The OKC Thunder have a puzzling piece at the center position

Latvia's Davis Bertans (Photo by YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images)
Latvia's Davis Bertans (Photo by YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Davis Bertans
Davis Bertans #44 of the Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Amanda Loman/Getty Images) /

Could the OKC Thunder trade Davis Bertans?

When the topic of trading Davis Bertans comes up, it is often discussed in the context of Bleacher Report’s latest trade proposal, using his massive salary to net the Oklahoma City Thunder a star NBA player.

Bleacher Report suggests that the Thunder should package Bertans, Josh Giddey, Tre Mann, and two first-round picks to the Pelicans to grab Brandon Ingram from New Orleans.

While that is an understandable thought process, two picks and Josh Giddey are what the Pelicans gain for Brandon Ingram as Tre Mann teeters on the roster bubble, and a 30-year-old Bertans is just a salary filler. That would also lock the Thunder into Ingram’s contract that runs through the 2024-25 season, owing him 33.8 million this season and 36.9 million the following season.

On top of the interesting fit for Ingram, mudding up the Thunder’s cap sheet and losing a piece of their core, Oklahoma City would also have no guarantee Ingram would re-sign in Bricktown in the Summer of 2025 as a completely unrestricted free agent.

A more realistic trade that involves Davis Bertans would be paying a few of their million second-round picks (only a hint of hyperbole) to move on from Bertans’ contract and open up a roster spot on an overcrowded team.

Potentially incentivizing a team that is not a threat to contend for the postseason with draft compensation to clear up this entire saga is part of why you compile all of those future draft selections.

Next. Josh Giddey's matchup with Luka Doncic highlights his ceiling. dark