The real reason the OKC Thunder did not trade Josh Giddey at the deadline

Oklahoma City Thunder v Philadelphia 76ers
Oklahoma City Thunder v Philadelphia 76ers / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

The NBA trade deadline came and went just over one week ago, and the Oklahoma City Thunder opted to make only a small move rather than something larger such as moving Josh Giddey. The reason they went in the direction they did could be because of their super starting lineup.

First and foremost, the Thunder's starting lineup has played 580 minutes, while their second-most played lineup has only played 69 minutes. This makes the Thunder one of nine teams to have only one (or fewer) lineup log 100 or more minutes and one of only four teams currently in position to make the playoffs or play-in to have one or fewer lineups log 100 minutes or more.

Moreover, there is only one lineup in the entire league out of over 2000 that has logged more minutes than the Thunder's starting lineup, the Denver Nuggets starting lineup, which clocks in at a whopping 654 minutes.

The disparity in minutes between the Thunder's most-played lineup and their second-most-played lineup is 511 minutes, which is the largest gap in the association; they are one out of four teams to have a 400-plus minute gap between their most-played and second-most-played lineup, and the only team with a 500 or more minute gap.

In those minutes, the Thunder's starting lineup has been dominant, scoring the second most points among all lineups at 1487 and they possess the eighth-best plus-minus at plus-86. These are impressive analytics that the Thunder opted not to break up in a season where they are competing for the West's number-one seed and are currently sitting in second place in the Western Conference standings.

Too late to make the Big Move

Another aspect that should be taken into account had the Thunder moved Giddey at last week's trade deadline was the lack of time remaining this season. If the Thunder had moved Giddey at the Deadline on February 8th, they would have had roughly 30 games and limited practices to work through such a massive roster shift.

It makes much more sense for the Thunder to move Josh Giddey perhaps on draft night, when they may possess multiple first-rounders (as well as a multitude of future picks) and could package those with Giddey to make a big swing. They would also have an entire offseason along with a training camp to integrate such a substantial roster shakeup.

All in all, Sam Presti did what he thought was best for the Thunder, and considering they sit at 37-17 at the All-Star break, good for the fifth time in franchise history they are 20 or more games over .500 heading into All-Star weekend, they seem to be in pretty good shape.

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