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News » Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-02-13

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-02-13

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-02-13
As the trade deadline approaches, the Thunder appears to be in an enviable spot. Oklahoma City can be a buyer or a seller or both before the Feb. 19 closing date.

A number of players on the roster are coveted by other teams. Most prominently mentioned are Chris Wilcox, Joe Smith, Earl Watson and Damien Wilkins. Wilcox and Smith are not only serviceable big men, but each has an expiring contract. Watson and Wilkins cold provide backcourt depth for a contender.

Dealing any of the vets would likely bring back more draft picks to add to the franchise's impressive stockpile and/or talent that would into the team's long-term outlook.

Oklahoma City is also projected to be substantially below the salary cap next season. The Thunder can absorb contracts for players that make sense going forward, in some cases without giving up much.

In the meantime, Thunder coach Scott Brooks would rather not deal with any trade speculation.

"I'm focused on our guys that we have now," he said. "I like our guys, I believe in our guys. We're improving with this team and that's all I'm focused on right now. I understand the business is... that players get moved, but I like the guys that we have, and I'm focused on getting the team better and getting our guys better."

TRAIL BLAZERS 106, THUNDER 92: Oklahoma City played from behind Wednesday night and never had enough to muster much of a challenge in Portland. The Thunder (13-40) lost both games of a West Coast road trip before the All-Star break.

Russell Westbrook paced Oklahoma City with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Kevin Durant scored 20, about six points off his average. Jeff Green added 17 points for the Thunder, which shot 39 percent and was out-rebounded by 11.

Rookie center Greg Oden had 16 points and 10 boards for the Blazers. Brandon Roy scored 22 and Travis Outlaw had 21. Portland had five players in double-figures.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: February 13, 2009


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