Our staff weighs in on whether the Thunder should trade or stand pat.
JOHN ROHDE: Maybe. How's that for conviction? I'm still curious to see how good the Thunder is when everybody is healthy, when everybody is clicking rather than just three or four guys a game. Players have taken turns excelling this season, including Daequan Cook, but it seems to come in stages. First place in your division and 15 games over .500 isn't bad when you're mad at yourself half the time for not playing better. However, if there is worth out there for somebody other than Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, Thabo Sefolosha, Nick Collison and maybe Eric Maynor, I say at least have a listen. Maybe a void could be filled. Maybe not.
BERRY TRAMEL: I say no. Unless some fools like the T-Wolves or Clippers want to give you something for nothing. But otherwise, any trade the Thunder could make would be acquiring short-term gain at long-term expense. Why would you do that? The NBA has very few Rocky Colavito-for-Harvey Kuenn trades. Very few deals in which both teams get equal talent. They're mostly finances-based. No reason for the Thunder to shoot the moon this season; they're not winning the NBA championship no matter who they get.
JENNI CARLSON: Unless it's a can't-miss, steal-of-a-deal trade, I say no trades. This is a franchise still growing for the future. We said a couple years ago when it came to town that this was a team with young talent. Guess what? These guys are still young. The nucleus of this bunch is still barely old enough to vote. Let them continue to blossom. Let them keep figuring out who they're going to be. Doing a trade now — unless, of course, the Clippers want to hand over Blake Griffin for a box of socks or something — doesn't give this bunch a chance to continue to grow.
DARNELL MAYBERRY: It's all a matter of money for me. Financially, the Thunder is set up almost perfectly. No deal that puts the Thunder at risk of not being able to retain Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka should be considered. The Thunder is in a small market and simply can't afford to have one of the priciest payrolls. I wouldn't take on any high salaries that extend into 2012-13. That's the year Westbrook's contract extension would kick in. And that would be added to the second year of Durant's new deal, as well as the potential second year of Jeff Green's new deal. So I'd run away from bringing back any contract that has more than two more seasons left after this season. But if there is a deal on the table for a decent talent who has two years remaining, I'd consider it.