Oklahoma City Thunder aims to reclaim being contenders again, moving on from a dark summer for the franchise. Trade rumors suggest the Thunder make a move for Utah Jazz’s Gordon Hayward by sending some young assets.
The proposed deal would have Hayward to the Thunder and send Domas Sabonis, Andre Roberson, Cameron Payne, Alex Abrines, and 2017 draft first round pick. If the deal materializes, it would bring the Thunder to contender mode.
With Hayward, who averages 19.7 points with 3.7 assists and 5.0 rebounds a game, the Thunder addresses their shooting forward problem. They could have Russell Westbrook, Victor Oladipo, Enes Kanter, Hayward and Steven Adams. The Thunder’s second unit could be composed of Ronnie Price, Anthony Morrow, Joffrey Lauvergne, Kyle Singler, and Ersan Ilyasova.
In getting Hayward, the Thunder could also sign him up to a maximum contract as protection to avoid another Kevin Durant-like scenario. When Durant chose to sign with the Golden State Warriors, it left a huge gap in their roster and many see that Hayward could fill it.
As for the Jazz, Sabonis could be in the rotation for Boris Diaw while Roberson could take Hayward’s place in the starting unit. Payne could also be an option at the point guard position while Abrines can come off the bench as their shooting guard option.
If the Thunder could not get Hayward by the Feb. deadline, they could always go after him when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Chris Hughes of Thunderous Intentions stated that Hayward would be the best option for the Thunder to pursue as the 26-year old Indiana native could be a future pair for Westbrook.
Many names got linked with the Thunder since the departure of Durant in the summer of this year. Westbrook together with the Thunder fans is now moving on to get back into contention in the Western Conference. The trade is plausible and will only take place if both teams sit down and discuss the deal.
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