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When the Oklahoma City Thunder acquired Svi Mykhailiuk via trade last season, speculation surrounding the two parties’ future endeavors arose. As reported Saturday — their relationship has come to a close.
As first reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Toronto Raptors have signed Mykhailiuk to a two-year contract. Mykhailiuk’s deal includes a second-year player option which, if not exercised, will have him back under the free agent pool next offseason,
Mykhailiuk garnered a sizable market, and as Charania put it, one in which “several contenders” seeked interest in his services. It’s evident as to why. Mykhailiuk flew under the radar for the grander portion of last season, but once traded to Oklahoma City, he made an immediate impact. In his 30 appearances in a Thunder uniform, Mykhailiuk posted career numbers averaging 10.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in 23.0 minutes per contest. In Mykhailiuk’s run, the 24-year-old flashed a newfound multiverse-skillset playing a prominent role pulling up as a shot creator and throwing down dunks around the basket. As for his hallmarked three-ball, Mykahiluk did not lack in that area, hitting 33.6 percent of takes on 4.8 tries a game.
The Oklahoma City Thunder expressed interest in Mykhailiuk since offloading Hamidou Diallo for him last season, but their intrigue had been piqued even amidst the offseason. The Thunder extended a $2.0 million Qualifying Offer to the wing on August 1, making him a restricted free agent, but the organization opted to rescind their previous offer a mere three days later. That rescination helped set the table for Mykhailiuk to hit the free agent ranks as an unrestricted free agent, and an eventual Toronto Raptor.
Oklahoma City will dearly miss Mykhailiuk’s three-level scoring ability off the bench, as his archetype perfectly fit one of the Thunder’s biggest needs for upwards of a decade — but the departure also opens the door for many others. In Mykhailiuk’s absence, first-round picks Josh Giddey and Tre Mann will be bartering for guard play while returning names in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Theo Maledon, Ty Jerome, and Kenrich Williams have more wiggle room heading into next season.