NBA Trade Rumors: What are the OKC Thunder’s most valuable assets?


January 25, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Kevin Martin (23) tries to regain control of the ball next to Sacramento Kings forward Travis Outlaw (25) in the fourth quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Thunder defeated the Kings 105-95. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA trade deadline is just three days away. Teams will have until Thursday, Feb. 21 at 3 p.m. EST to make any moves.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have not been linked to many rumors involving trades but that doesn’t mean they can’t be players this week.

One of the biggest reasons the Thunder made the James Harden trade before the start of the season was to acquire a lot of assets and become flexible in forming their roster in the future.

The Thunder have a lot of valuable pieces that could be used in a trade by the deadline in a few days starting with…

Kevin Martin

Martin is an expiring contract making $12.4 million this season which makes him a very valuable trade piece. Martin has admirably tried to fill the Harden void this year and done a pretty good job averaging 15.0 points per game off the bench. The Thunder could use Martin in a trade for a big time player like Josh Smith or Al Jefferson. Since it is unlikely the Thunder are in the market for someone like that, it is most likely Martin will stay.

Eric Maynor

Maynor lost his spot in the Thunder’s rotation in mid-December. He will be a restricted free agent this coming summer and with the emergence of Reggie Jackson, the Thunder probably won’t try and re-sign him. That means OKC would want to get something in return for him if possible unless they just plan to keep him for insurance reasons. There are many teams like the Utah Jazz and Philadelphia 76ers that could be interested in a backup point guard and Maynor would be a good fit.

Jeremy Lamb

The No. 12 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft has hardly played at all for the Thunder this season. Lamb has spent most of his time in the D-League with the Tulsa 66ers and it doesn’t look like he’ll be cracking the Thunder rotation anytime soon. It is unclear if the Thunder see him as part of their future or someone they can use in a trade. Many teams would be interested in acquiring Lamb. If the Thunder are targeting a veteran wing defender or outside shooter, they would like be involving Lamb in that trade.

Kendrick Perkins

Perkins gets thrown into the ESPN Trade Machine more than any other Thunder player. The Thunder value Perkins probably more than any other team in the league and when you think about it that way, you understand why it would be so hard to trade him. The Thunder’s commitment is to becoming an elite defensive team and they see Perkins as their anchor. Perkins is set to make around $9 million per season after this year and it would make sense for a lot of reasons to trade him but it is very unlikely at this point.

Perry Jones, III

The Thunder’s first round draft pick is the definition of potential and upside. Jones hasn’t gotten a lot of run this season and if the Thunder are pursuing any kind of trade, his name will surely be asked about to be included in a trade. The likelihood of dealing Jones – who is a project and someone the Thunder surely feel like they can develop into a very good player – is less than that of Lamb. His value isn’t as high and unless the Thunder were trading for a big time player, Jones isn’t going anywhere.

Reggie Jackson

Jackson has stepped up as the Thunder’s new backup point guard. He is an incredible athlete and rebounder for his position and improving as a scorer and distributor. Teams have to be taking notice and if the Thunder would plan on going after a big name or even someone like Paul Millsap, Jackson may be a perfect player to be included in that trade. The Thunder have Maynor who could step right back in to the backup point guard role as well.

Draft picks

The Thunder have three first round draft picks for next year’s draft. They have the Toronto Raptors’ if it falls between 4-14, they have the Dallas Mavericks’ if they make the playoffs (the probably won’t), and they have their own. They also have the Charlotte Bobcats’ second round pick which will be early in that round. This year’s draft is being described as a weak one so the Thunder would probably be more interested in trading some of these picks for proven talent in the league rather than waiting until the draft. If the Thunder make any deal at all, it is almost certain that a draft pick or two will be involved.