There’s one NBA reporter that stands above them all when it comes to reporting rumors and breaking news.
Yesterday, Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski mentioned the Oklahoma City Thunder in a couple of tweets.
Armed with trade exceptions, OKC has been active in search for a shooter to fortify them for title run, league sources tell Yahoo.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 13, 2014
To be exact, the Thunder are shopping more for a two-way wing player than simply a shooter.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 14, 2014
Woj tweeting this out confirms what many of us already thought the Thunder were up to. They’ve got the trade exceptions and a bunch of young players that they’d like to turn into a roster upgrade if they can find the right fit.
As I mentioned earlier this week, I don’t see the Thunder simply using a trade exception and draft picks to acquire another player that would get run in their rotation without the Thunder including a current rotation player in a deal.
I also still don’t think the Thunder would want to dip into the luxury tax this season. They probably won’t to hold off another year or two before doing that so that they don’t become repeat offenders around the time Kevin Durant’s contract is up, which could make it tougher to hold on to KD if things don’t go as planned over the next few seasons.
The Thunder could get creative to acquire a two-way wing, but it likely won’t be a player who’s making more than $7 million per year this season, and even that may be too high. The Thunder could package Thabo Sefolosha and Hasheem Thabeet or Perry Jones plus draft picks to acquire someone making $5-6 million this season and still remain under the luxury tax.
Kyle Korver immediately stands out as a shooter making $6.7 million this season. But he has three more years left on his contract and unless the Thunder were sending Jeremy Lamb to the Hawks, I don’t see Atlanta being interested at all. Also, Korver is by no means a “two-way” wing.
There’s Evan Turner, who has been involved in many trade rumors this season. But it’s unlikely the Thunder would be able to keep Turner past this season. Why would OKC want to unload Thabo, who I could see re-signing on the cheap with OKC after this year, to rent Turner?
Really, it’s unlikely the Thunder would want to trade for a player who has 2-3 years left on his contract, unless they were coming in at a real bargain (like less than $4 million per year).
Going down the list, there’s really just not a lot of guys that stand out. Especially when you consider that Sefolosha would more than likely have to be involved in one of these potential trades. I don’t see anyone who would be considered a better defender than Thabo, and the Thunder would have to want to be getting someone who was at least as good as Thabo on that end to feel okay about the trade.
There’s less than a week now until the trade deadline. Until we start hearing names linked to the Thunder as targets, there’s not a lot we can do with these rumors.