3 Superstars the Oklahoma City Thunder could trade for this summer

Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat
Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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No. 1: Jimmy Butler

The Oklahoma City Thunder are good enough to contend for a title right now, even if NBA history suggests that they need at least one season of playoff experience under their belts before they can be taken seriously. They also should be good enough to contend for titles for the next decade, although nothing is ever certain in the NBA.

Over the next two seasons, the Thunder have a salary cap flexibility that they will not have starting in 2026, when extensions for Chet Holmgren and Jalen Williams kick in. One avenue for them to take is to look to add a proven veteran star, someone whose game only elevates in the playoffs, and keep him on the books for the next two years as "phase one" of their decade of contention.

No star in the league takes a larger step up in the postseason than Jimmy Butler, and there is a reasonable case to be made that he could be available on the trade market this summer. The Miami Heat have a core of players in their early-to-mid 20s, firmly in their prime. Then they also have Jimmy Butler, who is 34 years old and can't carry the team during the regular season.

Would a strong offer from a team like the Thunder convince the Heat to do a small reset, moving on from Butler and gearing up to make a run with a younger group around Bam Adebayo? It certainly seems possible, and OKC has the scratch to get such a deal done.

Butler could take it easy during the regular season as the Thunder's young stars carry the team, then step up in the playoffs as a co-star alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to lead the team deep into the postseason. Butler could secure that championship that has eluded him, and he could give this young Thunder group some legitimate playoff experience.

It's an incredibly fascinating idea, and one that is so crazy it just might work.

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