4 Biggest Oklahoma City Thunder Trades

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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunders drives to the basket against Kyle Kuzma of the Washington Wizards.
(Wikimedia Commons/All-Pro Reels)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Aug 13, 2023, 3:54 PM
  • Here's a list of the biggest Oklahoma City Thunder trades in franchise history.
  • Paul George leads the list of players Oklahoma City received through trade.
  • Other notable players the Thunder acquired were Carmelo Anthony, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Chris Paul.

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s entry to the NBA was made possible by the failed construction of a required new Seattle SuperSonics Arena in 2008. Since the move, they steadily established a solid team that could immediately compete in the Western Conference. Oklahoma City even reached the NBA Finals in 2012 but was defeated by Miami in five games.

Because of this failed quest to lift the Larry O’Brien championship trophy, they are included in the list of NBA teams that never won a championship. Even after coming up short of a title, the Thunder continued to be a top contender in basketball odds by qualifying for multiple playoff campaigns. A big factor in this are the moves that the team has made in the trade market.

Oklahoma City’s front office has brought several superstars to the team, but who among them have made the greatest impact? Here’s a list of the top-four biggest trades in Thunder’s team history.

Paul George

In July 2017, the Oklahoma City Thunder made the biggest trade in team history by acquiring Paul George from Indiana for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. This trade sent shockwaves in the basketball community and formed a potent duo of George and Russell Westbrook. “PG-13” revived his career with the Thunder after suffering a devastating leg injury in 2014.

The 6-foot-8 forward became a two-time All-Star in his two-year stint in Oklahoma, averaging 25.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 156 games. George also helped the Thunder punch a ticket to the postseason, but they couldn’t get past the first round on both occasions. Also, George finished as a finalist in the 2019 MVP race.

He was eventually traded to Los Angeles in 2019, where he made the list of the biggest Los Angeles Clippers trades.

Carmelo Anthony

Two months after the blockbuster trade for George, the Thunder acquired another superstar by bringing in Carmelo Anthony from the Knicks in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a second-round pick. It was a busy offseason for Oklahoma City who created the team’s first “big three” since 2012.

“Melo” only played one season for the Thunder, where he became the third option on the offensive end by producing 16.2 points with 5.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists. The 10-time All-Star was also an integral part of the team’s success in the regular season, securing them a spot in the playoffs. Anthony and Oklahoma mutually agreed to part ways after the 2018 season.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

After two seasons of consecutive first-round playoff exits, Oklahoma pushed the rebuild button by trading away Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, and five first-round picks. It was a trade with no high expectations in return, but the Thunder found the newest face of their franchise in Gilgeous-Alexander.

Right before playing for the Thunder, “SGA” already showed flashes of his potential with the Clippers in his rookie season. Then, when he arrived on the team, he was handed the keys to the franchise, and he gladly accepted it. In his four seasons with the Thunder, the 6-foot-6 guard averaged 24.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 5.0 assists en route to his first-ever All-Star appearance in 2023.

Chris Paul

Aside from the Paul George trade in the 2019 offseason, the Thunder also shipped Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul, two first-round picks, and two pick swaps. It marked a new era for the franchise, but the “Point God” significantly contributed to fast-tracking Gilgeous-Alexander’s development into a bona fide superstar.

“CP3” guided the young core players of the Thunder into a playoff appearance inside the Orlando bubble. They even pushed the Houston Rockets team into a seven-game first-round matchup. In his lone season as a Thunder, Paul put up an average of 17.6 points, 6.7 assists, and 5.0 rebounds in 70 games.

4 Biggest Oklahoma City Thunder Trades

YearPlayer AcquiredTrade Details
2017Paul GeorgeThunder received: Paul George / Pacers received: Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis
2017Carmelo AnthonyThunder received: Carmelo Anthony / Knicks received: Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a second-round pick
2019Shai Gilgeous-AlexanderThunder received: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, and five first-round picks / Clippers received: Paul George
2019Chris PaulThunder received: Chris Paul, two first-round picks, and two pick swaps / Rockets received: Russell Westbrook

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.