This year’s NBA Draft figures to see some significant movement as there a few teams, like the Thunder and Spurs, who have a handful of first round picks and almost no reason to want to use all of them, along with a number of teams that will be looking to make win-now moves on draft night, headlined by the Kings and Blazers picking in the top 7.
Normally, draft trades don’t happen until the day of, but on occasion someone will lock down a deal in the weeks leading up. On Monday, just such a deal was struck involving the Thunder unloading one of their first round picks (the final selection of the first round at No. 30) and some future seconds to Denver in exchange for JaMychal Green and a future protected first.
ESPN Sources: Denver is trading F JaMychal Green and a protected 2027 first-round pick to Oklahoma City for the No. 30 pick in this month’s NBA Draft and two future second-round picks. Nuggets have No. 21 and 30 in this draft now and Thunder has Nos. 2, 12 and 34.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 13, 2022
Green has a player option for next year worth $8.2 million and this certainly seems like a move from Denver that is the precursor to another move, as they unload some money off of their books and create a sizable trade exception in the process. The Nuggets, now armed with picks 21 and 30, could look to move up in the draft or send those picks out to get some veteran help for their roster that is otherwise pretty locked in given the massive contracts held down by Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Michael Porter Jr. If they felt there was an upgrade to what green brought out there, this is a move that gives them some flexibility to make a move this summer.
For the Thunder it’s pretty simple, they continue to use their stash of first round picks and large amounts of free cap space to take on contracts in exchange for future picks that are a bit better than what they send out — the Nuggets protected first is almost assuredly going to end up being better than No. 30. There’s almost no world where Green plays for the Thunder next year, but he’s a valuable enough player OKC could work with him to find a new team this summer via trade, as he’s expected to pick up his option.