At last season’s trade deadline, the Thunder shipped Eric Maynor to Portland for a trade exception worth around $2.3 million.
On Feb. 21st of this year, that exception will expire.
But with Tuesday morning’s Ryan Gomes maneuver — OKC traded the veteran forward to Boston in a three-team deal that netted a couple of minor assets — the Thunder increased the likelihood that it would utilize the Maynor exception before it becomes extinct.
The reason is two-fold:
- By clearing Gomes’ contract completely off the books, the Thunder is now around $2.3 million under the luxury tax, meaning it can bring in a player worth around the value of Maynor’s exception and stay under the luxury tax threshold.
- Also, in that three-team trade, the Thunder received two draft picks. The 2017 Grizzlies second-round pick, protected from 31-35, is a selection OKC may utilize. But the 2014 Sixers second-round pick, which is top-50 protected, is a phantom selection. The Sixers won’t finish with a top-10 record in the NBA this season and, since they won’t, that pick will revert back to Philadelphia. But the Thunder front office still views it as an asset. And that’s because of the Maynor trade exception. If OKC finds the right move, that phantom Sixers pick becomes valuable. In a trade exception deal, you still must give something back to the other team. That’s where the Philly pick comes in. You can toss that in the deal and save all your other assets from exposure.
None of this is to say the Thunder will definitely make a trade. There’s a decent chance they don’t. But if the right opportunity presents itself, OKC’s front office has freed up the flexibility to pursue.