Even with 16 players signed, Oklahoma City sits more than $6 million below the $58.04 million salary cap. That kind of cap space is enough to afford the Thunder the opportunity to swap a 15th man for a future draft pick — maybe even a first-rounder if OKC is willing to take back a sizeable contract.
It's doubtful, however, that Presti would pull the trigger on any deal involving a player whose contract had more than one year remaining. But teams like Dallas, Denver, Houston, Orlando and the Los Angeles Lakers are all far enough above the luxury tax that they might be willing partners in an attempt to cut costs.
And Presti has a track record of pulling off such deals.
He acquired Eric Maynor from Utah last season by having cap space and being willing to take on Matt Harpring's expiring, insurance-covered contract. Presti gave up only a 2002 draft pick named Peter Fehse who has never played an NBA game. And in 2007, Presti acquired two unprotected first-round draft picks from Phoenix as what amounted to compensation for taking on Kurt Thomas' expiring $8.1 million contract. Presti sent the Suns only a future second-round pick.
We'll soon find out whether Presti has another trick up his sleeve and is able to this time turn a bench player or two into an improbable bargain.