NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 10: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Hamidou Diallo #6 of the Oklahoma City … [+]
After an offseason packed with trades, the Oklahoma City Thunder have made their first transaction of the 2020-21 regular season. As first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Hamidou Diallo was traded to the Detroit Pistons for forward Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and a 2027 second-round pick via Houston.
For the Thunder, this move was made ahead of Diallo’s impending restricted free agency in the upcoming offseason. Having the best year of his career, he should be earning the first big pay day of his career. Rather than having to match offer sheets from others around the league and risk overpaying Diallo to keep him on the roster long term, Oklahoma City acquires a second-round pick and a young shooter.
Mykhailiuk was originally selected by the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft, at No. 47 overall. This was exactly two picks after Diallo, who was taken No. 45 overall just minutes before. While Mykhailiuk is also set to become a restricted free agent this summer, the Thunder still felt comfortable making this move.
Diallo, just 22 years old, was averaging 11.9 points and 5.2 rebounds in 23.8 minutes per game for the Thunder this season. Mykhailiuk, a 23-year-old, had averaged 6.9 points in 17.6 minutes per game on 33.3 percent from deep. On his career, Mykhailiuk is a 36.9 percent 3-point shooter and has shown the ability to stretch the floor at 6-foot-7.
When it’s all said and done, the Oklahoma City Thunder were able to move on from Hamidou Diallo with the emergence of Lu Dort at shooting guard. They’ll ultimately swap athleticism for shooting as they bring on a Ukrainian shooter in Svi Mykhailiuk.
With the trade deadline less than two weeks away, it wouldn’t be surprising if this was the first of several moves for the Thunder.
Nick is a contributor at Forbes covering the Oklahoma City Thunder. He is from Owasso, OK and a recent 2017 graduate of Oklahoma State University. Nick currently resides