No. 2: Vasilije Micić
Every couple of years an NBA team brings over a European star to see if they can replicate their level of play in the NBA. Vasilije Micic became the latest such player when the Oklahoma City Thunder signed him to a multi-year contract this summer. What Micic and perhaps even the Thunder didn't realize was that rookie Cason Wallace would play so well from the jumpt hat he would lock down the backup point guard position.
The 6'5" Micic has therefore played just 11.9 minutes per game in 27 contests for the Thunder. He's a solid hand with the ball in his hands and could be valued as a backup point guard by a team in need of one. More so, however, he is simply superfluous on the Thunder roster and his $7.23 million contract could be used as matching salary in a trade.
No. 1: Davis Bertans
The obvious choice for No. 1 on this list, Davis Bertans was acquired on draft night last June to serve as a walking (and shooting) trade exception, matching salary to keep around for a trade. That's not the only outcome for Bertans; he could end up hanging around, agree to a buyout, or be traded this summer. Most likely, however, the Thunder are going to make a deal in the next week, and Bertans will be a part of it.
The 6'10" Latvian stretch-forward rarely plays for Oklahoma City, just 91 total minutes all season. His 3-point shot is still deadly, and there may be teams out there who don't see him as dead salary, just slightly overpaid. It's more likely he's simply the path to matching salary on a trade for a more expensive player, be that Dejounte Murray, Jerami Grant or anyone else.
The Thunder have spent a lot of time being patient, but this core is ready to win now and in position to make noise this postseason. Any or all of these five players could end up traded as the Thunder switch to aggressively improving their team to take a swing at the title this year.