Similar to last summer with Kevin Martin, the Thunder has turned an outgoing player into an asset.
Oklahoma City on Tuesday finalized a sign-and-trade deal that sends Thabo Sefolosha to Atlanta. Rather than losing Sefolosha to free agency, the move nets the Thunder a trade exception of slightly more than $4 million.
The Thunder also received the rights to Sofoklis Schortsanitis, a 6-foot-10, 350-pound center from Greece. It’s doubtful, however, that Schortsanitis will ever play in the NBA. Originally the 34th overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers in 2003, Schortsanitis has played his entire career overseas, competing in Greece, Italy and Israel.
In addition to Sefolosha, the Thunder sent the Hawks the rights to Giorgos Printezis, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Greece and a 2007 second-round pick who also has never played in the NBA and likely never will, as well as cash considerations.
The Thunder will have until July 15, 2015, to use the trade exception, which allows OKC to acquire salaries for up to the amount of the exception via trade without having to send out virtually matching contracts.
The Thunder acquired a $6.5 million exception last summer when it orchestrated a sign-and-trade with Minnesota for Martin. That exception went unused and expired on July 11.