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Friday Bolts: The Deadline Day After

Friday Bolts: The Deadline Day After

Sam Presti actually did it. He traded a first-round pick from OKC's enormous vault of first-round selections. In return, the Oklahoma City Thunder landed a 2028 pick swap.

Okay, so not the blockbuster we imagined the inventory of picks would be used for, but alas, OKC shed a pick that had little value in the short term, to essentially have the ability "trade up" in the 2028 draft should Dallas' pick in 2028 be worse than OKC's.

Oh, and there was another trade on deadline day. Tre Mann, Vasilije Micic, Davis Bertans, and two second-round draft picks are out, and Gordon Hayward is in.

It's a typical Presti trade of arguably adding a little juice for now without sacrificing long-term flexibility (and actually, adding some flexibility).

Jeff Zillgitt (USA Today) gave OKC a B+.

NBA trade grades: Lakers get a D-; Knicks surprise with an A
LeBron James and the Lakers are on a path to miss the playoffs. They didn’t get any help by the NBA’s trade deadline, but other contenders did.

Kevin Pelton (ESPN.com) rated the trade an A for the Thunder.

NBA trade grades 2023-24: Breaking down the biggest deals this deadline
The 2023-24 NBA trade deadline has arrived. We’re handing out grades for the league’s most important deals.

Dan Favale (Bleacher Report) also gave the Thunder an A.

Grading Every Deal at the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline
Who ordered 2024 NBA trade deadline grades, with an extra heaping side of second-round pick protections? Because we’ve got ’em. Every deal that gets completed…

As did Sam Quinn (CBS Sports).

NBA trade deadline grades for all 30 teams: Knicks, Thunder earn top marks; Bulls, Mavericks come up short
The NBA’s trade deadline was Thursday at 3 p.m. ET

Zach Harper (The Athletic) was less impressed, handing out a B for the trade.

NBA trade grades: Gordon Hayward gives rising Thunder some playoff experience
As OKC battles for a top-four seed in the West, adding a veteran like Hayward, once he’s healthy, should be a boost.

Hayward's debut will be after the All-Star Break.

Friend of Daily Thunder, Tyler Parker (The Ringer), on Chet Holmgren:

But it’s Holmgren’s overall malleability that has unlocked this Oklahoma City team faster than anyone expected. He’s exceeded every expectation. Sometimes he trails the action and tra-la-las into above-the-break 3s. Sometimes he cuts to the basket. Sometimes he catches and drives. Sometimes he sets a pick-and-roll to the rim. Sometimes he gets a pick and initiates himself. He keeps defenses guessing, makes them wonder. The Thunder use him all over—the wing, the corner, the block, the elbow, the dunker spot, point, anywhere on Chet’s green earth. He just knows how to play, where to be.
Chet Holmgren Has Brought the Thunder to a New Level
OKC’s rookie phenom can go toe-to-toe with Victor Wembanyama when it comes to big plays, but he’s also doing something few rookies, including Wemby, ever have: helping to power one of the best teams in the NBA

Michael Grange (SportsNet Canada) starts asking the question, could Shai Gilgeous-Alexander be one of the all-time greats?

‘Unstoppable’: Canada’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander just keeps raising his game
After leading Canada to a historic bronze medal at the FIBA World Cup, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has raised his game yet again. “He just became unstoppable,” said fellow countryman RJ Barrett.

With Joel Embiid out with an injury, and Shai playing at an MVP-level, could SGA actually win this thing?

With Joel Embiid likely out of MVP race, here’s why Shai Gilgeous-Alexander could be the new front-runner
The OKC guard is a strong candidate to replace Embiid as the MVP favorite
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s MVP heist is nearly complete
With Joel Embiid’s surgery, the Thunder guard is suddenly the most likely to foil Nikola Jokić’s bid for another trophy