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#pounditSaturday, December 3, 2022

Thunder acquire former first-round pick in trade

Sam Presti speaking

Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti speaks during a press conference in Oklahoma City, Monday, April 18, 2022. Mandatory Credit: Bryan Terry / The Oklahoman / USA Today Network

The Oklahoma City own a yacht-load of future first-round picks, but now they are adding a former first-round pick to the mix.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Tuesday that the Thunder have acquired veteran forward Maurice Harkless and a second-round draft pick from the Atlanta Hawks. Oklahoma City will be sending back guard Vit Krejci in return.

The 29-year-old Harkless immediately becomes one of the older players on OKC’s roster (behind 31-year-olds Mike Muscala and Derrick Favors). He has been a journeyman throughout his NBA career, suiting up for Orlando, Portland, the LA Clippers, New York, Miami, and Sacramento. Owed $4.6 million next season, Harkless was already traded once this offseason from Sacramento to Atlanta in the Kevin Huerter deal.

Still, Harkless, the No. 15 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, is a serviceable role player who is active on defense, attacks the basket, and hits threes at a decent clip. He did cause some issues at his last stop and could always get bought out by the Thunder. But for a team that has few impactful frontcourt guys beyond perhaps Darius Bazley and Aleksej Pokusevski (especially with Chet Holmgren out for the season), maybe OKC considers keeping Harkless.

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