We are a little over a week away now from the trade deadline, which is Thursday, Feb. 20 at 2 p.m. CST.
The Oklahoma City Thunder were the first team in the NBA to 40 wins and did so despite not having Russell Westbrook for much of the season.
Even though the Thunder have been as solid as any team in the NBA this season, they have the potential trade pieces to make a significant move at the trade deadline.
Here is what Grantland’s Zach Lowe has to say about the Thunder with the trade deadline approaching:
Several potential buyers have their own picks to dangle, including, at the very top of the league, the Spurs and Thunder. Both teams typically bypass the trade deadline, and they haven’t made all that much noise on the market so far. The Thunder have their own pick, some interesting young guys, and a valuable future first-rounder from Dallas. Oklahoma City knows it has a chance to win the title right now, and if it could find a wing player on the right contract that could really boost those chances, I suspect it would think very hard about pulling the trigger on at least its own first-rounder.
I agree with Lowe that the Thunder are definitely open to trading the draft picks and we can expect them to explore any options out there to bring in another piece to help them get closer to a championship.
The Thunder haven’t made big splashes at the deadline in recent years. Remember last year when they acquired Ronnie Brewer, who was expected to become a part of the rotation, only he ended up not playing a meaningful minute all season.
It still seems to make sense on paper that the Thunder would want to bolster their roster a little bit with another wing, but who is really out there and how realistic is it for a player to enter the Thunder rotation?
That’s why it almost feels like the Thunder would have to trade away a current member of its rotation to acquire someone who would actually end up playing any meaningful minutes. Also, consider that the Thunder are very close to the luxury tax this season so to acquire any player of much substance, they’d probably have to trade away another player as well as draft picks.
At this point, it would be surprising if the Thunder trade any of their young players like Jeremy Lamb, Perry Jones or Steven Adams. Maybe they could dump Hasheem Thabeet and picks somewhere to get a player, but then who would that be and would that guy even be able to get minutes over Lamb or Derek Fisher or Jones?
The Thunder like to not reveal much in the way of trade rumors. On one hand that means we can’t really trust any rumors but it could also mean that they do have unknown things in the works like trading someone like Lamb.
As every year is, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens on Feb. 20.