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Oklahoma City Thunder reportedly want to trade for a shooter

Feb 14, 2014, 12:59 PM EDT

The Thunder have an above-average 3-point percentage and a top-end defense.

But in the hunt for a title, Oklahoma City is leaving nothing to chance.

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The Thunder could accept up to $6.6 million for one player using a trade exception, but that’s probably not their real limit. They’re only $2,236,572 below the luxury-tax threshold, and I can’t see them surpassing it.

The trade exception itself would help Oklahoma City acquire a player on a long contract his current team wants to dump. But anyone more valuable, the Thunder would have to add a draft pick. That’s more likely because few players have burdensome contracts paying fewer than $2,236,572 this season, and  the Thunder are one of the few win-now teams that can still trade a 2014 first-round pick.

Trade exceptions and draft picks might not be the only pieces involved, anyway.

You know where Oklahoma City can find a player exactly like the one it’s reportedly seeking? Its starting lineup.

Thabo Sefolosha, the Thunder’s starting shooting guard, is a 3-and-D specialist who already has grown pretty comfortable with Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins.

But Sefolosha is shooting just 33.6 percent on 3-pointers, his lowest mark in the last three years. He’s also surrendering a 13.8 PER to opposing shooting guards, his worst mark in four years, according to 82Games.

That 3-point shooting percentage is below average, though it’s still solid. And Sefolosha’s defense might be down a bit, but it’s still strong.

The Thunder, however, as I mentioned, have championship hopes. If they can upgrade by trading – Sefolosha has an expiring $3.9 million contract, making him valuable to several teams in a deal – or motivating their current shooting guard with a threat of a trade, they will.

  1. cantonbound13 - Feb 14, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    Trade for JR Smith

    • bhunter1995 - Feb 14, 2014 at 1:12 PM

      JR Smith? Cmon man they need a two way wing player who isn’t toxic to the locker room.

      • jcmeyer10 - Feb 14, 2014 at 1:57 PM

        Weirdly enough, in a winning environment he might be able to jive. But it’s a free for all when things are going great.

      • asimonetti88 - Feb 14, 2014 at 3:42 PM

        I don’t disagree that in a stable environment Smith could perhaps thrive, but even if he got his head straight, he’s not a good defender.

  2. blueintown - Feb 14, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    Mike Dunleavy, Jr.?

    • basketballhooper1 - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      I’d say Shumpert would be a better fit for OKC with his defense. We all know he’s available but I’m not so sure that OKC would trade something that the Knicks would want.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Feb 14, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      I don’t think a championship level team wants a guy who jacks a shot every time he touches the ball.

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 14, 2014 at 4:39 PM

      Kendall Marshall is shooting 45% from three this year. Lakers might be willing to take Russell Westbrook back for him if OKC is interested in a three point shooter.

      • asimonetti88 - Feb 14, 2014 at 6:11 PM

        clearly joking

      • jimeejohnson - Feb 14, 2014 at 7:03 PM

        Went right over their heads.

  3. themagicfanguy - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:23 PM


    • casualcommenter - Feb 14, 2014 at 6:33 PM

      Afflalo would be a scary-good acquisition by the Thunder.
      Elite shooter and good defender.

      • denverhoopdreams - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:06 PM

        I love Triple A. Have ever since he got traded to the Nuggets with Billups. Kind of wish Denver never let him go.

  4. nolanwiffle - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    It’s a shame they couldn’t afford to keep James Harden.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Feb 14, 2014 at 3:28 PM

      They could have afforded Harden. Amnestying Perkins and keeping Harden would have cost them an extra $8-10 million total.

  5. nolanwiffle - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    It’s a shame they couldn’t afford to keep James Harden.

    • jimeejohnson - Feb 14, 2014 at 7:04 PM

      “They could have afforded Harden. Amnestying Perkins and keeping Harden would have cost them an extra $8-10 million total.”

      I did put it in quotes!

  6. therealgrande - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    Arron Afflalo would be a perfect fit but the high level he’s playing at he’s gonna an expensive as he avgs. 19/4/4.

    If that move would be made, Hennigan might want Lamb or PJ3 in return. Maybe both.

    • casualcommenter - Feb 14, 2014 at 6:37 PM

      Agreed. The good news for OKC is that Afflalo is locked into a $7.75 million per year deal until 2016, so replacing Sefolosha with Afflalo while staying under the luxury tax is feasible.

      Imagine OKC’s offense with Afflalo starting at SG instead of Sefolosha. Scary.

      But the Magic know Afflalo is valuble, and they’ll want a lot back. It would be somewhat of an “All-In” move by the Thunder that robs them of some youth but gives them a veteran with the perfect skillset to help.

  7. uscoach - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    I hate to say it as a Wizards fan, but Trevor Ariza would be the perfect fit. Great D, above average behind the line. He has been much improved this year.

  8. bknowledge - Feb 14, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    Knicks should offer Tyson Chandler, Shumpert, Hardaway Jr, and anyone else on their roster except Melo for Russell Westbrook and Kendrick Perkins.

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 14, 2014 at 4:41 PM

      Maybe the Bobcats can offer Gerald Henderson for Kevin Durant

  9. 00maltliquor - Feb 14, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    You’d be willing to just give him away for a 27-30th pick and some cap space?? No one drafted that low is gonna be close to what Afflalo is. That’s crazy to me, he’s a borderline All-Star this year and only 27-28.

    • 00maltliquor - Feb 14, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      That was to magicfanguy. This sites been acting wierd today.

  10. kamauthabiti - Feb 14, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    not that many good shooter around, there are a lot of guys that WILL shoot from anywhere, but they make few baskets.

  11. unxpexted1 - Feb 14, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    Honestly a guy like Kyle Korver would be perfect for the Thunder.

  12. jolink653 - Feb 14, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    Sefolosha is more valuable for his wing defense, so I can’t see the Thunder moving him right now. If Kyle Korver can be gotten, I think it would definitely fit the behind-the-arc presence they’re looking for, but I don’t see Atlanta moving him

  13. jimeejohnson - Feb 14, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    Carmelo Anthony.

  14. coachjac30 - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:18 PM

    Avery Bradley (depending on his current ankle injury)

  15. themagicfanguy - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    No I wouldn’t give him away for just a late pick, but throw in Reggie and/or Lamb and/or PJ3? Perhaps…

  16. tfilarski - Feb 15, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    dunleavy from bulls

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