grow, and trust by the organization that the player will give them what they need on the basketball court. At the same time, it is also a lengthy process that requires patience from both parties, but especially from the organization. That patience sometimes runs out and franchises give up on players too soon.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are no exception, so here are seven players the Thunder gave up on too soon.

7.  Jerami Grant

Jerami Grant played three seasons with the Thunder between 2016 and 2019 before being traded to Denver for a first round pick. That pick eventually turned into Immanuel Quickley who became part of a deal with the New York Knicks that sent James Johnson and Aleksej Pokusevki to Oklahoma.

In his last season with the Thunder, Grant averaged then career-highs with 13.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. Those stats show a huge leap from the 5.4 points and 2.6 rebounds he averaged when he first joined the team. Grant was only 25 at the time, and that very leap suggested that there would be more to come in the future.

Nevertheless, he did not make it into the Thunder’s vision for the future and was traded as a part of their big rebuild, even though Grant could have thrived on the new team. The squad he played with in Oklahoma ranked 23rd in assists and played a very iso-heavy style that did not utilize him to the best of his abilities.

After the trade, the Thunder’s offense became much more focused on ball movement and player involvement. Grant could have grown into a young veteran and reliable scorer for the rebuilding team in that system. He is, after all, averaging 20 points and 40 percent shooting from the three-point line as a centerpiece for the Portland Trail Blazers now.

This trade was not the worst one the Thunder ever made, and they are in a pretty good spot now, but Grant still had plenty of room to grow when they let him go, despite him not wanting to stick through the rebuild.

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse