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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Laying out the trade

The Houston Rockets are soon going to have too many players and not enough money to pay them nor playing time to give them. They are nailing the transition from rebuilding to competing, signing two-way veterans who are supporting the growth of their young core.

While the Rockets are still unsure on the topic of a future no-doubt No. 1 star, they have plenty of options for current and future starters. Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks occupy spots as proven veterans, but Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun, Jabari Smith Jr., Tari Eason, Cam Whitmore and Amen Thompson are all demanding playing time as well - and that doesn't take into account the No. 3 pick in this year's draft.

At some point, whether it is this summer or next, the Rockets will have to be open to trading one or more players. That could be a consolidation move, turning two or three good players into one great one, or it could be a move that turns a current player into role players now and draft picks later, which offers more flexibility and financial relief.

Of the players the Rockets are currently developing, the one that best fits for a trade target is Jabari Smith Jr. The former Auburn big man entered the draft alongside Chet Holmgren; Chet went second, and Jabari third to the Rockets. After a bumpy rookie season, he blossomed last year and looks like the kind of player who could really help the Thunder.

Here is what a trade could look like:

Thunder trade Giddey for Jabari Smith

The Houston Rockets likely don't want to trade Smith, and for good reason. At the same time, between Dillon Brooks, Tari Eason, Amen Thompson and Cam Whitmore their forward room is packed, and that ignores Jae'Sean Tate and veteran Jeff Green. If they are going to move off of someone, it makes sense to move a forward.

This deal gives them a player comfortable with the ball in his hands in Josh Giddey, someone who for all the negativity surrounding him is still one of the best passers in the league. They get a solid backup big in Jaylin Williams who can space the court, and two first-round picks to use down the road.

The idea would be for those picks to be two of the better ones in the Thunder's arsenal; late firsts don't do much for Houston.

If the Rockets were to follow the trail of logic and say yes to the trade, should the Thunder pull the trigger?