NBA

Thunder Trade Diallo to Pistons for Mykhailuk

Feb 21, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Hamidou Diallo (6) drives to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen (31) during the third quarter at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Thunder and Pistons are exchanging two players that could develop into decent rotational pieces. Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Thunder are trading Hamidou Diallo to the Pistons for Svi Mykhailuk and a 2027 second-round pick ahead of the March 25th NBA trade deadline.

Both players showed promise on their respective teams this season. Diallo came into the league as a gifted athlete with a raw skill set. On the other hand, Mykhailuk had a polished game, but he didn’t get much opportunity with the Lakers. However, he is a skilled shooter that can put the ball on the floor and compete on defense.

At first glance, it’s a confounding trade. Neither of those players will push the needle for any team, but both have also shown promise on their respective teams.

Hamidou Diallo

Diallo is averaging 11.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.4 assists on 48% shooting. He’s taken a step forward regarding his feel on the offensive end. In January, he scored 23 points against the New York Knicks. He charged at Julius Randle downhill and finished through contact. If they dropped too deep, he hit his pull-up.

Over his three-year career, he cleaned up his shot mechanics and has shown some game off the bounce. However, he’s still not a league-average shooter. His calling card is still his athleticism. Diallo is one of the most explosive athletes in the NBA. He doesn’t need a runway to finish above the rim.

The Pistons could be looking for a more athletic piece to add to their roster.

Svi Mykhailiuk

Mar 1, 2020; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Kent Bazemore (26) tries to follow Detroit Pistons guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (19) with a screen by forward John Henson (31) during the second quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Mykhailiuk is more skilled offensively than Diallo. He is a great shooter, but he can also attack closeouts and finish. His game is pretty polished. It’s a surprise he hasn’t stuck with a team yet. Teams are always looking for skilled shooters with the length to compete on defense.

It’s confusing why the Pistons packaged Svi with a second-round pick. Arguably, he’s the better player. He also fits what the Thunder need: a shooter around Shae-Gilgeous Alexander.

The Thunder haven’t capitalized enough on the looks SGA created. Mykhailiuk might come in as the best shooter on the roster. He might get the chance to flourish in OKC. So far this season, Mykhaililuk is averaging 6.9 points and is shooting 33% from three.

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