The Oklahoma City Thunder are a young, exciting team that have the potential to remain a threat in the Western Conference for many years to come.
The Thunder have continuous scoring coming from the perimeter with Westbrook, Durant, and Harden serving as the primary go-to guys when the team need points.
But in order for the Thunder to win an NBA title, they must acquire a scoring threat in the post.
The main weakness in the 2011 NBA Playoffs for the Thunder was the simplicity of their offensive schemes.
It didn't take long for fans to realize that team was dependant on Durant and Westbrook for scoring.
The scoring ability of both players is undeniable, but opposing coaches can easily put schemes together to defend the perimeter and double team Durant. This forces the ball out of his hands, and typically causes a Harden or Westbrook jump shot.
As Dallas proved in this year’s playoffs, the Thunder are hard to stop, but they can be contained.
The best way for a team like the Thunder to change the mentality of opposing coaches is to find a threat down low that is consistent, has experience, and isn’t afraid to demand the ball.
Unfortunately, I do not think Kendrick Perkins was the right man for the job, and even with a summer to practice with the team, his presence will be felt more so on the defensive end.
The team already has youth, which is why I believe the Thunder need to trade their first round draft pick (No. 24) to a team that is looking to rebuild in exchange for a post scorer.
Here are four deals involving the 24th pick that could help the Thunder find that key player.
No. 1. Phoenix Suns- First Round Pick and Kendrick Perkins ($7.8 million)
Oklahoma Thunder- Channing Frye ($6 million)
I think this trade gives Phoenix a chance to become a better defensive-minded team with Perkins, and a chance to rebuild with two picks in the first round.
This helps a team like Phoenix, whose core players are getting older.
In return, the Thunder get a rebounding threat that can also score when needed and is only getting better.
#2. Detroit Pistons- First Round Pick and Nate Robinson ($4.5 million)
Oklahoma Thunder- Charlie Villanueva ($8.06 million)
This pick, for Detroit, is mainly to obtain another first round draft pick.
Many Pistons fans want this team to be blown up and rebuilt around the core of Greg Monroe and Austin Daye, and possibly Rodney Stuckey or Ben Gordon.
If another team is willing, they can use both first round picks to trade up in the draft.
Also, Nate Robinson is there for the contract and is a free agent as of next summer.
Villanueva has the ability to score around 15-20 points in 25 minutes and is quite aggressive, something that the Thunder need.
#3. Portland Trail Blazers- First Round Pick and Kendrick Perkins ($7.8 million)
Oklahoma Thunder- Gerald Wallace ($10.4 million)
For Oklahoma, this trade would force the team to go small in late-game situations, seeing as how Ibaka would play at C, Wallace at PF, Durant at SF, Harden at SG and Westbrook at PG.
But small would not necessarily be bad, as I believe the positives of this offensive lineup outweigh the lack of size problem on defense.
Portland needs to rebuild around Aldridge. With two first round picks and Kendrick Perkins, they have a lot of pieces to trade. They could move up in the draft to get a solid center if that is their goal.
#4. Charlotte Bobcats- First Round Pick, Nate Robinson ($4.5 million) and B.J. Mullens ($2 million)
Oklahoma Thunder- Boris Diaw ($9 million)
This works for Oklahoma, but would Charlotte accept this deal?
The 24th pick in this year’s draft will be enticing for a team that is in need of depth and youth.
Players such as Tyler Honeycutt, Kenneth Faried, and many other sleepers might still be available at this draft position.
NBA Draft history has proven that late first round picks easily posses the skill to be successful the NBA.
With the youth the Oklahoma City Thunder possess, I believe these trades would better suit the team in their pursuit of a championship in the near future.
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