The Thunder has made its first roster move of the season, albeit a minor one.
As part of a three-team deal with the Grizzlies and Celtics, OKC sent sporadically used veteran forward Ryan Gomes to Boston and cash considerations to Memphis.
In return, the Thunder receives the Philadelphia 76ers' 2014 second-round pick (top-50 and 56-60 protected, previously owned by Memphis) and the Grizzlies' conditional 2017 second-round pick, with the specific protections unknown.
For OKC, this strictly makes sense for financial reasons. By trading away Gomes, the Thunder gets his entire salary off the books. If the Thunder had simply chose to cut him, the amount he had already been paid would have remained.
With the move, OKC is now around $2.3 million under the luxury tax threshold with two open roster spots, allowing for more financial flexibility to complete another maneuver, potentially adding some point guard help in Russell Westbrook's absence.
Recently, the Thunder has been linked to D-League player of the week Manny Harris, as reported by USA Today. Harris is a 6-foot-5 point guard who started 20 games for the Cavs the past few seasons.
In the move, Boston and Memphis swapped Courtney Lee and Jerryd Bayless.
Upon completion, Boston immediately cut Gomes. He had only appeared in five games this season for the Thunder, never playing more than 10 minutes.
IBAKA SITS WITH FLU-LIKE SYMPTOMS
Serge Ibaka missed Tuesday's game at Utah with flu-like symptoms.
It was his first time out of the lineup this season and only the third game he's missed in the last 3 1/2 seasons.
Perry Jones III started in Ibaka's place. It was his second career start. The first came in last year's season finale.
The Jazz will retire former coach Jerry Sloan's jersey number later this month and honor him with a ceremony inside Energy Solutions Arena.
When informed prior to the game, Thunder coach Scott Brooks responded “About time.”
“He's one of the greatest coaches of all time. A guy that I look up to,” Brooks said. “I appreciate all the hard work that he put into the game. His commitment, his dedication, his consistency is unmatched. His no-nonsense, no-excuse mentality is something I try to live by as a coach. And I admire him. He did it the right way, and he will always have a lasting impact, not only on me but all the other coaches in this league. And some of the young coaches need to go back and look how he did it because he did it the right way.”
The Thunder boarded a plane to Denver after the Utah game and will have a day off before playing the Nuggets on Thursday. The game will be broadcast on both Fox Sports Oklahoma and TNT. Tip-off is at 9:30 p.m.