Photo Credits: Bart Young/NBAE Getty Images
ESPN NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski assessed a barrage of topic in his trade deadline special The Woj Pod episode. The conversation spanned across Oklahoma City’s recent acquisition of Meyers Leonard and a 2027 second-round pick, but the main source of Thunder news came right in the thick of trade talk.
Wojnarowski’s biggest comment surrounding Bricktown came right around the 25:30 mark, in which Wojnarowski broke the latest details on four Thunder members.
Oklahoma City has got a number of guys who they’re going to be able to now or after the season move on from. I mean George Hill, Kenrich Williams, Mike Muscala, Justin Jackson — I know they’re getting calls on all those guys.Adrian Wojnarowski- The Woj Pod
For Thunder fans, it should come to no surprise that seasoned veterans in George Hill and Mike Muscala are garnering offers.
Hill, 34, provides serviceable minutes in a true point-guard role all the while sourcing productive shooting off the ball, something serious contenders will need in any hopes of a title shot. Hill has illustrated multiple swatches of play in Oklahoma City, posting averages of 11.8 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 3.1 assists across 14 games. The guard fed right off of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander before suffering a thumb injury back in late-January, sounding off a team high 47.5 percent shooting on catch-and-shoot threes while remaining a serious threat manning the basketball.
Through various reports it is known the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers have surfaced interest in Hill thus far, but the true palette of teams dabbling into the veteran’s palette remain a mystery.
In regards to Mike Muscala, the 29-year-old has rejuvenated his career with Oklahoma City, and with a changing landscape, he may be in pursuit of a title come May.
Muscala currently rides on a career-best 9.7 points per game this season, using a feeble 18.4 minutes to solidify his presence off the bench. The Moose generates easy offense from downtown (37.0% 3pt FG), making any playoff team in need of a stretch-four banging on his doorstep.
Muscala has remained nothing but professional as of late, falling out of the rotation for younger names in Moses Brown and Aleksej Pokusevski, only furthermore hinting at his availability.
Wojnarowski’s mentions of Kenrich Williams and Justin Jackson are a tad more eyebrow raising; however, these names also should not be all that shocking (for the most part.)
Kenrich Williams has become a no-brainer for playoff teams to chase in pursuit after. The 26-year-old rests on a $6 Million contract that extends through the 2022-23 season, and with such a multi-faceted game — he may just be the biggest bang-for-your-buck player in the league.
Williams’ current statline of 6.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.8 assists may look unappetizing on paper, but the wing provides much more than numbers on a scorecard.
Williams gels in with near everyone on the roster. The wing accounts for the Thunder’s top seven three-man lineups in net rating (100 min. requirement,) tooling in at the two through four positions across those lineups. Williams fills in as prototype 3-and-D prospect ranking second on the team with a blistering 41.4% conversion rate on triples while pestering the opposition with 1.7 deflections and 0.8 steals a contest.
Williams has only improved progressing through the year. First, he raised eyebrows in February absorbing starting minutes for 9.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.1 steals on 26.0 minutes a game. Production skyrocketed from the wing, improving upon every stat from the month prior while dialing in 46.7% of threes on 1.9 attempts. As of now Williams is posting a 10.7 point average across the month of March.
A market for a player of Williams’ stature is obvious, however; gauging a real price on the 26-year-old may become a challenge as the March 25 deadline rapidly approaches.
In the case of Justin Jackson, initial buzz suggested that many were shocked the power-forward yielding any sort of market.
Jackson, 25, has struggled to insert himself in the rotation all year, losing bids over Mike Muscala and later Isaiah Roby over the first weeks of the season. The former fifteenth-pick has flickered some potential with a patented floater and a cool 6.6 point average, but overall his future is still in limbo. Jackson, currently on a $5.0 Million expiring, will hit restricted free agency upon the season’s closure, giving his prior team coveted bird rights, and the option to match any offer sheet for the forward. Given that the coined sharpshooter is riding on a 29.2% statline from outside, Jackson shouldn’t collect a lump some of money for his next deal. That in of itself provides something every contender wants — cheap bench options.
A deal structured with Jackson likely could become a piece to a much larger-scale move as a salary-filler, but a simple swap for a future pick would also be very fitting.