Rationale for Oklahoma City Thunder
The focus of the Oklahoma City Thunder right now is the long-term potential Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the war chest of future NBA Draft selections they have accrued.
While this trade would help a Western Conference rival become an even more formidable championship threat, the Thunder have shown a willingness to make that kind of move. Just last offseason, Oklahoma City helped the Clippers form a Kawhi Leonard-Paul George duo.
There are some unfavorable elements to Kyle Kuzma’s skill-set but he’d have a chance to grow with a larger role with the Thunder. That has at least helped the other recent young prospects who the Lakers have traded away.
There is a strong chance that Danilo Gallinari will depart in free agency to join a championship contender. Adding Kuzma would help to immediately fill that gap alongside Steven Adams in the frontcourt.
Being able to add a 2022 first-round pick is a helpful consequence for the Thunder in this situation since that’s supposed to be a strong class.