OKC Thunder: 3 trade deadline predictions for 2020

JANUARY 27: Steven Adams #12 and Danilo Gallinari #8 of OKC Thunder talk during the game against the Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
JANUARY 27: Steven Adams #12 and Danilo Gallinari #8 of OKC Thunder talk during the game against the Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder wing Andre Roberson #21 smiles during a game against the Dallas Mavericks on October 8, 2019 (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Sam Presti will move a big contract off the books

I know you’re all expecting me to pinpoint Chris Paul, Steven Adams or Dennis Schroder but that’s not the contract that will disappear from the books.

Rather, it’s Andre Roberson who Sam Presti will move off the roster. Although the adage out of sight, out of mind might apply here it’s worthy of noting his $10,740,741 remains on the books.

ARob is a fan favorite but he has yet to return to the court and isn’t even with the team. Many felt the ascent of Terrance Ferguson made the departure easier for OKC because in TFerg the team has a viable 2-way alternative who could defend to an elite level and also put up shots particularly from behind the arc and connect at a decent average from the charity stripe.

Cut to present and Thunder Nation are witnessing the jet-like rise of Luguentz Dort making Roberson an unnecessary need. Moreover, with all the draft picks the team isn’t in need of looking to create cap space via an expiring contract. However, there are teams who are looking for precisely that advantage and also who are in a position where they have too many assets on the books that will be due for big paydays.

In the case of the Sacramento Kings, they made two big investments this past offseason. Buddy Hield signed a four-year, $94 million rookie extension. Additionally, Harrison Barnes signed a four-year, $85 million deal. The latter contract Sacramento might already be regretting given Barnes has pulled the invisible man routine more often than not this season.

Plus the Kings will need to divvy up the dollars in the summer of 2021 for cornerstone De’Aaron Fox and the following summer for Marvin Bagley III.

Then factor in this summer both Bogdan Bogdanovic and Harry Giles are due renegotiations.

Harry Giles has shown he’s ready to produce and although there is a history of injury he’s seemingly overcome that bad fortune and is a contributing factor this season. Bogdanovic is a can of worms because Sacramento offered a rookie extension but the Serbian sniper didn’t sign it.

He’s a restricted free agent but it’s a good bet there will be teams who pull out the stops to entice the young sniper. More importantly, if a team decides to emulate the Brooklyn Nets, Sean Marks route that could include all sorts of weird caveats. Recalling the Nets offers to Tyler Johnson, Allen Crabbe, and Otto Porter there were front-loaded contracts, trade kickers and even one with the right to approve trades as incentives.

Bottom line the Kings can’t pay all those players max money and they simply can’t afford to overpay for a team who continues to miss the playoffs. At 27 Bogdanovic is older than the majority of the Kings young core and he’d be a great fit beside Gilgeous Alexander. It would afford the Thunder some flexibility with what they decide to do with Dennis Schroder this summer or next.

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Richaun Holmes stepped in to pick up the slack when Bagley and Giles were out with injuries.

He’s not their primary big but he’d be a great pickup for the Thunder as a big with a Swiss Army knife skillset (and his contract is extremely reasonable for the value).

To offset the roster spots the Thunder could add in Abdel Nader and to sweeten the pot attach one first-round pick.

Specifically, the 2022 first round pick either of Clippers or Thunder (whichever is the lower of the two).