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Thunder Journal: Breaking down the Kemba Walker trade

Thunder Journal: Breaking down the Kemba Walker trade

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Welp, the journal entry I was halfway done writing just got tossed in the trash.

The Oklahoma City Thunder interrupted “DT Journal: Who wins MVP first: Dort or Poku?” when they traded Al Horford, Moses Brown and a 2023 2nd rounder to the Boston Celtics for Kemba Walker, the #16 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and a 2025 2nd rounder.

Everyone is impressed with what Chris Paul is doing this season at 36 years old. Meanwhile, Sam Presti is in the middle of his prime at the age of 43.

Let’s follow the Hansel and Presti trail of bread crumbs to help find the path of how OKC ended up with yet another 1st round pick.

Beloved Stache Bro Enes Kanter was flipped for “Ahh Mother Flipper Shiiii” Carmelo Anthony to help convince Playoff P to re-sign (that’s a whole other, even more impressive bread crumb trail). Melo was flipped for Dennis That’s Tuff Schroder who was then flipped for Thunder legend Danny Green and a 1st round pick. Green was then flipped for Al Too Good To Tank Horford, Theo Maledon, the rights to EuroLeague MVP and EuroLeague Champion Vasilije Micic and a 1st round pick. Horford was then flipped for recent All Star Kemba Walker and Boston’s 2021 1st rounder.

Stay tuned for next summer when Kemba is traded for Kristaps Porzingis and a Mavs 1st rounder.

Now it must be said that while the Thunder did rehab Horford’s value after he was considered washed in Philadelphia, much like they did Chris Paul after he was “old and injured” in Houston, Kemba’s bigger contract is also a big factor in why the Celtics gave up a mid 1st rounder in a deep, loaded draft. But OKC’s cap is so fresh and clean that the additional salary hit over the next two seasons is easily worth either more ammunition to move up in the draft or to select another 20 year old rookie with near lottery talent.

If OKC decides to draft at #16, here are some names that may be in that range: Corey Kispert, Franz Wagner, Keon Johnson, Chris Duarte, Kai Jones, Usman Garuba, Isaiah Jackson or Jaden Springer. All of those players would be a great addition to the Thunder’s young core.

Or if the Houston pick doesn’t convey, OKC will have the #16 and #18 picks. Let’s say Josh Giddey is available at #10. Sam Presti could now combine his two mid-firsts to jump up and get his Aussie prodigy.

Or if the Houston pick does convey, OKC will have the #5 and #16 picks. Maybe the team at #4 likes Jonathan Kuminga enough to make a swap and the Thunder land Evan Mobley or one of the Jalen’s?

The point is, Sam Presti now has even more options and more assets at his disposable to be able to make moves to target the rookies he likes. Last year, he combined Ricky Rubio from the CP3 trade, the #25 pick from the Jerami Grant trade and the #28 pick from the Danny Green trade all to move up to pick Poku. If he has a player in mind, he can and will do whatever it takes to get his man. Scared money and all that.

It’s an exciting morning, Thunder fans. Sam Presti did it again. Not even a wasted two hours on a completely different journal entry can ruin my mood.