Happy Trade Deadline Day!
Trades are happening, and the Thunder are reportedly close to shipping out Danilo Gallinari as part of a three-team deal with Miami and Memphis. Pat Riley is shooting his shot for this season, per Adrian Wojnarowski (ESPN).
Memphis and Miami already have a firm enough arrangement that an Andre Iguodala extension has been agreed upon with the Heat. But the Thunder’s part of the deal is less clear. John Hollinger (The Athletic) has deduced from the reporting and the contracts involved that OKC’s likely return will be Solomon Hill, Jae Crowder, lifted Miami protections on the 2023 already-acquired pick (currently protected 1-14), plus more draft compensation, could be heading to OKC for Danilo Gallinari.
Don’t be surprised if Sam Presti strings this out to the buzzer, ready to accept a better offer for Gallinari now that he has a concrete value attached to the sharpshooter. He’s done it before, leaving a near-done Reggie Jackson deal on the table with the Nets before trading the point guard to the Pistons in 2015.
Oh hey, a game was also played last night. Brandon Rahbar recaps the Thunder win over the Cavaliers: “Despite the snowy weather, a four day layoff, an underwhelming opponent, and the distraction of trade deadline rumors buzzing through The Peake, the Thunder still managed to muster up the late game focus and energy to pull off some patented fourth quarter magic against the scrappy Cleveland Cavaliers tonight. Per the usual, it was a close affair that came down to crunch time. Also per the usual, OKC’s veteran experience and clutch ability led them to make the plays needed to pull out a nail-biting win.”
Dave McMenamin (ESPN) says the Thunder rebuffed the Lakers’ inquiry on Dennis Schröder:
The Thunder are celebrating Black History Month, and Paris Lawson (okcthunder.com) relays Lu Dort’s recent community appearance: “The Family Awareness and Community Teamwork program, also known as F.A.C.T. serves as a community outreach program led and run by the Oklahoma City Police Department where police officers dedicate time mentoring, empowering and inspiring youth ages 10 to 17. OKCPD is the only police department in the country with a full-time unit dedicated to such a program. The afternoon included lunch, a tour of the offices, a Q&A with Dort and group activity which ultimately illustrated the power of teamwork and working in unity. Appropriately, each participant wore shirts with Unity printed boldly on the chest provided by the Thunder.”
I somehow buried the biggest news of all: The Tipoff has begun broadcasting a Weekly Weather Report Daily Thunder readers:
Kevin Durant went on All the Smoke and talked about his time as a Thunder and his decision to leave them for the Warriors. If you want to get more worked up than that vanilla summary causes, here’s the video:
Bryan Toporek (Forbes) has the projected impact of the NBA’s projected cap stuntedness: “The leaguewide lack of cap space could affect teams’ thinking leading up to the trade deadline, too. Acquiring a player with Bird rights, which allow his incumbent team to exceed the salary cap to re-sign him, could be a de facto free-agent acquisition five months in advance. Meanwhile, teams projected to be in luxury-tax territory are likely bemoaning the revised tax-threshold projection.”