Thunder News: New signings, Shai MVP voting leader, trade deadline, West battles

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder / Joshua Gateley/GettyImages
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The Oklahoma City Thunder have had a busy week leading into the All-Star Break, with big games against Western Conference foes sandwiching the NBA Trade Deadline. As usual, we are here with a roundup of everything that happened in the past week. It's time for some Thunder News!

Last Tuesday night the Thunder stumbled a bit in Utah, giving up a lead and losing 124-117. The stumbling continued Saturday when the new-look Dallas Mavericks came into town and romped over the Thunder 146-111. Oklahoma City bounced back on Sunday behind their two offensive stars, with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams combining for 70 points in a 127-113 win over the Sacramento Kings.

Trade Deadline Grades

The Oklahoma City Thunder made a pair of trades at the NBA Trade Deadline this past Thursday. The more impactful one saw them move on from three players -- Tre Mann, Davis Bertans and Vasilije Micic -- in exchange for former All-Star Gordon Hayward. In fact, Hayward was the only player moved at the deadline to have made an All-Star team before.

Their second trade was a draft-pick swap with the Dallas Mavericks, turning a 2024 first likely to land in the late 20s into a future unprotected pick swap with Dallas that could land them a lottery pick (or, in a best-case scenario, as high as the No. 1 pick if things truly fall apart in Dallas).

We graded the Hayward deal and gave it an 'A' and saw it as a win both on-the-court and in clearing future cap space; we would give the pick-swap with Dallas an 'A' as well.

Other NBA analysts were similarly positive. Dan Favale of Bleacher Report and the popular Hardwood Knocks podcast gave the pick swap an 'A' and the Gordon Hayward deal an 'A-' . Kevin Pelton of ESPN gave the Thunder an 'A' for the Hayward trade, while Zach Harper of The Athletic gave OKC a 'B' for adding Hayward and a 'C' for the pick swap. Stephen Noh of Sporting News went with an 'A-' for the deal with Charlotte, and finally, Ricky O'Donnell of SB Nation likewise gave Oklahoma City an 'A-' for the Hayward addition.