After establishing an impressive performance during the regular season, most people thought that the Oklahoma City Thunder would be the biggest threat to the reigning NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors, in the NBA Playoffs 2019. Unfortunately, like last year, the Thunder suffered an early playoff exit, this time, from the hands of the Portland Trail Blazers. Russell Westbrook and Paul George have undeniably formed an incredible tandem in Oklahoma City, but the Thunder still need to upgrade their roster in order to have a realistic chance of contending for the NBA championship title.
With the Thunder heading into the 2019 NBA offseason with a limited salary cap space, they are unlikely to be major players on the free agency market. As of now, the only way that they could improve their roster is by taking the trade route. According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, one of the potential trade targets for the Thunder next summer is Tim Hardaway Jr. of the Dallas Mavericks.
“The 27-year-old isn’t changing his ways now, so he needs a team desperate enough for outside shooting and quick-strike scoring to look beyond his inefficiency. The Thunder, whose top non-Paul George wing scorer this season was Terrance Ferguson with 6.9 points per game, could be that club. OKC could barely breathe on offense, sitting 22nd overall with a 34.8 three-point percentage. Things might get more crowded with non-shooter Andre Roberson rejoining the fold after having his season erased by a knee injury. While not the most accurate shooter (career 34.3 percent), Hardaway has too much volume and streakiness for opponents to ignore.”
Locked on Mavericks @NickVanExit & @IsaacLHarris serve up an intriguing trade idea of Tim Hardaway https://t.co/lQuY3o34Bm Thunder for Dennis Schroder. Rylan Stiles opines on the deal. (via @@Rylan_Stiles) #ThunderUp https://t.co/C94PAJthFA— Thunderous Intentions (@thunderousint) May 22, 2019
In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Thunder will be sending Dennis Schroder to the Mavericks in exchange for Tim Hardaway Jr. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine. If the trade becomes a reality, it will help both the Thunder and the Mavericks in filling up the needs to improve on their roster.
Tim Hardaway Jr. will be an incredible addition to the Thunder, giving them another reliable scoring option next to Russell Westbrook and Paul George. In the 19 games he played with the Mavericks, Hardaway Jr. averaged 15.5 points and 3.2 rebounds on 40.4 percent shooting from the field and 32.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks could use Dennis Schroder as a primary backup point guard, especially if they succeed to acquire Charlotte Hornets superstar Kemba Walker in the 2019 NBA free agency. If Walker signs somewhere else, Schroder is capable of filling the starting role. Before being traded to the Thunder, Schroder spent his final two seasons with the Atlanta Hawks as their starting point guard. At 25, Schroder also fits well with the timeline of the Mavericks’ promising core of Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic.