Grade the Trade: OKC Thunder snag Cavaliers big man after Playoff loss in striking new proposal

Oklahoma City's underwhelming rebounding cost them severely in the NBA Playoffs. Do the Cleveland Cavaliers have the solution?
San Antonio Spurs v Oklahoma City Thunder
San Antonio Spurs v Oklahoma City Thunder / Joshua Gateley/GettyImages
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Laying out the details

As aforementioned, the Thunder would not have to match Allen's salary penny-for-penny, allowing them to retain their higher-salary players for future deals if they find the right options. For the Cavaliers, rebuilding financial flexibility to avoid the luxury tax ahead of Evan Mobley's contract extension would be a major plus in any offseason trades.

Allen to OKC 2.0

In total, the Thunder only send Cleveland roughly $17 million in salary, using their flexibility to absorb his contract. OKC also includes two future protected first-round picks from the Philadelphia 76ers (2025) and Denver Nuggets (2026). Allen alone would not warrant two unprotected picks, but the Cavaliers' lack of draft assets under team control would make protected picks relatively enticing, whether they are used on draft night or dealt in another trade later.

The Thunder move on from Kenrich and Jaylin Williams, adding a taller and proven big man to their rotation. Kenrich Williams is a small-ball power forward at 6-foot 6-inches, but his reliable shooting and solid defense made an impression on OKC's race to the top seed this season. At 29 years old, K. Williams might not fit Oklahoma's timeline much longer, and they would likely rather add a former All-Star than hold onto Kenny Hustle for their future plans.

Jaylin Williams holds potential as a dependable backup center in the NBA, but trading for Allen would clog most of the frontcourt minutes between him and Holmgren. As for Josh Giddey, the Australian prospect needs a place to rebuild his reputation and value, both on and off the court. The Cavaliers have built a healthy culture that uplifts its players while holding them accountable. If Giddey is ready to shoot from the arc until his arms are numb, the Cavaliers would appreciate his crafty passing and solid frame as a tall point guard.

The Thunder undoubtedly receive the best player in the trade, so do the Cavaliers say yes?