nnesota has reportedly put Al Jefferson on the trading block. The Wolves’ asking price, according to one report: Indiana’s Danny Granger, or the Pacers’ equivalent of Durant.
In addition, a major acquisition would take away playing time from the Thunder’s young players. The Thunder already doesn’t have enough minutes for D.J. White, Byron Mullens or Kyle Weaver.
But that doesn’t mean the Thunder won’t deal a player before the deadline passes. Smaller deals still can be consummated. And, more than any other team, the Thunder is in a great position to pilfer an elite player if the right package is presented.
The Thunder has additional assets in two first-round picks, along with expiring contracts to offer as opposed to outright talent. With a handful of franchises annually seeking to creep below the luxury tax threshold, and a few still clearing cap space for the 2010 free agent class, Oklahoma City could find a team willing to give away a big-time talent solely for financial reasons.
Had it not been for Tyson Chandler’s bum foot, last February’s rescinded Thunder-Hornets deal would have proved the perfect package of a player who helps now and in the future and comes with a reasonable price tag.
But that blend of benefits is only available every blue moon. Unless a similar bargain is brought to the table, expect the Thunder to hold what it’s got.
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