Photo Credits: Omar Rawlings/ NBA E Getty Images
Trading season has begun — and no avail, Oklahoma City sounded the first cannon.
ESPN NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski broke the social media late Friday night, with the announcement that Oklahoma City moved guard Hamidou Diallo for Detroit wing Svi Mykhailiuk and a 2027 second-round pick. That pick as later determined, will come via the Houston Rockets, who moved their selection in a sign and trade for Christian Wood.
Hamidou Diallo beamed not just potential, but also experience into the Thunder organization during his stay with the franchise. Diallo, who was originally selected 45th by the Brooklyn Nets back in 2018, wound up in an Oklahoma City uniform in a draft day deal sending over cash considerations. The Kentucky product lasted as the Thunder’s longest tenured player dating back to the 18-19 season, and the final member holding links to Russell Westbrook.
Diallo, shot up the charts this season with averages of 11.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.0 steals across 23.8 minutes. The 22-year-old rejuvenated his career under Mark Daigneault not just asserting himself penetrating to the basket, but continuously looking for the open man.
Under Pistons GM Troy Weaver (who helped bring Diallo to OKC in 2018,) Diallo will be used as a key piece moving forward, likely plugging in and overtaking current starter Wayne Ellington at the 2-guard. For the future, Diallo hits restricted free agency this summer, however with rights on the guard, Detroit will look to keep him into the future.
Oklahoma City’s acquisition of Svi Mykhailiuk signals not just a change of play, but a new sense of opportunity for the roster.
Svi Mykhailiuk was selected just two spots back from Diallo in the 2018 draft, being nabbed by the Los Angeles Lakers at pick 47. Mykhailiuk flashed potential in his 39 games with the Lakers, enough to be moved for Reggie Bullock at the season’s deadline.
The Kansas product currently posts averages of 6.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.6 assists on 17.6 minutes in his third-year campaign, but his spotty 33% three-point accuracy leaves much more room to grow. Svi dominated last season with the Pistons, filling in for 56 games (27 starts) at the 2 and 3 for 9.0 points off of a pristine 40.4% output from downtown, firing off 5.1 attempts to get there.
The 6-foot-7 wing shows the ability to fill into the Thunder’s 2 and 3 positions as a budding catch and shoot threat to bolster the second unit. The addition of Svi builds even more to Oklahoma City’s pace-and-space philosophy, which heavily caters towards isolating guards surrounded by a sea of shooters.
Mykhailiuk will hit the open market this offseason under restricted free agency, giving Oklahoma City a three-month scope into the wing’s future with the roster.