NBA Draft: Oklahoma City Thunder is ready to deal

On the eve of tonight's NBA Draft, Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti pulled another fast one. Presti acquired the 18th overall pick and sharpshooter Daequan Cook from the Miami Heat for peanuts — the 32nd overall selection.
By Darnell Mayberry, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com Modified: June 24, 2010 at 1:02 am •  Published: June 24, 2010

4,
Golden State at No. 6, the Pacers at 10 and New Orleans at No. 11.

Meanwhile, through Wednesday's trade the Thunder shored up a sore spot on its roster by adding a 3-point specialist who can relieve pressure off of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in certain spots.

Cook, entering his fourth season out of Ohio State, has career averages of 8.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists. He is a career 35.8-percent shooter from behind the 3-point line and won the 2009 Three-Point Shootout at NBA All-Star Weekend in Phoenix.

"We are pleased to add Daequan Cook to the Thunder roster,” Presti said in a release. "He will add depth and shooting to our backcourt.”

Cook, the 21st overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft, will earn $2.1 million in the fourth year of his rookie scale contract in 2010-11. If Oklahoma City retains Cook, it can extend his contract this summer, or the Thunder can tender Cook a one-year qualifying offer of $3.1 million and make him a restricted free agent next summer. Should the Thunder exercise the latter option, it reserves the right to retain Cook by matching any contract another team might offer.

For Miami, the deal saves the Heat more than $3.3 million counting the first-year scaled salary for 18th pick. It's a cost-cutting deal that could help the Heat land one of this summer's premier free agents, a crop that includes LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer, Amar'e Stoudemire and Joe Johnson. With several other teams looking to shed salary for the same reasons, the draft could turn into a swap meet as teams jockey for position.

And for the Thunder, that means there could be several similar opportunities that present themselves tonight.



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