As the NBA trade deadline approaches, Oklahoma City Thunder fans might be wise to expect the unexpected.
General manager Sam Presti has a knack for pulling a surprise rabbit out of his hat on this day.
As he seeks to find help for Russell Westbrook and turn the Thunder from the status of playoff qualifier to playoff contender, Presti is apparently looking to the Eastern Conference to pry an available big man.
Marc Stein of ESPN is reporting Presti and the Thunder have their eyes on Taj Gibson of the Chicago Bulls.
If Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today is correct about their wishes, the Bulls might have a hard time finding a match. In addition, Oklahoma City owes two future first-round picks to Utah and Philadelphia, which could factor in here.
Gibson, who is a free agent after this season, would make for a formidable front-court pairing with Steven Adams.
This year, Gibson is averaging 11.6 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. For his career, the 31 year-old is getting 9.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per contest.
Presti has been active on trade deadline day in the past, although he never found the pieces to get Westbrook and former Thunder teammate Kevin Durant a championship run.
In 2011, the Thunder acquired center Kendrick Perkins and guard Nate Robinson from the Boston Celtics in exchange for forward Jeff Green and center Nenad Krstic. That same year, the team acquired veteran center Nazr Mohammed from the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for forward D.J. White and veteran guard/forward Morris Peterson, who never cracked the OKC rotation.
In 2015, Presti was active again, revamping the bench for a playoff run. They sent out a package including Reggie Jackson, Perkins and a protected first-round pick and acquired Enes Kanter, Kyle Singler, DJ Augustin and Steve Novak.
That's why the OKC Thunder will be a team to watch throughout Thursday.
Westbrook is used to getting some reinforcements.News Now - Sport News