The Oklahoma City Thunder have a lot of contracts they’d love to get rid of, and will be trying to move Steve Novak, Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones in the next couple of days, hoping to get some financial relief out of it but also a draft pick or two.
A team that’s always very cautious about not jumping too high when it comes to the salary cap is down right now for $78 million next season, a lot more than they want. They have the 14th overall pick after not making the playoffs and also the 48th. Knowing their ability to make moves in free agency are somewhat limited (minor mid level exception only), adding pieces through the draft is the only way.
And there are players who might be able to get them something. Not a first round pick (maybe sign-and-trade with Enes Kanter might work), but at least something, considering they’re not going to make much use of Novak (6.8 minutes per game after traded to OKC), Jones (4.3 points in 14.7 minutes last season) and Lamb (6.3 points in 13.5 minutes).
Novak is overpaid at this stage of his career, while Lamb and Jones are entering the final season of their rookie deal. Both of them can probably give a lot more to a team willing to give them a shot. It’s especially true with Lamb who has put up some nice numbers when given the chance, but bringing in Dion Waiters midseason hurt his opportunity of finally carving out a meaningful niche on this team. Anthony Morrow doing well didn’t help him either.
With Kevin Durant healthy (hopefully at least), Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka, the Thunder are aiming as high as usual, hoping to finally deliver on that championship promise, before it’s time for Durant to decide whether or not he should bolt. With a little bit of luck and maybe some smart dealing, they get something meaningful out of Novak, Lamb and Jones, separately or all together.