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Far-Fetched Friday: The OKC Thunder’s Recent Trades Won’t be Significant Long-Term
By: Ryan Stein
No team has been more actively trading than the Oklahoma City Thunder. With all the trades they've been making, one thing has certainly been prioritized: collecting future draft picks. Normally collecting such a large amount of 1st round picks would be seen as a good thing, but that may not end up being the case for the Thunder. Oklahoma City will end up having little to show for all of their recent trading efforts.
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This Friday we look at a franchise playing 2K My League with their trades.
By Wednesday's draft, the Thunder had a total of 17 first round picks between 2020-2026.
For the most part, the picks that have been acquired by the Thunder belong to teams that are likely to be competitive for years to come. Outside of the Suns, none of the teams that gave up a pick to OKC is likely to be bad any time soon. As such, it would be surprising to see any of the Thunder's new picks end up in the lottery. The most interesting future asset the Thunder got is a 2022 first-round pick from the Phoenix Suns.
There's a possibility that the duo of Devin Booker and Chris Paul doesn't work out for Phoenix. If that happens, it wouldn't be out of the question to suggest Booker may try to force his way out in search of greener pastures. However, the Suns are a time on the rise, so at this point it seems much more likely that they will be a competitive playoff team by the time their pick conveys to the Thunder.
If there's one thing we've learned from the Boston Celtics in recent years, it's that combining late first round picks in a trade to move up in the draft is not as easy as it sounds. If the Thunder end up having to actually make all of these selections, there's a slim chance that any of those players will end up being stars, considering there are all likely to be picks from the 2nd half of the first round.
If these picks don't result in moving up significantly in a future draft to pick up a potential young star, or the picks aren't trade for a current star with more experience in the NBA, the trades made by the Thunder this offseason will be seen as a failure. Without more star power, they will struggle to be competitive in the Western Conference, and their picks are not set up to be in the 'star' range of any future drafts.
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This particular prediction is about the best freshman in college basketball this season, Cade Cunningham. It could even be argued that he is the best player in all of college basketball. He is the reason I believe the Oklahoma State Cowboys will win their first BIG 12 Basketball Championship since 2004.