NBA Trade Rumors: Lakers-Dejounte Murray latest, Bulls’ LaVine problem, Thunder sleeper

  • Thunder could trade for Pistons' Isaiah Stewart
  • Bulls still don't have an active market for Zach LaVine
  • Lakers are interested in Dejounte Murray, but complications exist

Dejounte Murray, LeBron James
Dejounte Murray, LeBron James / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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NBA trade rumors: Thunder interested in Pistons' Isaiah Stewart

The Oklahoma City Thunder are currently the No. 2 seed in a crowded Western Conference. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a frontrunner for the MVP award and Chet Holmgren might earn his first All-Star berth as a rookie. There's a lot to celebrate in OKC, but naturally, fans are looking toward to the future.

As the Feb. 8 trade deadline approaches, no team has more trade ammo than OKC. Sam Presti has diligently built up the Thunder's draft picks cache for this exact moment. The Thunder can put together a star trade package without even including the likes of Josh Giddey or Jalen Williams. And yet, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, Presti is expected to exercise patience at the deadline. He wants to see what does and doesn't work in the playoffs before making a big move. OKC will eventually have to pay Giddey, Holmgren, and Williams, too.

That said, the Thunder could look for a smaller deal. Pincus highlights Detroit Pistons big man Isaiah Stewart as a potential target. The Pistons recently traded away Marvin Bagley III and Isaiah Livers, but Detroit is thought to be amenable to dealing Stewart. On the season, Stewart is averaging 10.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.8 assists on .467/.384/.725 splits in 30.9 minutes. Despite Monty Williams' constantly shifting rotations, Stewart has started in all 30 appearances for the Pistons.

OKC would presumably transition Stewart to a bench role, where his physicality on defense and complementary skill set on offense make for a suitable frontcourt pairing with Chet Holmgren. Aptly nicknamed 'Beef Stew,' the 22-year-old has earned a reputation for his intense competitive drive. There are questions about Stewart's efficiency as a finisher and lack of playmaking on defense, but he absorbs contact and guards different matchups well at 6-foot-8, 250 pounds. His spunk would fit with OKC's competitive DNA and he would give the Thunder more muscle to throw at Minnesota or Denver in a potential postseason matchup.