Thunder in prime position to land NBA Legend's son following Lindy Waters III trade

The OKC Thunder could be in a prime position to snatch up one of this class's most buzzed-about prospects during the second round of the 2024 NBA Draft.
Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers
Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Throughout the vast majority of his tenure running the show for the OKC Thunder, GM Sam Presti has proven himself to be playing chess while others are playing checkers.

By this, it is meant that, more often than not, the seasoned front office executive seems to have a well thought out strategy in place when it comes to moves made, even if it's not entirely clear to others.

Following Wednesday's first round of the 2024 NBA Draft, during the afternoon hours of day two, it was announced by Yahoo Sports' Jake Fischer that Oklahoma City has agreed to trade fourth-year forward Lindy Waters III to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for the 52 overall pick in the second round of the festivities.

What's noteworthy about this transaction is that, following night one's shenanigans, the Thunder entered into round two without their later draft rights in tow, as they opted to trade them to the New York Knicks (along with four other seconds) in exchange for the No. 26 overall pick on the board to snag Weber State standout, Dillon Jones.

Now, back in the mix during Thursday's second round, it's apparent that Presti may have his sights set on a particular prospect, and, based on current projections, that could very well prove to be one of the more buzzed-about names in this year's class, Bronny James.

Thunder have a chance to draft Bronny James with trade for No. 52 pick

Only a few weeks back, while still holding onto the 51 pick in the draft, DraftKings Sportsbook had the Thunder boasting the fourth-best odds of snatching up the USC product in the NBA Draft and, based on virtually every updated mock, the 19-year-old is expected to be available once OKC is on the clock.

Now, the idea of James being drafted by Oklahoma City is one that could be beneficial in a multitude of ways.

On the one hand, he boasts a high motor that displayed itself all throughout his one-and-done season at the collegiate level. While he may not have proven to be a top-billed talent, with his lengthy 6-foot-7 wingspan, high defensive IQ, and sound distribution skills, at the very least he has the makings of an intriguing project player who the Thunder could stash on their G League team, the OKC Blue.

On the other, Presti could opt to play things strategically and try to draft the youngster, only to then swap him out to, say, the Los Angeles Lakers for even more future capital. The franchise could be desperate to make such an acquisition happen, as their cornerstone, LeBron James, has frequently gone on record over the years noting how he'd love to play with his son in the NBA.

Regardless of what their plan is, with their trade for the No. 52 pick in Thursday's draft, the Thunder have an opportunity to scoop up one of this year's most polarizing talents in Bronny James.

Whether they pursue such an endeavor is a completely different story, but, if they do, there are a few positive effects that could come from such a decision.