The OKC Thunder are in an excellent position for the future following an exciting season ending with a postseason appearance. With the core players so young and continuing to develop, making a big move for a superstar this offseason is unlikely. However, there are still a few players around the league who the Thunder could make a deal for to improve their chances of making the playoffs next season.
Three potential trade targets for the OKC Thunder in 2023
Anunoby could be on the move. Toronto parted ways with coach Nick Nurse after the Raptors were eliminated in the play-in tournament and may now be sellers.
Most believed the Raptors would be sellers at the trade deadline and Anunoby would have a new home in mid-February, but instead, the Raptors stood pat and bought in on their core by adding Jakob Poeltl.
Anunoby averaged more than 16 points and nearly two steals for the Raptors this season. After Toronto did not get its desired results in the aftermath of trading for Poeltl, Anunoby will surely be at the center of any roster shakeups.
Anunoby is owed nearly $39 million over the next two seasons, but he has a player option for 2024-25. The risk is that any deal for Anunoby could be a one-year rental. However, the immediate upgrade on the wing from Lu Dort may make it worth the risk for the Thunder.
It has also been reported that Anunoby’s asking price is steep, but Thunder GM Sam Presti has shown his willingness to move assets for players he wants, like trading three first-round picks for Ousmane Dieng in last year’s draft.
Considering the potential fit of Anunoby with the OKC Thunder, this may be the splashy deal that gets the Thunder back to the playoffs and maybe even championship contention.
The Chicago Bulls are in a shaky spot as a franchise after a disappointing past season and a half. There will almost certainly be changes to their roster, but with the contract situation of their big three, it is unlikely they will be moved. However, young guys like Williams could be on the move.
After missing much of his second season due to injury, Williams was one of only 10 players to play in 82 games this season. Williams, drafted for his defense and versatility, has developed into an efficient offensive player as he averaged 10 points and shot over 40% from three.
At 6-foot-7, Williams could give the OKC Thunder another 3-and-D option at forward and potentially have another building block.
Williams is heading into the final year of his rookie contract before he becomes a restricted free agent if he is not extended this offseason. It would give the Thunder a 22-year-old player with some experience and a year to evaluate how he could fit into the team’s plans.
Most fun of all, this trade would give OKC the possibility to run a lineup including four Williamses.
After a rocky season with changing roles and an unexpected early exit in the playoffs, Mann may not be in the Clippers’ plans moving forward. However, given his versatile skillset and the affordable multi-year contract that comes with him, he will certainly be in some team’s future plans.
The Clippers would make this deal mainly to shed some money and minutes at the guard spot to bring Russell Westbrook back after his resurgent couple of months with the team. Mann’s contract increases from just less than $2 million last season to more than $10 million in 2023-24.
The Thunder could have interest in trading for Mann for a few reasons. While Mann would be a great backup guard, he would help give OKC plenty of stability when Shai Gilgeous-Alexander or Josh Giddey is out of the lineup.
Mann started for the Clippers in 36 games this season, averaging 11.6 points while improving his three-point shooting to 43%. Getting extended minutes would be a possibility with the OKC Thunder. Still, even without an expanded role, Mann has shown that he can adapt to any situation he may be thrust into during his time with the rarely full-strength Clippers.
If the Thunder can pull off any of these trades, they will add some depth in spots where they could use some immediate upgrades. However, the Thunder have preached about development being the top priority no matter what the result looks like on the court the past couple of seasons. Now that the team has expectations again, this may be the perfect time to make a move.