We’re just a few hours away from the trade deadline and the Oklahoma City Thunder have yet to complete any moves.
Many people will look at the Thunder and say that they don’t need to make any moves and that is true for many reasons. They have the best record in the NBA and Russell Westbrook is likely to return to the lineup tonight.
But the Thunder have one asset today that they won’t be able to use tomorrow.
The Thunder have a $2.3 million trade exception that they acquired by trading away Eric Maynor last season and that expires tomorrow.
Basically, you can use a trade exception in place of a player. They’re valuable so a team like OKC can trade draft picks and the trade exception to get back a player. Normally, both trade partners need to include a player for a trade to work.
We know a few things about the Thunder that are relevant today:
- GM Sam Presti does not like wasting trade exceptions.
- The Thunder have a lot of draft picks at their disposal.
- The Thunder have an open roster spot.
- The Thunder are $2.3 million under the luxury tax.
These three factors have to make you really believe that the Thunder will at the very least acquire another player using this trade exception.
OKC is unlikely to get a huge name but they definitely could get a potential role player who, if nothing else, can be some sort of insurance if someone gets hurt.
The Thunder signed Ryan Gomes this season to be that guy and then decided to part ways with him. Last year at the trade deadline, the Thunder acquired Ronnie Brewer to be that guy and he never played a meaningful minute.
While it’s unlikely the Thunder would acquire a player who would immediately enter its rotation, they could end up getting one that may make an impact down the road.
Thabo Sefolosha and Derek Fisher are in the last years of their contracts. The Thunder will possibly have to replace them next season with new players, possibly someone they could acquire today.
Gary Neal is no longer an option as he was traded to the Charlotte Bobcats today. The Thunder said they are not interested in Jimmer Fredette, even though Sacramento said it would only take a second round pick to acquire Jimmer.
That pretty much leaves Iman Shumpert (who the Thunder are reportedly interested in), C.J. Miles, Mike Dunleavy, Jodie Meeks and Anthony Morrow.
Either of these guys would be a welcome addition. I don’t know that either would get much playing time this season or if the Thunder have enough in terms of draft picks to get one of the teams to trade one of these players.
Odds are the Thunder figure something out. It will either be one of these guys, or a name not mentioned. It’s just makes too much sense for the Thunder to make sure they get someone today. That someone just probably won’t be a big name.