Having your best player request a trade is rarely ever a good thing. Typically, a trade request saps you of leverage in talks, but in Oklahoma City, they became the team with the leverage in an odd twist in the current era of player empowerment.
Paul George requesting a trade to the Clippers and Kawhi Leonard signing with the Clippers being contingent on them landing George in a trade gave Sam Presti ample opportunity to squeeze every bit out of L.A. as possible. The result was a record haul of picks, with five firsts (four unprotected), some swaps, and a prized rookie from last year in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (and a really good player in Danilo Gallinari, who is on an expiring deal).
The biggest problem with hitting the reset button so clearly was that left Russell Westbrook as the next star that needed to be moved. The Heat were reportedly involved in talks, but ultimately Westbrook was sent to the rival Rockets for Chris Paul in a stunning trade that netted the Thunder even more in future draft assets.
Oklahoma City won’t be a team that will have a huge impact on the floor this season, but all things considered, it’s hard to find a team that’s done a better job pivoting to a rebuild so aggressively. To get the full picture, below you’ll find everything the Thunder have acquired in a trade this summer, dating back to draft night, and everything they’ve sent out.