Previous reports from The Athletic on Thursday, indicated that the Oklahoma City Thunder had received the right to swap draft picks with the Brooklyn Nets in 2021 and 2025. A full link to the original story here while my article on it is here.
Those murmurs have shot down though the course of the day as Sam Vecenie, a senior writer, and original contributor in The Athletic’s piece of the Harden deal clarified the construction of the deal.
The whole shtick with this deal gives the Brooklyn Nets the opportunity to possess the Thunder’s draft selections in 2021 and 2025, but not vice versa.
Look at it like this: if the Nets own the first pick in the upcoming draft, with the Rockets at number two, and Thunder at number three, here is how the situation would play out.
Thunder swap with Rockets, move to number two in the draft.
Rockets swap with Nets, move to number one in the draft
Nets are left with the last pick remaining, in this case the Thunder, moving down from number one to three.
Implications of this deal likely will not take effect until 2025, as with the recent acquisition of James Harden, the Nets’ motives are pinpointed on a championship run, meaning they likely will not be worse than the Thunder or Rockets.
A situation that was discussed in my first write-up outlined the case that by 2025, the Brooklyn Nets could dissolve as we know them, and potentially be a bottom-dweller in the league. The original thought was in that case the Thunder could swap with them if they were the worst out of themselves and the Rockets, but now, their only move can be exchanging picks with Houston.
Upon first glance at The Athletic’s post, it seemed like this deal was almost to good to be true for Oklahoma City, and that it is. Despite Sam Presti’s supernatural abilities when dealing, not even he could poof such a lob-sided deal into existence. I would never doubt Sam’s attempts at making movement in the trade market, so maybe he can wiggle his way into a deal during this blockbuster move’s aftershock.