OKC: The NBA's Wildcard

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In the 19-20 season, OKC....

Poll runs till Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:32 am

should proceed with the pieces they have in place, even if that means losing their pick.
2
5%
should look to trade win-now talent to secure their pick/commit to the rebuild.
22
55%
should pursue more win-now talent using their war chest of assets.
2
5%
should evaluate team performance (as a primary determination) before committing to any strategy.
5
13%
should evaluate the trade market (as a primary determination) before committing to any strategy.
9
23%
 
Total votes: 40

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OKC: The NBA's Wildcard 

Post#1 » by GeorgeMarcus » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:32 am

Sorry if this has been done. It probably has in some capacity, but I couldn't come up with anything.

When I look at OKC's roster, they are good enough to be the ~8 seed in the West this year. They also have more draft stock than any other team. With that said, where do they go from here?

Say they were to trade SGA/Schroder/Ferguson + 2 picks for Beal (value might be off, but ball park). Suddenly they have a lineup of CP3/Beal/Roberson/Gallinari/Adams while maintaining enough draft stock to compliment their core with cost controlled talent going forward. Potential set backs to this approach: (1) That team still wouldn't be good enough to win, so why jump the gun and give up assets? (2) OKC has to land in the bottom 10 (correction: bottom 20) if they want to keep their pick this year.

For those reasons I expect most people to oppose such a strategy, even though it's borderline defensible imo. If my assumption is correct, I have a follow up question. Will the FO feel pressured to trade at least 1 of Gallo/Adams/CP3 in order to keep their draft pick? I can't imagine those guys will tank willingly, especially CP3 in the twilight of his career. If they do look like a playoff team early on, will they go the other direction and lock in Gallo with an extension? Do they start building with the pieces they have and let things unfold organically? I'm overwhelmed by the possibilities. It's rare that teams in rebuild mode have so much win-now talent to work with.

Feel free to answer any, all, or none of my questions. I'm looking for insights on what priorities are and/or should be, especially for the upcoming season.
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Re: OKC: The NBA's Wildcard 

Post#2 » by GeorgeMarcus » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:37 am

I decided to vote the clear minority. Against everything Hinkie taught me too. I have a lot of faith in what CP3/Gallo/Adams can accomplish together, in a way that would easily accommodate 1 or 2 other high usage players. If they add, say, Beal and Aaron Gordon, that’s a dangerous team that didn’t have to sell their future to get there.
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Re: OKC: The NBA's Wildcard 

Post#3 » by ecuhus1981 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:04 am

I agree with your assessment that this team is not a far cry from the postseason, even in the stacked WC.

I disagree that they should lean into it. They should not rush into a trade, and look to move pieces in order of their contract expiration date. That means moving Gallo in the TDL, then look at moving Adams and eventually Paul. They are competitive enough to preserve each veteran's trade value, and you raise the kiddos up in an environment where they're not drowning in losses.

If they're smart, while they're wheeling and dealing, they will not simply amass youth assets but consolidate them. Don't be afraid to move Adams along with a future LAC1st, if the return is a top-5 pick or something. They have enough quantity of assets, but the quality of their assets if going to help determine their turnaround.
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Re: OKC: The NBA's Wildcard 

Post#4 » by giberish » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:59 am

OKC has a few good players, but not very many. That's why they barely made the playoffs with Westbook and Adams healthy all year and George having the 3rd best regular season in the league. Trading 1 for 2 with PG helps their depth (though losing the clear best player) but they lost Grant keeping their depth about the same - but with less star power. Even trading SGA + filer for Beal leaves them with less star power and no more depth than last year.

They've got enough other picks going forward that losing a #13 or #14 pick isnt' that big of a problem. Though a late season tank if the fall from the playoff chase to avoid giving up a #11 pick is likely (and wouldn't take a trade, just being overly cautious with whatever minor issues Paul and Gallo are having health-wise).

I don't think chasing a 7th or 8th seed run is worth giving up SGA.
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Re: OKC: The NBA's Wildcard 

Post#5 » by Resistance » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:10 am

ecuhus1981 wrote:I agree with your assessment that this team is not a far cry from the postseason, even in the stacked WC.

I disagree that they should lean into it. They should not rush into a trade, and look to move pieces in order of their contract expiration date. That means moving Gallo in the TDL, then look at moving Adams and eventually Paul. They are competitive enough to preserve each veteran's trade value, and you raise the kiddos up in an environment where they're not drowning in losses.

If they're smart, while they're wheeling and dealing, they will not simply amass youth assets but consolidate them. Don't be afraid to move Adams along with a future LAC1st, if the return is a top-5 pick or something. They have enough quantity of assets, but the quality of their assets if going to help determine their turnaround.



I don't have Adams + Clippers first as nearly enough to get a top five pick unless the Clippers first is already mid lottery.
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Re: OKC: The NBA's Wildcard 

Post#6 » by MoneyTalks41890 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:32 pm

Here's my ideal set of moves for OKC:

Start the season with this team. Pray nobody gets hurt.

Showcase CP in limited minutes. Try to move CP for some bad salary but not as bad as him. Trade Gallo for a 1st.

Trade Schroder. Get a vet PG. Hand SGA the keys. Keep Adams as a veteran presence.

Hope for good lotto luck. Start the rebuild with 16 future 1sts and take on bad salary in the short term for more assets.

SGA/vet
Ferg/Roberson
Diallo/Nader/Burton
Muscala/Bazley
Adams/Noel
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Re: OKC: The NBA's Wildcard 

Post#7 » by ecuhus1981 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:13 pm

Resistance wrote:I don't have Adams + Clippers first as nearly enough to get a top five pick unless the Clippers first is already mid lottery.

You are make a case that the valuation is off, my point was the strategy. Don't just accumulate assets, try to combine them to create better ones. The last thing that OKC needs a roster with 10 late-1st-round prospects on their rookie deals, all looking to shine and stay in the league rather than significantly contribute to a winning brand of basketball.
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Re: OKC: The NBA's Wildcard 

Post#8 » by MoneyTalks41890 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:17 pm

ecuhus1981 wrote:
Resistance wrote:I don't have Adams + Clippers first as nearly enough to get a top five pick unless the Clippers first is already mid lottery.

You are make a case that the valuation is off, my point was the strategy. Don't just accumulate assets, try to combine them to create better ones. The last thing that OKC needs a roster with 10 late-1st-round prospects on their rookie deals, all looking to shine and stay in the league rather than significantly contribute to a winning brand of basketball.


There's no reason to rush it. Tank for a bit, see what you have, then make the consolidation trades.
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Re: OKC: The NBA's Wildcard 

Post#9 » by nate33 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:06 pm

The bottom line is that they're not good enough to contend this year no matter who they add. And by next year, Chris Paul's decline is likely to make them even worse. Going all-in by trading future assets for win-now pieces just doesn't make sense.

They should look to trade Gallinari for the best future asset they can acquire. Other than that, they should continue to patiently explore Chris Paul trades that result in them unloading that contract as painlessly as possible.

The one caveat is that it might be defensible for them to trade future picks for good young players. A Beal or Aaron Gordon trade might make sense in the context that you can only develop so many draft picks at a time so trading a few of them for one sure-thing young player makes some sense. But such a trade wouldn't be about winning now. It would still be about a contention window 2 or 3 years down the road. And they should be opportunistic about such deals. Don't make them right now. Wait for a team to get into a desperate circumstance when they're willing to trade away a star at 75 cents on the dollar.
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Re: OKC: The NBA's Wildcard 

Post#10 » by pacers33granger » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:15 pm

MoneyTalks41890 wrote:There's no reason to rush it. Tank for a bit, see what you have, then make the consolidation trades.


Agreed. There are so many new faces that it's hard telling what they actually have at this point. Even with the old faces, it's debatable that they know what they have. Adams is the best example as he could see his value skyrocket if he truly was sacrificing a ton of boards for Westbrook and can showcase more of an offensive game.

And the team has a bunch of youth now, but likely only one definitive building block in SGA. The rest it's up in the air at this point, so OKC should give them a chance and see where they need guys.
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Re: OKC: The NBA's Wildcard 

Post#11 » by Crives » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:49 pm

Lots of picks.... best to wait patiently for a disgruntled young star. Don’t try to force a trade now and overpay.
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Re: OKC: The NBA's Wildcard 

Post#12 » by Resistance » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:25 pm

ecuhus1981 wrote:
Resistance wrote:I don't have Adams + Clippers first as nearly enough to get a top five pick unless the Clippers first is already mid lottery.

You are make a case that the valuation is off, my point was the strategy. Don't just accumulate assets, try to combine them to create better ones. The last thing that OKC needs a roster with 10 late-1st-round prospects on their rookie deals, all looking to shine and stay in the league rather than significantly contribute to a winning brand of basketball.



The Billy King era with the Nets has given fans across the league the idea that top five picks are easy to acquire. I understand the concept of combining/consolidating minor assets for a big asset, but multiple things need to fall into place for it to happen.
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Re: OKC: The NBA's Wildcard 

Post#13 » by ecuhus1981 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:40 pm

Resistance wrote:
ecuhus1981 wrote:
Resistance wrote:I don't have Adams + Clippers first as nearly enough to get a top five pick unless the Clippers first is already mid lottery.

You are make a case that the valuation is off, my point was the strategy. Don't just accumulate assets, try to combine them to create better ones. The last thing that OKC needs a roster with 10 late-1st-round prospects on their rookie deals, all looking to shine and stay in the league rather than significantly contribute to a winning brand of basketball.



The Billy King era with the Nets has given fans across the league the idea that top five picks are easy to acquire. I understand the concept of combining/consolidating minor assets for a big asset, but multiple things need to fall into place for it to happen.

Replace top-5 with late lotto, and see what it does to your mind.Whatever you think Adams can garner via trade, think of what adding a late 1st would do to the return, in terms of a single asset. I know you can do it.
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Re: OKC: The NBA's Wildcard 

Post#14 » by nomansland » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:14 pm

They could very easily remain in the playoffs if their current roster remains healthy. That's iffy but just the Paul/Gallo/Adams trio is strong enough to keep the team winning enough games to get in.

Long term though it's just putting off the inevitable. Might as well get some assets for those guys before it's too late. Need to trade Paul before he starts getting too antsy and toxic and need to trade Gallo before he walks for nothing. They can hold off on trading Adams for another year when he becomes expiring.

I dunno how they're going to trade Paul that easily though. $41 million in 2020 and $44 million in 2021? Ouch.
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Re: OKC: The NBA's Wildcard 

Post#15 » by GeorgeMarcus » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:09 am

Quality feedback. I figured I'd be the only person to vote option 3. I actually think the hypothetical lineup of CP3/Beal/Gallo/Gordon/Adams would compete for a Championship, but the problem is they would probably have to deplete their bench in the process.

*If* they elected to buy instead of sell (however unlikely), a Griffin homecoming would be interesting. If the media narratives are true though, I assume his relationship with Paul would be a deal breaker.
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Re: OKC: The NBA's Wildcard 

Post#16 » by Illmatic12 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:33 am

GeorgeMarcus wrote:Quality feedback. I figured I'd be the only person to vote option 3. I actually think the hypothetical lineup of CP3/Beal/Gallo/Gordon/Adams would compete for a Championship, but the problem is they would probably have to deplete their bench in the process.

*If* they elected to buy instead of sell (however unlikely), a Griffin homecoming would be interesting. If the media narratives are true though, I assume his relationship with Paul would be a deal breaker.

Idk, i don’t see any way that team competes for a championship especially with Paul’s propensity to fall apart physically in the postseason.

My problem is these trade ideas don’t fully account for the NBA ecosystem and the position the OKC Thunder currently find themselves in. It’s been proven multiple times now that the Thunder have had trouble keeping star players happy (likely because most don’t want to spend their prime years living in a small market “backwater” like Oklahoma City).

CP3 already doesn’t want to be there. They trade SGA and a bunch of other assets for a Beal-rental and what happens in 2021 when he hits FA? What are the chances that Beal signs an extension to spend the remainder of his career in Oklahoma.. 5% maybe? Now he walks and you just screwed your future even more

No. I think Sam Presti is too smart to make the same mistake again . The direction OKC needs to pursue is focusing on young talent and developing a core that can grow together organically. It may take a while, and they will likely never replicate the talent they had at the dawn of the franchise but they have a better chance of sustaining success through that route, rather than trying to patchwork a paper contender.
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Re: OKC: The NBA's Wildcard 

Post#17 » by GeorgeMarcus » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:25 am

Illmatic12 wrote:
GeorgeMarcus wrote:Quality feedback. I figured I'd be the only person to vote option 3. I actually think the hypothetical lineup of CP3/Beal/Gallo/Gordon/Adams would compete for a Championship, but the problem is they would probably have to deplete their bench in the process.

*If* they elected to buy instead of sell (however unlikely), a Griffin homecoming would be interesting. If the media narratives are true though, I assume his relationship with Paul would be a deal breaker.

Idk, i don’t see any way that team competes for a championship especially with Paul’s propensity to fall apart physically in the postseason.

My problem is these trade ideas don’t fully account for the NBA ecosystem and the position the OKC Thunder currently find themselves in. It’s been proven multiple times now that the Thunder have had trouble keeping star players happy (likely because most don’t want to spend their prime years living in a small market “backwater” like Oklahoma City).

CP3 already doesn’t want to be there. They trade SGA and a bunch of other assets for a Beal-rental and what happens in 2021 when he hits FA? What are the chances that Beal signs an extension to spend the remainder of his career in Oklahoma.. 5% maybe? Now he walks and you just screwed your future even more

No. I think Sam Presti is too smart to make the same mistake again . The direction OKC needs to pursue is focusing on young talent and developing a core that can grow together organically. It may take a while, and they will likely never replicate the talent they had at the dawn of the franchise but they have a better chance of sustaining success through that route, rather than trying to patchwork a paper contender.


The Beal proposition would hinge on Beal first receiving a contract extension. I should have specified.

CP3 not wanting to be there is pure speculation, and mostly based on the fact that he wants to play for a winning team. I have no reason to believe he'd be unhappy if the FO committed to a winning product.

Your overarching argument is valid, and undoubtedly a consensus opinion. With that said, I believe the "small market" problem is all the more reason to give fans something to root for. At least in their unique position.
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Re: OKC: The NBA's Wildcard 

Post#18 » by Illmatic12 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:52 am

GeorgeMarcus wrote:
Illmatic12 wrote:
GeorgeMarcus wrote:Quality feedback. I figured I'd be the only person to vote option 3. I actually think the hypothetical lineup of CP3/Beal/Gallo/Gordon/Adams would compete for a Championship, but the problem is they would probably have to deplete their bench in the process.

*If* they elected to buy instead of sell (however unlikely), a Griffin homecoming would be interesting. If the media narratives are true though, I assume his relationship with Paul would be a deal breaker.

Idk, i don’t see any way that team competes for a championship especially with Paul’s propensity to fall apart physically in the postseason.

My problem is these trade ideas don’t fully account for the NBA ecosystem and the position the OKC Thunder currently find themselves in. It’s been proven multiple times now that the Thunder have had trouble keeping star players happy (likely because most don’t want to spend their prime years living in a small market “backwater” like Oklahoma City).

CP3 already doesn’t want to be there. They trade SGA and a bunch of other assets for a Beal-rental and what happens in 2021 when he hits FA? What are the chances that Beal signs an extension to spend the remainder of his career in Oklahoma.. 5% maybe? Now he walks and you just screwed your future even more

No. I think Sam Presti is too smart to make the same mistake again . The direction OKC needs to pursue is focusing on young talent and developing a core that can grow together organically. It may take a while, and they will likely never replicate the talent they had at the dawn of the franchise but they have a better chance of sustaining success through that route, rather than trying to patchwork a paper contender.


The Beal proposition would hinge on Beal first receiving a contract extension. I should have specified.

CP3 not wanting to be there is pure speculation, and mostly based on the fact that he wants to play for a winning team. I have no reason to believe he'd be unhappy if the FO committed to a winning product.

Your overarching argument is valid, and undoubtedly a consensus opinion. With that said, I believe the "small market" problem is all the more reason to give fans something to root for. At least in their unique position.

If Beal signs an extension Washington isn’t going to trade him. And if he requests a trade it certainly won’t be to the Thunder. It’s just not a realistic scenario - if they were trading for him it would have to be a rental situation, which gives OKC a ~2yr window to patchwork a contender

And I don’t think OKC fans want to root for a ~40yo declining Chris Paul lol, it’s not 2007. It’s just better for both sides to move on and the Thunder can continue with their rebuild. I just don’t see how pursuing this direction is smart for OKC in the long run. Interesting hypotheticals but the Thunder’s FO is too self-aware to do anything but rebuild.
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Re: OKC: The NBA's Wildcard 

Post#19 » by Dn4sty » Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:21 am

Several thoughts keep running through my head.

At some point OKC has to trade some of these picks for a star(s). If not you end up drafting the next Yabusuele.

Further, I think this summer showed us that teams are much more willing to let rFA go (even executing sign and trades to do it). Next summer OKC should be able to add a rFA if they go that route. The rFA class is at least somewhat ok (Brown, Levert, Sabonis, Ingram, Saric, Bogdanovic, Hield, Dejounte Murray, Siakam). Of course some of those guys will never be available but I could several being options.

Adding Beal is quite possible, yet I don’t think he sticks around on this team after he hits FA (unless Shai just takes off and becomes a mega star). So I think Beal would only be realistic in a situation where Shai is amazing and OKC also swings for another player along with Beal in a trade.

I’m not sure it’s ideal to go full process tank though, as I think Shai grows far more playing competitive games with decent/solid players rather than random G league guys. I also think the lottery odds have take some of the incentive away from a full blown tank.
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Re: OKC: The NBA's Wildcard 

Post#20 » by MoneyTalks41890 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:04 pm

Illmatic12 wrote:
GeorgeMarcus wrote:Quality feedback. I figured I'd be the only person to vote option 3. I actually think the hypothetical lineup of CP3/Beal/Gallo/Gordon/Adams would compete for a Championship, but the problem is they would probably have to deplete their bench in the process.

*If* they elected to buy instead of sell (however unlikely), a Griffin homecoming would be interesting. If the media narratives are true though, I assume his relationship with Paul would be a deal breaker.

Idk, i don’t see any way that team competes for a championship especially with Paul’s propensity to fall apart physically in the postseason.

My problem is these trade ideas don’t fully account for the NBA ecosystem and the position the OKC Thunder currently find themselves in. It’s been proven multiple times now that the Thunder have had trouble keeping star players happy (likely because most don’t want to spend their prime years living in a small market “backwater” like Oklahoma City).

CP3 already doesn’t want to be there. They trade SGA and a bunch of other assets for a Beal-rental and what happens in 2021 when he hits FA? What are the chances that Beal signs an extension to spend the remainder of his career in Oklahoma.. 5% maybe? Now he walks and you just screwed your future even more

No. I think Sam Presti is too smart to make the same mistake again . The direction OKC needs to pursue is focusing on young talent and developing a core that can grow together organically. It may take a while, and they will likely never replicate the talent they had at the dawn of the franchise but they have a better chance of sustaining success through that route, rather than trying to patchwork a paper contender.


There’s no truth to this.

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