OKC Thunder gain tax exemption and pick for facilitating Gallinari sign and trade

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) /

The OKC Thunder gain another second-round pick and tax exemption to help facilitate the Danilo Gallinari Hawks move via a sign and trade deal.

With the NBA slated to start the season on December 22nd, teams are progressing rapidly through a condensed offseason. For the OKC Thunder that has resulted in copious trades, a trio of draft picks, and the addition of two youngsters not selected in the draft plus a free agent.

Executive vice president and general manager, Sam Presti immediately went to work. Presti followed his natural tendency to reward those who trust in him. Consequently, core contributors Chris Paul, Dennis Schroder, and Steven Adams were all sent to teams where they can compete potentially for a title.

That’s not to say the GM didn’t also strengthen the franchise or make that his absolute priority.  His work continues as he now seeks landing spots for players obtained in the initial deals who he can flip for young assets or more highly coveted draft picks. Thus is the dynamics of the new era Thunder.

The roll-out of jettisoning talent was running smoothly with one notable exception. Heading into free agency the presumptive thinking was the OKC Thunder would broker a deal for Danilo Gallinari who stated his desire to play for a contender.

The issue being elite teams either have no available cap space or are reluctant to invest in new signings in order to keep space available for the Giannis sweepstakes. That meant the best bet for Gallinari to land on a contender was via a sign and trade. In essence, it could be a win-win for all parties.

OKC Thunder step in to facilitate Danilo Gallinari sign and trade with Hawks

But with the launch of the moratorium, Gallinari accepted what was seemingly his first deal with the Hawks for a three-year term and $61.5 million. As we previously noted, apparently the Italian saw fit to take advantage of a longer-term and more lucrative contract instead of joining a top tier contender.

After missing out on being one of the 22 Orlando bubble teams the Hawks entered this offseason aggressively pursuing free agents.

More from Thunderous Intentions

As one of the few teams with cap space that meant the Thunder weren’t needed to make the deal. That was until the Hawks extended a qualifying offer to Bogdan Bogdanovic. When the Kings didn’t match suddenly Atlanta needed to walk back the outright signing of Gallo and required the Thunder to intervene to complete the trade.

While it’s not exactly a typical Presti offering it still a win given a week prior the belief was Gallo would leave with OKC getting nothing in return. Instead, they receive a tax exemption of $19.5 million and a protected 2025 second-round pick. OKC is also sending cash to the Hawks although the amount was not disclosed.

Since the Thunder already received a historic $27.5 million exception in the Steven Adams deal it’s not imperceivable these exemptions may not be used. On the other hand, Presti could use each separately to buy a player and gain other draft picks for taking that individual off another team’s books. Exemptions must be used within a year of the deal.

In summation, the Thunder got a deal they didn’t expect, another second-round pick, and an exemption to use as leverage to gain further benefits. All in all – a great bonus for essentially nothing.

Next. Grading 2020 NBA Draft: OKC Thunder -the Risk Takers. dark