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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

The NBA's trading deadline is now just three days away, and when it comes and goes Thursday the league's landscape could be drastically different.

How it impacts the Thunder and its chase to the championship remains the biggest question.

Will Kevin Martin still be in Oklahoma City by the end of the week? What about the multiple draft picks the Thunder owns? Or Eric Maynor.

The Thunder could use more rebounding, perimeter shooting and, above all, inside scoring. But it's been quieter than normal on the trade front in OKC, which could mean something or nothing at all. Of course, there's always the possibility that we see nothing happen.

But don't expect the rest of the league to let the deadline quietly pass.

Several stars could be on the move, and thanks to the new rules within the collective bargaining agreement more teams could make cost-cutting decisions to shore up their financial future.

It should all add incredible intrigue to this year's deadline.

To get you prepared for what could be a flurry of deals, here's a primer on who could be coming, who could be going and why the Thunder might or might not make a move.

Five biggest names who could be traded, and to where

Dwight Howard (Los Angeles Lakers): Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak insists Howard will not be dealt this season, but Howard also becomes an unrestricted free agent. Brooklyn and Boston are ready to pounce.

Rajon Rondo (Boston): One of the league's elite point guards was lost for the season to a severe knee injury and might not return for 10 months. Are the Lakers or someone else willing to risk Rondo on the rebound?

Kevin Garnett (Boston): Garnett has a no-trade clause and wants to “live and die green,” but he lives in Malibu and is close with Los Angeles Clippers guard and former Timberwolves teammate Chauncey Billups.

Josh Smith (Atlanta): Many teams of many statures are interested in acquiring Smith. Some are contenders, some are not. Hawks are in a good position to milk the best offer for Smith, an unrestricted free agent.

Al Jefferson (Utah): The Jazz has two desirable inside players in Jefferson and Paul Millsap, who are both unrestricted free agents. The 6-foot-10, 290-pound Jefferson could be the missing ingredient for several teams.

Five reasons the Thunder will make a move

Inside offensive presence: Though there is no gapping hole defensively at the post, there certainly is offensively. OKC needs 10-12 points in the post. Someone who is even a threat to score would be a welcome addition.

Perimeter defender: Thabo Sefolosha is a terrific defender who is 6-foot-7 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan. OKC needs someone with the same mindset, but is 10-15 pounds bigger who can defend the 3 and stretch-4 positions.

Ballhandler: OKC's most dependable ballhandler is Eric Maynor, who is at the end of the bench. Thunder is too careless with the ball. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant have third and sixth most turnovers in NBA.

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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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