The Thunder have been one of the worst 3-point shooting teams over the last several years, perhaps sometimes even by design. But one thing has become clear with the emergence of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: it’s much needed.
Oklahoma City has at times rolled out better shooting lineups featuring Isaiah Joe, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, the new-and-improved Aleksej Pokusevski and more. But the team as a whole has struggled.
With an unprecedented cache of future draft picks at their disposal, Oklahoma City has the bandwidth to add even more shooting to the team.
But OKC, one of the youngest teams in NBA history, aren’t looking to add just any player. Shooters come at a premium, but they’ll need one that moderately fits their timeline.
And that’s where the Miami Heat and Max Strus come in.
It would be a wild idea for Miami to offload one of their best up-and-coming players, I know, but bear with me.
Firstly, Strus checks every box for OKC. He’s 26-years-old, and while that’s a bit older than the average age of the Thunder squad, it’s just fine for a player who will be chucking threes rather than developing huge parts of their game.
Secondly, he’s a career 38 percent shooter. He’s taken a little dip this season, but is still shooting around 35 percent on a whopping 8.2 attempts per game, one of the highest in the league.
For Miami, this move would indeed be odd. But sitting at 13-15 with no real way to improve the team in sight, they could look to re-tool a bit. Strus offers plenty of value, but draft picks are king in the NBA, and they could use those to grab an ever bigger fish.
Even more than that, OKC can offer Miami’s own protected 2025 pick, which conveys to an unprotected 2026 as a start. The way things are going, there’s a legitimate chance that Miami pick ends up as an extremely valuable asset. And Miami would likely want future flexibility should they decide to move in a different direction with the current squad.
Here’s what a trade between OKC and Miami could look like:
Oklahoma City Thunder get: Max Strus
Miami Heat get: Jaylin Williams, 2025 Heat first round pick, 2023 Thunder second round pick
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