5 Potential buyout candidates the Oklahoma City Thunder should target

Killian Hayes, Detroit Pistons
Killian Hayes, Detroit Pistons / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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No. 2: Danilo Gallinari, Stretch Big

The third Pistons casualty to make our list is Danilo Gallinari, an Italian stretch big who has bounced around the league over the past few seasons as the matching salary in a number of trades. In the summer of 2022 he was traded from the Atlanta Hawks to the San Antonio Spurs in the Dejounte Murray deal, subsequently waived, and signed with the Boston Celtics. He tore his ACL before ever playing a game for Boston, then this summer was traded to the Washington Wizards in the Kristaps Porzingis deal, then from Washington to Detroit a few weeks ago in the Marvin Bagley trade. Now he is available to join yet another team.

That team could certainly be the Oklahoma City Thunder, a team that could use another big and loves bigs that can shoot, specifically. It would be a reunion of sorts after Gallinari spent the 2019-20 NBA season with the Thunder. Now in his 14th season in the league (16 if you count two who seasons lost to torn ACLs), Gallinari is not providing much value as a defender.

What he still does have is a pure jumper and a lot of experience, and the Thunder could do much worse as a reserve big man to come in and make shots when called upon.

No. 1: Thaddeus Young, Big

There are a few big names available on the buyout market that the Thunder could certainly take a look at, but those players will be looking for larger, guaranteed roles on good teams. The Thunder can't promise anyone they sign on the buyout market a large role; they are too deep and too good to do that.

Players like Spencer Dinwiddie may therefore be off the table, but the player sent back to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Dinwiddie may not be. Thaddeus Young is not a spring chicken but his combination of strength and skill as a reserve big could be helpful to a team in the right situation. He could bring the Thunder some size and depth without needing a large role or damaging the approach they already have in place.

Whether the Thunder go after a big, a wing, a guard or some combination of the three, there are very real players available on the buyout market. Don't be surprised if one or two names from this list end up in Oklahoma City.