Before the season started, the popular opinion was that the Oklahoma City Thunder were a tanking team. After trading Russell Westbrook and Paul George prior to the season, they had a win total of just 34.5 games and were priced as long shots to make the playoffs. Now, things have changed. OKC is well above .500 and seem like a lock to make the playoffs in the Western Conference. According to fivethirtyeight.com, the Thunder’s playoffs odds are 99%.
Should the Thunder trade Danilo Gallinari or Steven Adams?
At this point, the answer has to be a no from me. All year we have heard about guys like Danillo Gallinari, Steven Adams or Chris Paul being traded. Instead, this is a competitive team that should be looking ahead to the playoffs. Not only is Oklahoma City in the playoff mix, it could potentially get home court advantage in the first round. The Thunder are only a few games out of the four seed in the West. If this was a team playing as poorly as the preseason win total suggested, it would make sense to part ways with veterans. OKC can hold onto it’s pieces and making a playoff run won’t be compromising to the future.
Playing with veterans has clearly helped Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to develop and neither Adams nor Gallinari have much time left on their contracts. Gallo will be a free agent after this season and Adams has just one year left on his contract after this season. Considering all the draft picks this team acquired from offseason trades, the Thunder have one of the brightest futures in the league and a not so bad present.