Re-grading Thunder’s disastrous trade for Aleksej Pokusevski with the final details

The Thunder made a disastrous deal for Poku.
Oklahoma City Thunder, Aleksej Pokusevski
Oklahoma City Thunder, Aleksej Pokusevski / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Grading the Aleksej Pokusevski trade for the Thunder

Poku was an interesting prospect. Finding a seven-footer with his potential on both ends of the floor is not easy. He needed to add weight and prove he could space the floor and make plays in the NBA. It just never happened. Pokusevski never played more than 24.2 minutes per game and was waived by the Thunder in February.

The only other first-round picks from the 2020 NBA Draft with negative win shares per 48 are Killian Hayes and Leandro Bolmaro. All three players may be out of the league next season.

The Thunder’s selection looks more disastrous with Tyrese Maxey, Desmond Bane, Immanuel Quickley, and Saddiq Bey still on the board. Oklahoma City could have had a starter or star to add to their rebuild, but Presti opted for the upside of Poku. It did not work, but the Thunder had stockpiled enough draft capital that this move barely impacted them.

Grade: D

Sam Presti has made several fantastic moves in his 17 years leading the Thunder. This was one of his worst. Credit to him for being bold, but Poku was not a productive NBA player. This was not a total disaster and earned a D because the Thunder wisely flipped Johnson for additional assets.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are set up to be a force in the Western Conference for years to come. This trade may not have helped, but no team wants to face them. Expect Sam Presti to continue adding and do not be surprised to see OKC near the top of the standings again in 2025.