The 2022-23 NBA season is a little over a month old right now, which means trade season is just a few weeks away as players who signed deals over this last offseason will be eligible to be moved on Dec. 15.
The NBA trade deadline is on Feb. 9. Which opens up a two-month window for trades to occur this season.
For the Oklahoma City Thunder, they are involved in three of Swartz’s trade ideas. Let’s take a look at the deals involving the Thunder and another team.
James Wiseman to the Thunder
Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Warriors: Kenrich Williams, the more favorable 2023 second-round pick between the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat
Thunder: James Wiseman
“With Wiseman not looking ready to contribute to a team with championship aspirations, the Thunder should be thrilled to bring in the 2020 No. 2 overall pick and let him develop in their system.
There are center minutes to be found with 2022 No. 2 overall pick Chet Holmgren out for the season with a foot injury, giving Wiseman the chance to prove he can still become a star one day. OKC doesn’t even need to match salaries, as Wiseman’s $9.6 million deal can be absorbed into a $10.2 million trade exception owned by the Thunder.
For Golden State, the move brings in a veteran forward in Williams who can defend and hit threes while wiping $7.6 million off the salary sheet, resulting in some significant luxury tax relief.
The Warriors also pick up a 2023 second-rounder and become a better team this season by not having to play a still-raw Wiseman.”
Quick thoughts: I wouldn’t do this trade if I were the Thunder. Wiseman’s stock is at an all-time low and giving away a valuable piece like Williams would’ve made sense in early 2022, but not in 2023.
The minutes aren’t there for Wiseman beyond this season and he’s not going to eat into the playing time of someone like Chet Holmgren. Also the Thunder will only have 1.5 seasons to decide on whether or not it’s worth extending Wiseman, which is not a lot of time to properly judge the former No. 2 pick.
Kenrich Williams to the Bucks
Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
Bucks: Kenrich Williams
Thunder: MarJon Beauchamp
“Getting Khris Middleton and Joe Ingles back from injury at various points in the season will make it feel like this team swung some deals, meaning there’s nothing major that should be done here.
Adding a veteran wing in Williams who can knock down threes and defend all over the floor would only tighten this team’s already elite defense, however.
Beauchamp, 22, has gotten some early playing time for an injury-riddled Bucks team but is shooting just 37.7 percent overall and 29.3 percent from three, and he probably isn’t going to be ready to be in a playoff rotation by the spring.
The Thunder can be far more patient with the 24th overall pick in the 2022 draft.”
Quick thoughts: I would love this deal for the Thunder but I doubt they do it considering how much the locker room loves Williams. Despite a poor start to his season, Williams being under team control for the next four seasons on a cap-friendly deal will make him an attractive trade option.
For the Thunder, they acquire a first-round rookie in Beauchamp who’s playing a decent role on a title contender. It is important to note that Williams cannot be traded until Jan. 18.
Mike Muscala to the Celtics
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Celtics: Mike Muscala
Thunder: 2023 second-round pick via Portland Trail Blazers
“The 13-4 Celtics don’t have many weaknesses, although adding a veteran big man who can space the floor and give the team minutes at power forward and center would be welcomed.
Muscala has made 38.9 percent of his threes over the past three seasons and posted a swing rating of plus-11.3 over that time.
Boston wouldn’t even need to send any salary back, as Muscala’s $3.5 million contract could be absorbed into $6.9 million or $5.8 million trade exceptions owned by the Celtics.
OKC picks up another draft selection and creates a new trade exception with this deal”
Quick thoughts: I think this trade makes sense for both sides. At 31 years old, Muscala doesn’t fit the Thunder window and him being removed from the roster could open up minutes to his younger teammates.
Muscala also has a $3.5 million team option for the 2023-24 season, which likely won’t get picked up as his 31.8 three-point shooting percentage this season is his lowest since 2015. If the Thunder and Muscala really like each other, there’s a scenario he signs another one-year deal with the team this offseason.