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News » Trading season about to begin

Trading season about to begin

Trading season about to begin
It's no secret around the NBA that anyone on the Thunder's roster not named Kevin Durant, Jeff Green or Russell Westbrook can be had for the right price.

Exactly what that asking price is will be made clear over the next six weeks as the Feb. 19 trading deadline nears and deals are consummated. The Thunder, however, will certainly be in the thick of this year's trading flurry as it continues reconstructing its roster.

Oklahoma City is filled with attractive pieces, from players with expiring contracts in Joe Smith, Chris Wilcox and Desmond Mason, to veterans like Nick Collison and Earl Watson who could be valuable additions to playoff teams.

If we know anything about what kind of value general manager Sam Presti seeks, we know he covets players who fit his desired defensive philosophy, and we know he will not take on any high-priced contracts that will destroy the franchise's upcoming salary-cap space.

Presti also has made it clear, through the recent signing of Nenad Krstic and the attempted signing of C.J. Miles last summer, that any acquisition must be a player capable of contributing now as well as in the future. A perimeter shooter, better interior defense and rebounding and improved scoring off the bench are obvious needs that could be addressed as well.

Given what we know today, here are five attractive trading partners for the Thunder.

→Milwaukee: Charlie Villanueva and Tyronn Lue have recently been rumored to be on the move, with the Thunder named as a potential landing spot. The 6-foot-11 Villanueva creates mismatches with his inside-outside game, while Lue is a savvy veteran point guard who knocks down open shots and is a tough on-ball defender.

→Toronto: Anthony Parker and former Oklahoma State standout Joey Graham were reportedly included in a package that would have sent Earl Watson to the Raptors, and now former No. 1 pick Andrea Bargnani is reportedly on the trading block as well. The Thunder could use Parker and Bargnani's perimeter shooting and Graham's defense and toughness.

→Utah: With an abundance of shooting guards, and the Jazz potentially scrambling to re-sign big men Carlos Boozer and Paul Millsap this summer, sharpshooter Kyle Korver could be made available at a bargain price.

→Detroit: Arron Afflalo and Amir Johnson are young players who fill two pressing needs for the Thunder on the wing and in the post. The Pistons are high on Johnson, but the Thunder could sweeten the deal with a future draft pick.

→New Jersey: Oklahoma product Eduardo Najera plays with a toughness and defensive mindset the Thunder sorely lacks. Swingman Jarvis Hayes is a 3-point threat who could help off the bench.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: January 7, 2009


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