The Oklahoma City Thunder trade George Hill to the Philadelphia 76ers, a rumor that seems to have been alive all year long, it is finally done.
The Thunder will get two future second-round picks, Avery Bradley, and Austin Rivers in this deal. Philly will get George Hill and Iggy Brazdeikis. The Knicks move on from Austin Rivers and gain old-friend Terrance Ferguson who has scored just two points this season.
OKC now has 17-first round picks and 17-second round picks over the next seven years (seven might be Sam Presti’s favorite number), which totals 34 draft picks across the next seven years.
As I tweeted out the moment the trade went down, I do not expect Austin Rivers to be part of the future, immediate or distant, for the Thunder. Rivers had fallen out of the rotation in New York, and I do not expect him to join Oklahoma City’s. However, the team is under the gun to trade him this year and does not have a track record of buying out players. With Shai Gilgeous-Alexander out for a significant amount of time, this move has caused mixed reactions from fans
Sometimes an old dog can learn new tricks though, as we have seen with the Thunder roster prioritize shooters more than in years past. It would not be earth-shattering to waive Austin Rivers who is owed 3.5-million this year, and a pair of non-guaranteed years in 2021-22, and 2022-23 making it easy for OKC to move on from him. The Thunder could also just allow Rivers to sit out the rest of the year.
I would not expect Rivers to wear a Thunder uniform this year, but it is something to monitor moving forward.
The Thunder also acquired Tony Bradley, who is a former first-round pick and is just 23-years-old, and fits the timeline age-wise and again poses an interesting question about the 26-year-old Kenrich Williams.
The bottom line is, not everyone can be a part of the future, and eventually OKC will suffer a roster crunch (eventually being this offseason) so I am not sharpie-ing Bradley into the plans for OKC right now. However, he will get the minutes and the chance to prove what he can be. Like Svi Mykhailiuk, the Thunder can extend Bradley a qualifying offer after this year. The former-first-round picks QO is worth 5.2 million dollars.
This move will also force OKC to come up with a roster spot, and the most likely outcome is to waive Meyers Leonard.
For the actual team on the floor, with SGA out and George Hill for sure not return if anyone was holding out hope of that, it creates more ball-handling chances for Ty Jerome, Theo Maledon, and Lu Dort.