The Norman Transcript


July 12, 2014

Thunder stand pat

NORMAN — Everyone knew NBA free agency would be like playing dominos as a child. Once one piece fell over, the rest would follow.

The dominos began to fall Friday when free agent Lebron James announced he was leaving the Miami Heat after four years to return to the team that drafted him, Cleveland.

Almost instantly, the rest of the dominos began to fall. Chris Bosh turned down Houston to stay with the Heat after the Rockets agreed to trade Jeremy Lin to the L.A. Lakers.

It was a very busy day in the NBA for teams looking to stay or become title contenders.

However, that didn’t include Oklahoma City. The Thunder were remarkably quiet on one of the most frenetic days in this free agency period.

While there is still time for Oklahoma City to make significant moves, it was a move they didn’t make that has fans scratching their heads.

Due to trading Kevin Martin last summer, the Thunder had a $6.6 million trade exception on their hands. It would have allowed them to pick up a player who makes no more than $6.6 million and add him to their roster without having to worry about going into the luxury tax realm.

With Oklahoma City seemingly needing a veteran shooting guard, players such as Jason Richardson and Gerald Henderson could have fit the role.

Yet, by press time, the Thunder hadn’t used the exception and it was set to expire at midnight. It doesn’t mean they didn’t try to use it. They may have just been unable to find a team looking to trade for it. Yet, with franchises looking to dump salaries, that is hard to imagine.

Even worse news for the Thunder was word that free agent Pau Gasol was no longer considering Oklahoma City as a destination. He was seen as a missing piece to putting the team back into the NBA finals.

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