Thunder: What you need to know about the upcoming NBA trade deadline

How trades could impact the Thunder and its chase to the NBA championship remains the biggest question
by Darnell Mayberry Published: February 17, 2013

Rebounder: Serge Ibaka is the team's leading rebounder (7.9 per game), but he ranks 27th in the league. OKC also ranks 25th in offensive rebounds, 25th in opponent offensive rebounds and 27th in second-chance points.

Outside shooter: James Harden and Daequan Cook were swapped for Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb. Perhaps Lamb is the bombardier OKC needs in a pinch. If not, there are several shooters out there to be taken.

Five reasons the Thunder will not make a move

Contenders: The Thunder remains a strong contender to repeat Western Conference champs, which is a good thing. You can't reach the NBA Finals without winning the West.

Upheaval: OKC players already had to adjust when James Harden and three teammates were traded five days before the season opener. Why put the team through that again?

Elite status: The Thunder is 39-14, people. It has the second-best record in the NBA. Teams are trying to compete with the Thunder. It's not the other way around. Stand pat.

Chemistry: Why mess with OKC's mojo? The franchise has advanced to the first round, to the conference finals, to the NBA Finals, which is on course to bring this year's title.

Team unity: Keep the band together. Six key contributors were in last year's Finals against the Miami Heat and each player is equally driven to complete OKC's mission this year.

Five assets the Thunder owns

Lottery pick: OKC owns a protected first-round pick from Toronto that falls between pick Nos. 4-14 in 2013; Nos. 3-14 in 2014-15; Nos. 2-14 in 2016-17; and is unprotected in 2018.

Reggie Jackson: The second-year reserve point guard has shown flashes of his superb athleticism more frequently this season, which no doubt is bound the catch the eye of suitors.

Eric Maynor: Dependable backup point guard becomes a restricted free agent at the end of the season. Had major knee surgery last year, but is still viewed as a quality backup.

Kevin Martin: Unrestricted free agent after the season who is making $12.5 million this year. OKC can't pay Martin that much in a new deal, so could seek affordable replacement.

Kendrick Perkins: If a team can offer someone at the center position, Perk could be swapped. There's also an amnesty option with Perk, who is signed through the 2014-15 season.

Five untouchable assets: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison, Thabo Sefolosha

Five players the Thunder could seek

Jermaine O'Neal (Phoenix): Veteran inside presence is making the league minimum and the Suns reportedly are willing to part with him for as little as a future draft choice, of which the Thunder has several.

Tony Allen (Memphis): Former Oklahoma State standout is a defensive bulldog who could aid the Thunder's quest for defensive consistency; an unrestricted free agent making $3.3 million this season.

J.J. Redick (Orlando): Sharpshooting unrestricted free agent making $6 million this season, but recently said he wants to remain with 15-37 Orlando, which doesn't speak very highly of his desire to win.

Amir Johnson (Toronto): A 6-foot-9 power forward averaging 9.7 points and 7.1 rebounds who is getting $6 million this season and $6.5 million next year. He's just 25 years old, but already in his eighth season.

J.J. Hickson (Portland): Doubtful the Thunder could obtain a player from within its own division, but the 24-year-old Hickson is an unrestricted free agent averaging a double-double (12.7 ppg, 10.3 rpg)

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...
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    NATO is using this map to troll Russia on Twitter
  2. 2
    Study Reveals Interesting Link Between Men's Height And Marital Success
  3. 3
    The UN Just Officially Condemned America's Racist Police Brutality
  4. 4
    Report: Kevin Durant staying with Nike; company matches Under Armour offer
  5. 5
    Florida State's Chris Casher won't play against Oklahoma State
+ show more