Grade the Trade: Thunder upgrade rebounding by adding a big in colossal proposal

The Oklahoma City Thunder need to add size and rebounding without sacrificing spacing. A young Rockets big is the target to shore up that weakness in this trade
Alperen Sengun, Kenyon Martin Jr., Jalen Green, Jabari Smith Jr., Kevin Porter Jr., Houston Rockets
Alperen Sengun, Kenyon Martin Jr., Jalen Green, Jabari Smith Jr., Kevin Porter Jr., Houston Rockets / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages
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The Oklahoma City Thunder got knocked around during the 2024 NBA Playoffs.

That can be a true statement and not an overly concerning one. Building an NBA team involves a lot of give and take. It would be great to have five superstars who have no weaknesses in the lineup, but the reality of the salary cap, the draft and all of the team-building restrictions put in place is that a team has to give something up to gain something.

If you commit max money to one player, you have to save money somewhere else. Adding an elite shooter on the wing likely means giving up something on defense, or in shot creation, or in health track record.

For the Thunder, they prioritized shooting and skill at every position, and that meant drafting and starting a center in Chet Holmgren who is slight enough to get knocked around a bit.

That was by design, and against most of their opponents the tradeoffs were worth it.

The Thunder were a high-level defensive team and on offense, the five-out system carved up opponents. In their first-round matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans bruising center Jonas Valanciunas feasted inside and on the glass, but the Pelicans still lost in four games because they couldn't keep up.

The OKC Thunder must look to add some size this summer

The second round was another story, as Dereck Lively II led the way in getting every available offensive rebound and the Thunder didn't have another option to go to.

Mark Daigneault went to two bigs with Holmgren and Jaylin Williams for large stretches to try and combat the Dallas Mavericks' size and strength, but, in the end, the Mavericks got enough second chances and cleaned the glass themselves to win in six games.

The Thunder need to add size this offseason; not necessarily a ground-bound bruising center, and certainly not someone to play over Chet Holmgren, but a player with size who can help them on the glass and give them more versatility.

If that player were skilled enough to keep their five-out system alive, suddenly they fit like a glove and could help elevate this team into the stratosphere.

There may be a player who fits the bill available for the right price just south of Oklahoma CIty. Let's build a trade proposal and see how it could help the Thunder take the next step.