The Oklahoma City Thunder’s 2019 NBA offseason suddenly turned chaotic when Paul George demanded a trade to team up with Kawhi Leonard on the Los Angeles Clippers. George’s trade request was followed by Russell Westbrook’s desire to reunite with James Harden on the Houston Rockets. After losing both George and Westbrook this summer, most people now see the Thunder heading into an inevitable rebuild.
Though they are currently expected to find a new home for the remaining veterans on their roster, there is still a possibility for the Thunder to seek roster upgrades before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. With the trade assets they got from trading Paul George and Russell Westbrook, the Thunder are in a strong position to engage in another blockbuster deal.
According to Tristan Elliott of Sportskeeda, if the Phoenix Suns finally decide to part ways with the face of the franchise, Devin Booker, the Thunder are among the “most realistic destinations” for the former No. 13 overall pick.
“The general manager is currently focused on offloading his remaining high earners such as Steven Adams, Chris Paul, and Dennis Schroder, although the Thunder have plenty of young talent to build around such as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Located in one of the NBA’s smallest markets, Oklahoma City has no chance of luring a new superstar in free agency, and the team will need to acquire a new star via trade. Though with a war chest of first-round draft picks, the Thunder are among the most realistic destinations for Booker – and the 22-year-old’s arrival would significantly improve the mood in OKC.”
Devin Booker trade rumors: Knicks, Thunder, Celtics possible destinations for Suns star? https://t.co/YUuHGpYWKb— azcentral (@azcentral) September 2, 2019
Devin Booker would undeniably be an incredible addition to the Thunder, giving them one of the fastest rising superstars in the league who fits the timeline of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Though he is only 22, Booker is already established as an All-Star-caliber performer. In 64 games he played last season, Booker averaged 26.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 6.8 assists while shooting 46.7 percent from the field and 32.6 percent from beyond the arc.
Thunder general manager Sam Presti likely wouldn’t mind sending their plethora of first-round picks to the Suns just to acquire a player of Booker’s caliber. If they succeed in adding Booker to their roster, the Thunder could choose to slowly rebuild the team or try testing their luck in the deep Western Conference. Booker may still be young, but adding him to the core of Paul, Gilgeous-Alexander, Gallinari, and Adams would certainly turn the Thunder into a legitimate threat in the league.