Shai Gilgeous-Alexander trade and 13 other genius Thunder moves Sam Presti nailed

Sam Presti and the Thunder absolutely nailed these moves.

Oklahoma City Thunder, Sam Presti
Oklahoma City Thunder, Sam Presti / BRYAN TERRY/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY
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5. Drafting Chet Holmgren

There was plenty of uncertainty at the top of the 2022 NBA Draft. Many thought the Magic would take Jabari Smith Jr. with the number one overall pick before they selected Paolo Banchero. It did not impact the Thunder as they appeared locked in on taking Holmgren at two.

A foot injury cost him his entire rookie season, but the 7’1 big man announced his presence immediately after getting healthy. He is averaging 17.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 2.6 blocks in 30.2 minutes per game. Holmgren has made 54.4 percent of his field goals and is shooting just under 40 percent from 3-point range.

The 21-year-old is a superstar in the making. His ability to rebound, protect the rim, and space the floor has helped the Thunder vault into contention. Chet Holmgren was their missing piece in the middle and the best is still yet to come.

Credit to Sam Presti for not wavering. He knew which prospect he wanted and got his man. The Oklahoma City Thunder could have traded up or back, but they saw a difference-maker and acquired him. Keeping the 12th pick allowed them to get Jalen Williams and add to two future stars to their roster on the same night.