Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the Oklahoma City Thunder will be without elite defender Andre Roberson for the remainder of the season, it has become vital that the team makes a move prior to Thursday afternoon’s trade deadline.

Here’s a squad that heads into Tuesday’s game against the defending champion Warriors in the midst of a four-game losing streak. Missing its top defender has played a major role here.

Now, according to ESPN’s Royce Young, Oklahoma City is expected to make at least one move prior to the trade deadline.

“The growing expectation is the Thunder make a move by Thursday’s deadline, because there’s just too much riding on this season to not,” Young notes.

He goes on to indicate that Oklahoma City has been linked to both Rodney Hood (Jazz) and Tony Allen (Bulls) in trade talks. The issue here is that this team doesn’t have a first-round pick to sell off until 2022. It also boasts limited roster assets to make a move for a difference-maker short of giving up one of the team’s youngsters.

With both Paul George and Carmelo Anthony expected to hit free agency during the summer, the Thunder have decided to go all in this season. Whether that means trading youngsters and the limited future assets they have remains to be seen.

But one thing is clear. The status quo will not help this team compete in the loaded Western Conference come playoff time. With Roberson out of action, Oklahoma City has regressed significantly defensively. That’s not going to work against the likes of Golden State and Houston.

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This article first appeared on Sportsnaut and was syndicated with permission.

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