OKC Thunder: One stop guide to NBA Trade Deadline Day

Chris Paul #3 of the OKC Thunder and Danilo Gallinari #8 celebrate after a play during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
Chris Paul #3 of the OKC Thunder and Danilo Gallinari #8 celebrate after a play during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Danilo Gallinari, head coach Billy Donovan, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Dennis Schroder, and Steven Adams of the OKC Thunder huddle vs 76ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Welcome to the NBA trade deadline day! This is your handy guide of everything you’ll need to know in preparation for the events of the day.

Get the coffee pot ready, line up the energy drinks, make sure the phone, laptop, and tablet are all primed and find a comfy seat to ride out the next several hours. The OKC Thunder enters the day having made no moves (yet), in no need of making moves and can be buyers or sellers and be fine either way.

That’s because Sam Presti already pulled off those major deals in the offseason ensuring flexibility this season and well into the future.

Factor in no one expected this team to be as great as they’ve been through two-thirds of the season. And, perhaps just to add excitement and drama to today the Thunder situation just got more complicated. By virtue of the club defeating the Cavaliers and the Mavericks losing to the Grizzlies OKC is now the SIXTH SEED in the West!

Seeding could influence Sam Presti choices:

Making matters even more complicated in terms of the decisions Sam Presti will make today is OKC is in position to snag a home court seed. Both the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz are fractionally ahead (1.5 games).

The Rockets sit in fifth because they won the initial game versus Utah which for now, knocks the Jazz down to sixth. OKC  already owns the tiebreak versus the Rockets having won two of their three meetings.

Houston has already been active electing to trade away both Clint Capela and Nene Hilario. Seems a three-game stint of small ball versus the Mavericks (missing Luka Doncic), as well as the sub .500 Pelicans and Hornets, was enough of a sample size for GM Daryl Morey to have the epiphany – hey we’ll just play this way all the time! If you’re already feeling bad for the 6’5″ P.J. Tucker who’ll be tasked with stopping the West’s giants you aren’t alone.

Seriously though, Robert Covington was a great addition to the Houston Rockets. That said, if you think back, RoCo is at his best when he plays on a team who are ALL committed to playing defense. Certainly, Tucker falls into that category but how committed will James Harden and Russell Westbrook be to giving 100 percent on both sides of the hardwood for 48 minutes? The answer to that question may well determine where they finish on the ladder.

As for the Jazz, the Thunder have split the two games played versus Utah with two more games to come. The Jazz recent fall is a result of five consecutive losses. During the 14-1 streak by the Jazz only two of the opponents possessed winning records and the Pacers were playing a back-to-back set on the road. Suffice to say the Jazz aren’t a lock for a top seed and are one of the teams who need this All-Star break to refocus.

Ultimately, this could potentially affect Prest’s deadline decisions. Not in terms of making a knee jerk reaction trade. Rather, it might influence the GM to hold onto certain players he would otherwise be seeking to trade. With OKC seeming closer to a home court seed than missing the playoffs this can’t help but play a part in decisions made today.