Grade the Trade: Thunder jettison Giddey, bring superstar home in bold 3-team pitch

The Oklahoma City Thunder are good enough to push their chips in and make a run at a championship by making a bold trade for a superstar former player.
Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City Thunder
Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City Thunder / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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The Oklahoma City Thunder can easily justify taking things slow this season, not compromising their roster construction for a win-now trade as they let their young players get a taste of playoff basketball. It's rare for a core playing in their first playoffs to not just win a series but, also, come close to a second.

Alas, the Thunder were really good this year and should be even better moving forward.

At the same time, nothing is promised in the NBA, and for all the talent of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Williams and Chet Holmgren as a core, the Thunder cannot afford to sit back and let things play out organically. Armed with multiple salaries, a horde of draft picks and salary cap flexibility, the Thunder have a chance to make a move this summer to take yet another step forward.

The OKC Thunder can trade for a star this offseason

Who should that star player be? It needs to be someone who doesn't demand the ball on every possession, as Gilgeous-Alexander is too good not to be the No. 1 option.

At the same time, the Thunder could use an elite offensive talent to take on much of the scoring burden when defenses load toward SGA. Their five-out system would benefit from adding a floor-spacer, but at the same time, their defense would benefit from not adding a weak link.

That's a detailed shopping list, but the perfect answer may actually come in the form of a familiar face.

The Phoenix Suns flamed out spectacularly in the playoffs but, in contrast to the Thunder, have very few paths ahead to make any real changes to the team. One of those paths is trading Kevin Durant, and given his history of team movement, he could be open to another move, or even request one himself.

If that's the case, the Thunder make a lot of sense for a reunion with their former MVP. Let's see what a trade for Kevin Durant would look like and whether Oklahoma City should try to pull it off.