What was the trade Russillo proposed?
The Oklahoma City Thunder used the No. 2 pick last year on Chet Holmgren, who missed his entire rookie season with a Lisfranc injury. In his stead the Thunder were playing undersized bigs at the center position, rotating between Dario Saric, Jaylin Williams and Jeremiah-Robinson Earl, all of whom lack the size, bulk or both to be a true rim-protecting force.
If the Thunder were interested in adding a high-end traditional center, Allen would give them a lockdown rim protector in the middle, able to take on the towering centers in the Western Conference and set up their perimeter players for success by giving them a trustworthy back line. Holmgren could come along slowly and even play in some double-big lineups.
Who would the Thunder trade to Cleveland? Here’s the deal that Russillo pitched:
“Lu” Dort is technically just 6’3″ tall but routinely plays small forward for the Thunder, as he has a mammoth wingspan and incredible strength. He takes the toughest defensive assignments for Oklahoma City, serving as more of a lockdown option on the wing than a defensive playmaker. On offense he can do some creation with the ball in his hands and is unafraid of taking shots.
The two teams could add other players to this deal, and Allen does make five million more than Dort, but since the Thunder have cap space they could easily eat the remainder and give Cleveland a little more cap under the luxury tax and apron to build out the rest of the roster.
The Thunder have a theory for making this deal, whether or not they would pull the trigger. If they are in, do the Cavs say yes?