Oklahoma City Thunder
Over the past several years, the Oklahoma City Thunder have confidently yet quietly inched their way closer and closer to being a legitimate threat in the Western Conference standings.
With rising young studs Josh Giddey, Jalen Williams, and Lu Dort supporting the likes of franchise cornerstone Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Thunder managed to surprise the masses last season and came within just one Play-In Tournament win away from advancing to their first postseason berth since the infamous Lake Buena Vista Bubble back in 2020.
Now, with last year’s No. 2 overall pick Chet Holmgren entering the mix after spending all of his rookie campaign sidelined due to a Lisfranc injury, all eyes appear to be glued on this Thunder team coming into 2023-24, with many anticipating they could wind up being a legitimate playoff squad.
However, even with all these big-time talents in the mix, they don’t seem to have anyone to focus the bulk of their attention on the nitty-gritty aspects of the game, which, as has been proven by the vast majority of past league winners, is a vital component for an aspiring title contender.
Mitchell Robinson could be the answer to this problem.
Bringing on a guy like the sixth-year pro would not only give them a legitimate long-term answer to their starting pivot position (Holmgren may be 7-foot-1, but he’s best served at the four) but would also provide OKC with one of the best rebounders and rim protectors in the game today.
Robinson’s addition would be an absolute blessing, as he could provide a much-needed interior defensive presence (ranked a middling 16 in opponent points in the paint last year) while spending his time gobbling up boards on offense for either put-backs to pad his scoring stats or kick-out resets.
Either way, this latter attribute regarding rebounding prowess would provide this youth-filled squad with a treasure trove of second-chance opportunities that, considering their players’ scoring talents, would likely lead to an obscene amount of success.
In truth, the Knicks should not be actively looking to offload their franchise big, considering they’re looking to contend themselves. In the hypothetical event that they push for a deal, there may not be a more desired trade partner than the Thunder, who own the draft rights to a whopping 15 first-round picks through 2030.