The NBA's trading deadline will come and go Thursday at 2 p.m., but will the Thunder play "Let's Make A Deal"?
We have the reasons why Oklahoma City could and why it couldn't.
Reason No. 1 why the Thunder is likely to be active: expiring contracts. The Thunder's got them. Other teams need them.
Most trades are made in this league for financial reasons, and the Thunder could aid a team in getting under the luxury tax, lowering their payroll or in clearing future salary cap room for the possible LeBron James/Dwyane Wade/Chris Bosh sweepstakes in 2010.
The Thunder could be more than $20 million under the cap next season, meaning it has the space to take on contracts with additional years without as much consequence.
Reason No. 1 why the Thunder could be inactive: average player assets. Yes, Oklahoma City has the expiring contracts of Chris Wilcox, Joe Smith, Desmond Mason, Robert Swift and Mo Sene. But those players don't have much value if a team is interested in more than just dumping salary.
Wilcox and Smith could help a competitive team in the second half, but Mason is out for the season, Swift can't be traded without his consent and Sene is still a project.
Reason No. 2 the Thunder could be active: its other assets. Oklahoma City has five first-round draft picks over the next two years, including three this year. The Thunder also has the draft rights to Serge Ibaka, who has drawn interest from around the league.
Reason No. 2 the Thunder could be inactive: those assets are all either too valuable to part with or won't pay off for at least a few seasons. Unless the Thunder gets extremely eager, or finds a partner willing to be patient, it's unlikely these will come into play.
Reason No. 3 the Thunder could make a trade: needs. At last check the starting shooting guard is a rookie, and the starting center is a power forward.
Reason No. 3 the Thunder could not trade: disinterest. GM Sam Presti might be shopping for a shooter and center, but that doesn't guarantee there is quality available at those positions.
Reason No. 4 the Thunder could make a deal: Presti. The guy was born to make deals. His trade count is up to 10 in less than two years on the job.
And reason No. 4 why this trade deadline could pass the Thunder by: Presti. He's only fleeced a few (Orlando, Phoenix and Denver), but you can believe he's got the rest of the league cautious not to be next.