After a relatively calm couple of days, trade deadline week is beginning to heat up after two major deals got done in a span of hours on Tuesday.
The Thunder have yet to be involved in any capacity, but the deals have sent ripples through the NBA that have reached Oklahoma City’s doorstep.
The first major deal was between Portland and New Orleans. New Orleans shipped off Josh Hart, Tomas Satoransky, Nickel Alexander-Walker, a 2022 protected first rounder and two second round picks for CJ McCollum, Larry Nance and Tony Snell.
ESPN inside Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Portland’s plan is to reshape the roster around superstar Damian Lillard. The team created a $21 million trade exception, and will potentially head into the summer with $60 million in salary cap space.
While it didn’t directly affect OKC in any way, there are a couple factors to note.
The biggest plus is that Portland isn’t going for a full reset. They’re holding onto Lillard, and are likely to try and remain competitive despite a barebones roster down the stretch. They might still be vying for draft odds near the end of the season, but more than likely won’t be in OKC’s way.
And while Portland isn’t exactly a free agent’s paradise, it could prompt other teams wanting free agents this summer to begin clearing space as soon as possible. And with OKC being a premier salary dump location, those deals could happen within days.
Looking more and more confident they can find an All-Star pairing for MVP frontrunner Joel Embiid this summer, Philadelphia could be the team to watch out for.
In another surprising move, Sacramento shipped their star young player, Tyrese Haliburton, as well as Buddy Hield and Tristan Thompson for former All-Star Domantas Sabonis, Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb and a future second pick on Tuesday.
The move sent less ripples through Oklahoma City than the former, but it does have implications on draft night 2022.
Indiana was expected to be offloading their win-now players for draft compensation, but came away with none in the trade for Haliburton. He won be as win-ready as Sabonis, but it’s a small victory for Oklahoma City none the less.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski also reported that center Myles Turner could be inclined to remain with the team, alluding to the fact that the Pacers might not pivot towards a complete rebuild.
The deadline officially ends on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 3 p.m. ET.