Grade the Trade: Thunder land high-risk, high-reward center in NBA Draft day idea

The OKC Thunder are seen adding one of the league's most polarizing high-risk, high-reward centers in a recent trade proposal.
Portland Trail Blazers v Oklahoma City Thunder
Portland Trail Blazers v Oklahoma City Thunder / Joshua Gateley/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 3
Next

Laying out the trade

As mentioned, it is the belief of many that the Thunder must look to devote a considerable amount of their attention toward adding bigger bodies to their frontcourt rotation in an effort to shore up the size, strength, and rebounding limitations that severely hindered them throughout this past campaign.

To Favale, a way for them to do this could be by taking part in a draft day deal with the Blazers where they land sixth-year veteran, Robert Williams III.

Robert Williams

While the hope among many fans is that the Thunder will look to strengthen their frontcourt arsenal by utilizing their $35.3 million in cap space on the free agency market this summer, with the hot-target floating across the rumor mill being Knicks big Isaiah Hartenstein, Favale believes that "If history is any indication," the front office will likely use their spending power to "give immediate pay bumps" to their own players who hold team options for next season (Isaiah Joe, Aaron Wiggins, etc.).

However, considering the recent transaction that netted them Caruso as well as the February 8 deadline deal that brought Gordon Hayward to Loud City, the B/R veteran is under the impression that a trade in search of answers to their rotational predicaments could be more likely, and suggests that "Rolling the dice on Williams fits snugly into that motif."

"He isn't the biggest name (or biggest center), but he injects more strength, athleticism, screening and short- and deep-roll passing and finishing into Oklahoma City's program. His contract (two years, $25.7 million) is a steal even relative to his injuries and ends just as the Thunder have to start grappling with max/supermax paydays for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chet Holmgren and Jalen Williams."

Dan Favale

For the Trail Blazers, considering they're seemingly in a full-blown rebuild and already have a presumed franchise center in place in Deandre Ayton, this trade where they offload an injury-prone player of the same position for future first-round draft capital (which is always highly coveted by rebuilding ball clubs) seems to be a great move to make.

Assuming Portland agrees to these terms, what should the Thunder think about such a scenario?