Thunder urged to ponder trade for 1 budding stud, steer clear of 2 established stars

Cleveland Cavaliers v Brooklyn Nets
Cleveland Cavaliers v Brooklyn Nets / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

After being crowned the Western Conference's top seed and claiming their first postseason series win since the Kevin Durant-era, the OKC Thunder are likely approaching this offseason with a win-now mentality.

As was learned from their semifinal elimination against the Dallas Mavericks, while Oklahoma City is certainly a promising young team, before they can officially thrust themselves into the title-favorite conversation, proper adjustments and rotational additions must be made.

What moves must be made to address the club's needs is truly up to Sam Presti and company to figure out, though Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report believes that the last thing this front office should do is make a trade for the simple purpose of making a trade, especially if it involves pursuing another star player.

OKC Thunder urged to steer clear of making 'panic trade' this summer

In his recent piece pinpointing every team's "biggest fear this offseason," Swartz would make the case that practicing patience with this historically young and successful squad could prove to be the best course of action over star-chasing on the trade market, though would state that, if they were to pursue a deal, it would likely be more beneficial to target one particular budding star over, say, two established ones.

"No superstar on the trade market would make sense for the Thunder to go all-in for. Kicking the tires on someone like Mikal Bridges would make sense, but guys like Donovan Mitchell and Brandon Ingram would completely change the offensive dynamic of the team and could leave next summer as free agents."

Greg Swartz

Though guys like Mitchell and Ingram would certainly add more flare and flavor to this rising Thunder team from a star-power perspective, due to their established natures of being ball-dominant, top options on their respective teams, adding such individuals could realistically create a clash of sorts between them and superstar Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, not to mention the rest of the team's established hierarchy.

However, a guy like Mikal Bridges, for example, could prove to be a sound fit due to his proven ability to succeed on both ends of the ball while taking the backseat next to other stars (his stint with the Phoenix Suns while playing next to the likes of Chris Paul and Devin Booker serves as a prime sample size) coupled with his positional versatility thanks to his size and defensive expertise.

In the event that OKC was to attain the likes of Bridges, it would almost certainly come at the expense of a bevy of future first-round selections, for past offers from teams in pursuit of his services are reported to have included as many as four first-round picks.

Though certainly a steep asking price, even if they were to offer five picks along with salary matches, it likely wouldn't break the bank by any means for Presti and co., for they currently own the rights to too many picks as is, and have no way of realistically utilizing them all themselves.

That said, all current rumblings seem to indicate that the Brooklyn Nets are focused on holding onto their 27-year-old building block as they attempt to build a serviceable team around him, which is why Swartz would wrap up his analysis by saying that the Thunder should hold onto their treasure trove of future draft capital for a logical and overall complementary blockbuster trade down the road.

Unless Bridges or some other can't miss talent addition becomes available on the market, the seasoned writer is stressing that the franchise should avoid executing splashy deals and "continue building around Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Williams and Chet Holmgren."