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Thunder insider: Will OKC make a trade or stand pat?

Thunder general manager Sam Presti still hasn't close the door on making a trade before Thursday's deadline. Presti can't come to any sweeping conclusions and announce the publicly because he never knows what deal might come along.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: March 11, 2012

Another hurdle is the limitations the Thunder has on what it could accept in any deal. Ibaka and Harden are eligible for contract extensions this summer, and the team isn't going to do anything to jeopardize locking them in for the long haul. Their deals would kick in at the start of the 2013-14 season, meaning any player coming to OKC would have to be on the last year of his contract or, at worst, have only one more year remaining.

There's also the issue of chemistry. The Thunder has a squad now that's filled with players who know and accept their roles. There is no guarantee that any player worthy of trading for will do the same once he gets in. Additionally, the Thunder has just 24 games remaining following the deadline, which leaves little time to integrate new pieces, especially with so little practice time in this compacted schedule.

It's more likely, therefore, that any improvements will be made organically. Don't be surprised if the backup point guard spot continues to be manned by Jackson. The Thunder drafted him 24th overall and maintains belief in him and his ability to get better in the final 25 games. Defensive rebounding, meanwhile, will just have to be more of a focus from here out, as well as the team's turnover problem.

But let's not forget, this isn't the time to be playing your best ball. It's always better to enter into the playoffs with a head of steam and a chance to peak at that point. These final 25 regular season games will be used to shore up issues to give the Thunder a shot at doing just that.

Besides, there is not a perfect team in basketball. Every team has some type of flaw.

The Thunder's can be brutal to bear at times. But, by comparison, Oklahoma City is in a terrific place and it wouldn't seem prudent for the Thunder to deviate from the direction it is headed in now.

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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