'Ambitious' Thunder trade would likely move Jalen Williams to the three

New Orleans Pelicans v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One
New Orleans Pelicans v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

After being outmuscled, bustled, and hustled by the more physically dominant Dallas Mavericks frontcourt during the Western Conference Semifinals, one of the main objectives for the OKC Thunder heading into the offseason must be to upgrade their arsenal in the size department.

Though they may boast a lineup with 7-foot-1 Chet Holmgren manning the middle, with his 204-pound frame he's far from an imposing physical presence and the fact that their starting power forward, Jalen Williams, measures in at a mere 6-foot-5 only strengthens the notion that some tweaking needs to be done to their upfront rotation.

In a recent piece penned by Bleacher Report, writer Dan Favale proposed the idea of Oklahoma City looking to the trade route in an effort to address their need for more size and tabbed Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija as an "ambitious" target worth pursuing.

Deni Avidja suggested as new starting power forward for Thunder

Citing their need for a more versatile big rather than a traditional one who can space the floor to keep lanes unclogged (as the Thunder prefer), coupled with their soon-to-be ballooned salary cap with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's extension looming, Favale believes Avidja to be a rather sound, cost-efficient option for Sam Presti and co. to consider targeting this summer.

"He will be starting a four-year, $55 million extension in 2024-25 that looks like a friggin' steal, won't turn 24 until January and is working off a career season. Receiving more touches led to a flourishing, at times sneakily physical drive-and-dish game and spiffier handles and footwork and finishing. His three-point volume will always leave you wanting more, but he just downed them at a 37.4 percent clip and negates some of the long-range hesitance with less aversion to contact and sharper movement away from the ball.

Spackle in his defensive physicality and malleability, and Avdija is someone who could easily crack Oklahoma City's closing lineup."

Dan Favale

As noted by Favale, Avdija finds himself coming off a career campaign in 2023-24, one where he averaged 14.7 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game while shooting 50.6 percent from the floor and 37.4 percent from deep, and finished sixth in the running for Most Improved Player.

At 6-foot-9, 210 pounds, the 23-year-old certainly sports more of an ideal power forward build than what the team currently has, thus allowing the Thunder to slide Jalen Williams up to his more natural three position in the event of an acquisition.

On top of this, Avdija is a highly underrated distributor and an improving defensive talent, which would fit soundly into coach Mark Daigneault's heavy passing and defensive-oriented scheme.

Though there may be many who are hoping to see the Thunder swing big this summer and attain another All-Star player (Lauri Markkanen, for instance) to add to their already impressive collection of talents, from a cost, age, and skill-set standpoint, bringing on a guy like Avidja could prove to be just as impactful.