SGA for Cade? | Detroit Declines

Updated: July 27, 2021

What could have been one of the biggest moves of the offseason, was only made public after it was thrown in the dustbin. The Oklahoma City Thunder sent a generous offer sheet of future All-Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and #6, for the number 1 pick in the draft. With players like Scottie Barnes and Jonathan Kuminga projected at 6, we can assume one of two things, either the distance between them and Cade Cunningham the projected #1 is too deep, or they simply are not interested in SGA. It probably is for the same reason that OKC is now willing to deal Shai, because of the timeline they are on in relation to his upcoming rookie-max extension.

Previous to this report, there were several rumors that the Detroit Pistons were willing to move off 1, but it appears now 5 or 6 is too far down the ladder, and their willingness to move down was only if they were still able to get one of the top tier prospects in Evan Mobley or Jalen Green. It is also possible that in the last week they have fallen in love with the 6’8 point guard in Cade Cunningham and now would need a godfather offer to trade him away. All of these questions with regards to Detroit will soon be answered.

What is more interesting in this botched exchange, however, is the fact that OKC has publicly made Shai Gilgeous-Alexander available. He is a unique asset around the league as one of the few rookie contracts on the trade block with win-now talent for a contender. All the teams around the league looking to acquire an upgrade at the guard position may now reconsider their plans for the max-level players and send their assets towards OKC for Shai. Even with his stats last year, however, the perception of SGA’s stock varies tremendously from franchise to franchise. This may be because most of his production was done in the invisible franchise in OKC on a tanking team as Shai was asked to sit out the last 3rd of the season.

Last week I had proposed an OKC-Warriors’ exchange sending SGA to Golden State and Wisemen and the 7th and 14th pick to the Thunder (A Treasure Chest of Assets | SGA & OKC). It is a theoretical trade that I have been pushing for over the last year, which is detailed in the article above, but now, with SGA on the trade block, the opportunities are more of a realistic possibility. One could argue, that the Thunder are simply super high on Cade, and are only willing to part with their two-way guard for the number 1 pick. However, it appears instead, that OKC is aware of SGA’s ceiling, and the timeline of his upcoming rookie contract does not match the one all of their upcoming future draft picks will be on. With all the talks of CP3, Westbrook, Lowry, and DeRozan, teams like the Heat, Pelicans, Pacers, Warriors, and 76ers must be intrigued by OKC making their intentions about their 23-year-old guard known.


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