Thunder trade Hasheem Thabeet to 76ers

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Is there a place for Hasheem Thabeet in the NBA?

We’ll soon learn the answer to that question, but if there is, it sure isn’t in Oklahoma City.

The Thunder have Steven Adams, Mitch McGary and Kendrick Perkins at center. And if they kept Thabeet past Aug. 31, they’d have to guarantee the final year and $1.25 million of his contract.

So, Oklahoma City could have simply waived Thabeet, increased its flexibility and maintained enough center depth.

Instead, the Thunder have gone a more complicated route.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Because Thabeet’s contract is unguaranteed, the 76ers don’t have to pay him. Any money they got from Oklahoma City is profit.

Essentially, Philadelphia rented its cap space in exchange for a little revenue – and had to rent it only temporarily. Once Thabeet is waived, the 76ers will have just as much cap space as they began the day with, which is to say more than they know what to do with.

The Thunder, in addition to getting a $1.25 million trade exception, trim their roster to 14 players. Perhaps, that final vacant spot could go to Josh Huestis, but why mess up your advantage?

Sitting $2,806,033 below the luxury-tax line, Oklahoma City has time – and a trade exception – to tinker with its roster between now and the trade deadline.