The NBA Trade Deadline has arrived. Any NBA teams that want to make a trade have to do so by 3:00 PM ET today, February 8th. That hard, immovable wall generates a lot of activty as the pressure increases exponentially.
There is the expectation for a number of trades this year; a number of them have already occurred, including multiple trades on Wednesday, and the chatter is still prolific here in the final hours. The Oklahoma City Thunder also have a track record of doing something at the deadline, so the expectation is high that Sam Presti will pull the trigger on something.
As the 3:00 pm deadline draws closer (2:00 pm for those in central time, of course) we will have the latest rumors and reporting here in this post, so check back often as new information rolls in.
11:45am CT Update: Details of Hayward trade reported
There was always going to be another contract heading out in the Gordon Hayward trade, as Davis Bertans and Tre Mann together were not enough to match Hayward's salary. That player was revealed to be point guard Vasilije Micic.
It's a painful revelation for fans of the Thunder, as Micic just came over this year to the NBA at the age of 30 and was providing steady play as a backup guard. He will now land in Charlotte and back up LaMelo Ball.
10am CT Update: Thunder close to a deal for Gordon Hayward
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported just before 10am CT that the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Charlotte Hornets were working to finalize a trade that would send Tre Mann and Davis Bertans to Charlotte in exchange for Gordon Hayward.
Thunder a sleeping giant?
Mike Scotto of Hoops Hype called the Oklahoma City Thunder the "sleeping giant" of the NBA trade landscape because of the massive mountain of draft picks and young talent on the roster. Whenever Sam Presti and the Thunder are ready, they can make a massive move on the trade market.
That move is more likely to come in the future than today, per Scotto. He cites that rival executives expect the Thunder to give this core a run in the playoffs before making a big trade.
Andre Drummond uncertainty
One player that the Thunder are reported to have asked about is Chicago Bulls center Andre Drummond. The veteran big is having an elite rebounding season on a Bulls team that is teetering on the very edge of the Play-In Tournament, and at the right cost he could be a valuable player to give OKC size on the interior.
In the wee hours of Trade Deadline day, longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein reported that the Bulls have a robust market of interest in Drummond, but at the same time have not yet decided if they will move on from the veteran big or retain him to make a push for the playoffs. Stein notes that decision is likely to go all the way to the 3:00 pm deadline.
Thunder target adds a new suitor
One player that the Oklahoma City Thunder have inquired about is Toronto Raptors' wing Bruce Brown. The Raptors added the former champion in the Pascal Siakam trade a few weeks ago and have been open to rerouting him ever since.
A number of teams have pursued Brown; in addition to the Thunder, the New York Knicks, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Sacramento Kings. Now, Yahoo's NBA Insider Jake Fischer reports a new team entering the discussion: the Utah Jazz.
The discussions are to the point that a specific framework is being reported: Kelly Olynyk and Ochai Agbaji alongside some sort of draft capital. We discussed why it may not make sense for the Thunder to win the bidding war for Brown earlier this week.
Price high for ideal Thunder target
When assessing the list of Thunder trade targets, we ranked Dorian Finney-Smith at the top of the list. His combination of size, defense and shooting makes him an ideal fit for the Thunder's rotation.
As the deadline nears, the asking price for Finney-Smith continues to be high. The Brooklyn Nets continue to ask for two solid assets for DFS, be that two first-round picks or a pick and a prospect.
Should the Thunder pay that price? The answer is probably yes, but that doesn't mean they will ultimately make the swing.
Thunder targets on The Athletic's Trade Board
The Athletic's Sam Vecenie dropped a "Trade Board" on Wednesday that listed 50 players involved in trade rumors. Part of that project was identifying which teams made sense with each target, and thus a list of targets for the Thunder was developed.
Here are the players that Vecenie thinks would make some sense for the Thunder to pursue:
- Alex Caruso
- Bruce Brown
- Dorian Finney-Smith
- Daniel Gafford
- Cint Capela
- Kelly Olynyk
- Andre Drummond