Thunder rumors: 3 trade targets they can land, and 3 that are purely pipe dreams

Mikal Bridges and Dorian Finney-Smith, Brooklyn Nets
Mikal Bridges and Dorian Finney-Smith, Brooklyn Nets / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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NBA Trade Deadline Week has arrived, and with it comes the thickest storm of rumors and speculation that we'll see this season. The Oklahoma City Thunder, armed with more draft capital than any other team in the league, are right in the eye of the storm.

Will the Thunder use second-round picks to add a player or two for depth? Push some chips in for a rotation player in the frontcourt? Drop the hammer going after a star? The Thunder have been linked in rumors to everyone from Nick Richards to LeBron James.

Which Thunder trade targets reside in the realm of reality, players that are both attainable and would make sense for OKC to trade for? Which targets are simply out of reach, or wouldn't help the Thunder become a better team? Let's look at six names and decide which the Thunder could land, and which are purely pipe dreams.

Thunder are dreaming of Wendell Carter Jr.

We start with Wendell Carter Jr., a player both rumored to be available at the deadline and linked to the Thunder. The Orlando Magic center is undeniably an intriguing fit for the Thunder, as he is mobile enough defensively to fit their scheme and is a solid shooter on offense not to cramp their spacing.

Whether he started with Chet Holmgren or more likely came off the bench, his contract is perfect for a Top-8 type of player: $13.05 million this season, then descending each of the next two seasons. Carter is likely a Top-20 center in the league and will make just $10.85 in 2025-26 as the salary cap continues to rise.

The problem is that the Magic are not planning to trade Carter Jr., Whether or not they ever were open to the possibility, he is a versatile starting center on a bargain contract who fits well with their other frontcourt stars. He's not going anywhere unless the Thunder or another team were to simply overload an offer, and for all that he's a great fit the Thunder shouldn't be trading a bevy of first-round picks for a backup big.