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Notebook: Thunder close to finalizing trade

by Darnell Mayberry Published: July 10, 2013

The Thunder could be on the verge of picking up a little something for Kevin Martin.

Oklahoma City on Wednesday moved closer to completing a sign-and-trade deal with Minnesota that would net the Thunder a sizable trade exception.

Under a proposed deal reported by, the Thunder would sign Martin and immediately trade him to the Wolves. In a related but separate deal, the Wolves would send point guard Luke Ridnour to Milwaukee.

The jockeying, which Oklahoma City has tried hard to orchestrate since the start of free agency on July 1, allows the Thunder to get value for Martin rather than watch him walk for nothing. Martin had already agreed to a four-year deal with the Wolves reportedly worth $28 million.

A trade exception is a valuable tool that offers teams an opportunity to make a future trade without having to match salaries. The value of the trade exception would be roughly $6.6 million and would be available to the Thunder for a year from the day the deal is completed.

The most notable example of how a trade exception can be used can be seen in a pair of deals Thunder general manager Sam Presti pulled off while in Seattle in 2007.

Presti orchestrated a sign-and-trade with Orlando that sent Rashard Lewis to the Magic. In return, the then-Sonics received only a future second-round pick and a $9.3 million trade exception.

One week after Lewis joined Orlando, Presti then used much of the trade exception to acquire veteran center Kurt Thomas from Phoenix along with first-round picks in 2008 and 2010. The 2008 selection turned into Serge Ibaka. The 2010 selection ultimately was packaged along with another pick and became Cole Aldrich.


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