I’ve decided to start a new tradition here, at the Picket Fence. Not every Tuesday, but once in a while, I’m going to propose a trade that I would like to see happen.
For the very first edition, I’m going to propose a trade the Oklahoma Thunder should have done instead of trading James Harden, although I still think it would benefit them greatly.
Oklahoma currently has two achilles heels that could prevent them from getting back into the Finals. The first is the play of Russell Westbrook, whose decision making, especially during crunch time in the playoffs, has hurt the Thunder. More than a scoring PG, the Thunder needs someone who can get the ball to one of the best scorers in the NBA in the last 20 years, Kevin Durant. Westbrook’s defense also seems to have gotten worse every year.
The other problem they have is a lack of a low post scoring. No team has been able to win a Championship, in the NBA, without an above average low post scorer. Both Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka are excellent defenders, but neither is going to command a double team down low or be able to create down low in the half court.
Greg Monroe would be a perfect piece for the Thunder. He’s a very good scorer who can score in a variety of ways and is an excellent passer from the post, as well. He and Durant would make one of the best inside-outside combinations in the league.
Brandon Knight will probably never be the scorer Westbrook is, but his job on the Thunder would be to get the ball to the scorers and compliment them. Knight is also a better defender than Westbrook, so what the Thunder will lose in scoring by trading away Westbrook, they will gain on the other end of the floor.
Maggette and Villanueva would be thrown in for salary purposes. Maggette’s contract is expiring, whereas Villanueva’s bad salary would probably be necessary to take back in exchange for Perkins’.
While the Pistons have some very nice talent, they lack a superstar, a role Westbrook would be more than willing to fill. The Pistons would be his team and he would relish the opportunity.
Losing Monroe would be difficult, but Perkins would fill the gap temporarily until lottery pick, Andre Drummond matured enough to take Monroe’s place.
Lamb had been talked about as a possible top 5 pick, at one point, and has a lot of talent. On the Thunder, he’s going to have trouble finding the minutes, but on the Pistons he would get the opportunity to shine, and would be a good backcourt mate for Westbrook.
While Oklahoma might not want to shake up the team anymore, getting such a good scoring big man as Monroe would be worth it.
Detroit has the luxury of being able to replace Monroe with Drummond, who looks like the real deal, and Westbrook would give them the superstar they have been searching for.