NBA Trades: Grading the out-of-nowhere Thunder and Bulls Giddey-Caruso swap 

Chicago Bulls v Brooklyn Nets
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Oklahoma City Thunder trade grade: A

This is about as close to an A+ trade without being an A+ that the Thunder could make. Not only did they acquire one of the best role players and defenders in the entire league, but they gave up none of their future draft assets in the deal. While Josh Giddey is incredibly young and presents some intriguing upside, he was not meshing well with the other young stars in Oklahoma City and saw all of his stats drop come playoff time until he was ultimately benched against the Dallas Mavericks.

Giddey is entering the final year of his rookie contract in 2024-2025 and was a player that the Thunder were not planning on extending long-term, with their focus shifting to Chet Holmgren and Jalen Williams. Due to this, Giddey was an expected trade piece this offseason and getting Caruso is an amazing win-now move for Oklahoma City. So why is this not an A+ slam dunk trade for them?

Caruso is an amazing piece to have and this was a no-brainer for them to make, but he is not nearly as dynamic of a scorer as someone like Andre Iguodala was for the Warriors when they acquired him. Luckily, Caruso is coming off a season in which he averaged the most PPG of his career (10.1) and his 2nd best 3FG% season of his career (40.8%).

The Thunder also don’t need Caruso to be a top three-four scoring option for them, so there should be little pressure on him to do anything outside of his comfort zone. With that being said, an offense with both Lu Dort and Caruso on the court at the same time could get a bit one-dimensional or stagnant. Only time will tell if their defensive upside can make it a non-issue or if one ultimately needs to be moved to the bench.