What the Jazz got out of the three-team trade that shipped out Enis Kanter was the Thunder’s first-round 2017 pick (which has protections), Grant Jerrett, and the draft rights to Tibor Pleiss.
They also got Kendrick Perkins, but the plan was always to buy him out.
A number of teams expressed interest, but it’s down to a couple potential Eastern Conference contenders, reports David Aldridge of TNT and NBA.com.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports added this:
While Perkins has an interest in joining the Dallas Mavericks, owner Mark Cuban says his team has no intention of signing the 12-year NBA veteran to a deal.
That leaves out the Clippers, who certainly have interest and their coach Doc Rivers has a relationship with Perkins. But if Perkins is looking for a ring he’s more likely to get to the Finals and get a chance at it in the East. The Clippers will struggle to get out of the West, especially if they slide far down the standings with Blake Griffin out.
Perkins could back up Timofey Mozgov in Cleveland or Joakim Noah in Chicago. Perkins is a shadow of the 2008 Perkins who helped Boston win a ring, but neither the Bulls nor Cavaliers would ask much of him.
The Nets and Thunder discussed a three-way Brook Lopez trade involving the Hornets.
Brooklyn and Oklahoma City also discussed a two-team Lopez trade.
Neither went anywhere, but Reggie Jackson’s trade request could re-ignite talks.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Jackson can’t sign an extension. The deadline for extensions to rookie-scale contracts, Oct. 31, has passed.
He’ll be a restricted free agent this summer, so if the Nets trade for him, they can match any offer he receives. There is absolutely no chance Jackson could leave the Brooklyn before 2016 unless the Nets choose to let him leave.
There could be other hang-ups, though.
Jackson and Lopez don’t have close to matching salaries, and even if the Thunder included Kendrick Perkins’ expiring contract, the deal still wouldn’t work. Oklahoma City would have to send out an additional player, even one on a minimum contract. Neither Grant Jerrett nor Ish Smith are very valuable, but the Thunder have invested in Jerrett, and Smith would fill a larger role with Jackson gone.
Brooklyn would also want to assess Jackson’s market for this summer. If the Nets are for sale, they might be wary of adding too much salary.
But the ball with Jackson will be in his team’s court. This has nothing to do with his willingness to sign an extension.
The Nets are reportedly motivated to trade Brook Lopez.
That’s why their three-way trade with the Thunder and Hornets fizzling didn’t mean Lopez would stay in Brooklyn long.
Chris Broussard of ESPN:
Kendrick Perkins’ expiring contract would surely be necessarily to facilitate the deal, but it would still be difficult for Oklahoma City to aggregate enough salary to acquire Lopez while keeping the deal a straight dump for Brooklyn. The Thunder have such a deep roster, they’d almost have to include a player of value in the deal. They just don’t have enough dead weight around.
The lowest-impact deal I could find is Perkins, Nick Collison and Grant Jerrett for Lopez.
If Oklahoma City was willing to surrender Jeremy Lamb in the three-way trade, Brooklyn can probably get him now. Dion Waiters makes Lamb more expendable, and Lopez – despite his high salary and injury issues – is probably too good to just give away.
When healthy, Lopez is an impressive interior option. He’s averaging 14.6 points on 50.4 percent shooting and 6.3 rebounds per game this season, but he was an All-Star in 2013 and played even better before getting hurt last season.
His $15,719,062 salary would push the the Thunder further into the luxury tax, but clearing it – and his $16,744,218 player option for next season – would give the Nets immediate savings and future flexibility. That could mean quite a bit if the franchise is for sale.
The list of injured Thunder players is longer than the list of healthy Thunder players.
- Kevin Durant
- Russell Westbrook
- Jeremy Lamb
- Perry Jones
- Anthony Morrow
- Andre Roberson
- Mitch McGary
- Grant Jerrett
- Serge Ibaka
- Steven Adams
- Kendrick Perkins
- Nick Collison
- Sebastian Telfair
- Lance Thomas
- Reggie Jackson
That’s generously counting Jackson – who was pretty beaten up in Oklahoma City’s last game – as healthy, though Lamb could make his season debut tonight.
The NBA’s standard roster maximum is 15 players, but the Thunder are so hampered by injury, the NBA is allowing them to add a 16th. It’ll be Ish Smith, who worked out for the team earlier this week.
The Oklahoma City Thunder has signed free agent guard Ish Smith to a contract pursuant to the NBA’s hardship rule, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.
Smith, a speedy point guard, provides depth behind Jackson and Telfair. Smith will allow Jackson to spend more time off the ball, where Jackson can provide a much-needed scoring punch with Durant and Westbrook out.
No, Smith won’t solve Oklahoma City’s issues. Only time for everyone – or at least Durant and Westbrook – to heal will do that. But Smith helps just a little, and the Thunder need every win they can get to remain in playoff contention in the loaded West.
By the time the final buzzer sounded Monday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder were down to eight healthy players they could throw out on the court. Injured are Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Jeremy Lamb, Anthony Morrow, Mitch McGary, Grant Jerrett, and Andre Roberson.
They have applied for and likely at some point Wednesday will receive a roster exemption to allow them to add some help (the injuries have to be confirmed by an independent doctor per league rules so it takes some time).
When that comes through, the Thunder have their man — Ish Smith. So reports Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman (and confirmed by others since).
Smith has bounced between the NBA and D-League for four years since leaving Wake Forest. He was in the Rockets’ training camp this season but they let him go.
What does Smith bring besides an upright body? Quickness. He is fast. That makes him a decent pick-and-roll defender and a guy who can get steals. However, that quickness has never translated for him on the offensive end where he is a poor shooter (career .416 true shooting percentage) and he turns the ball over a lot more than you want out of a point guard.
Smith doesn’t bring a lot, but right now the Thunder will take whatever they can get. This is a team that needs to find a way not to fall too far behind in the deep and shark-filled Western Conference waters before Durant and Westbrook return next month.