The Oklahoma City Thunder remained surprisingly competitive in the years after losing James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook. This year’s edition, led by Chris Paul, who was recently traded to the Phoenix Suns, was legitimately good. At long last, general manager Sam Presti is rebuilding the franchise, and he’s absolutely loading up on NBA Draft picks.
That effort continues today. This evening, the Thunder made a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, taking on veteran forward Al Horford and his albatross of a contract as well as first and second-round picks from Daryl Morey’s new team. That first-rounder is set for the 2025 NBA Draft, and has light protections according to Adrian Wojnarowski.
Another deal could be in the works as well. NBA analyst Matt Babcock reports that the team is in discussion with the Dallas Mavericks that could send veteran wing Danilo Gallinari in return for tonight’s No. 18 pick. The Thunder already have No. 25 and No. 28, via the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers, in the first round, as well as No. 34 from the Atlanta Hawks and No. 53 in the second round.
NBA Twitter is unlike any other, especially when it comes to offseason moves. Sam Presti’s determination to add every draft pick imaginable has the folks there pumping out some pretty incredible stuff.
every NBA Draft Lottery for the next 5 years pic.twitter.com/yYVdbsdMfF
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) November 16, 2020
The Thunder are just going to own every draft pick eventually https://t.co/LiaYAxuT5r
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) November 18, 2020
The Mavs and Thunder are working on a deal that would send Boban directly to Sam Presti’s home to feed him chocolate dipped draft picks by hand
— Dan Carson (@TheDoctorCarson) November 18, 2020
The Thunder looking at all their future draft picks pic.twitter.com/7JF4ZRCQO6
— B. W. Carlin (@BaileyCarlin) November 18, 2020
Forbes‘ Tommy Beer outlined just how crazy the Oklahoma City Thunder’s NBA Draft future looks at this point.
Updated look at OKC Thunder's future draft picks
Nuggets 1st round pick
Lakers 1st-rd pick
LA Clips 1st
LA Clips 1st
LA Clips 1st
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) November 18, 2020
Between OKC and all of the picks that the New Orleans Pelicans have acquired for just two players—Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday—and we’re seeing some teams display some impressive dedication to building via young talent. Odds are that teams doing this will eventually look to consolidate some of these assets for major players or top draft picks as well, so this can lead to some huge deals down the road as well.
Tonight’s NBA Draft begins at 8 p.m. ET.