So its obvious Thunder have 2 of the top 5 scorers in the nba and a great one in harden. With all this talk about the thunder trading harden for #2 or getting rid of one of them, Do you see the thunder trading maybe Ibaka for a good pick, i cant see charlotte trading #2 for ibaka because him and Biyombo wouldnt be the best offensively, but what if Robinson fell to Sactown at 5 what about Ibaka for #5. or if thats too much what about a later lottery pick and draft Sullinger (not the best case) and another piece for Ibaka. Watching yesterdays game its clear the thunder struggle a bit because Thabo isnt the best shooter and thinks hes lebron on the fastbreak trying to dunk but he misses alot of dunks. Ibaka is finding his own but turning into Bosh shooting 18footers, and Perkins cant even post up Battier so they dont throw it into him, giving them either Robinson or Sullinger to have on a rookie contract and a better inside presence and being able to keep perkins rather then amnesting him is a better option then goin over the cap and having no flexibility.
Robinson is going to be a star. Why would the Bobcats or Kings trade Robinson for Ibaka? Ibaka is a very solid big man and blocks a ton of shots, but he is not worth Robinson
Harden for the #2 isn't happening. In the last two years they'll have played almost 20 home playoff games. Not to mention they'll barely be over the cap next year. They've saved their money these last 4 years, and they'll be willing to spend if it means they can cruise to the finals years after year. The Spurs are a small market team but were able to spend because they won. The Thunder will do the same. Yeah, they're going to have 5 guys making a combined over 60mil, but they have their draft picks, and vets will play for cheap on a contender. Presti will find ways to round out this team.
Cousins and Ibaka would be sweet. I could easily see the Kings making that offer. Not sure the Thunder would do it, but if Thomas Robinson is there he is a solid power forward. Not a shot blocker like Ibaka, but he might have more scoring potential.
But if I am the Thunder I keep the guys I have now. With a 6 man rotation of Durant, Westbrook, Harden, Ibaka, Sefolosha, and Perkins, they only need some late draft picks and minimum contract guys to fill out the roster.
Collison makes over $3 million a year. He contributes a lot but I think they can replace him. I actually think that there are two second round guys in Quincy Acy and Miles Plumlee that could help fill the void. Collison also has a 4 year contract so getting rid of him would save some money.
Cook makes $3 million a year. A good player and a great shooter but not essential. They could get rid of his 2 year contract, probably for a second rounder and then try to draft someone like Darius Miller or Kim English.
Cole Aldrich makes $2 million a year. Not a whole lot, but Cole hasn't played much. There are some solid bigs in this draft, so they could save a bit by trading him. I think they could get a second round pick this year, along with cash and a future second rounder for him.
If you get rid of these three guys the Thunder would save over $8 million a year. You could use that money to help pay for Harden and Ibaka. The Thunder would still have their six man core along with Derek Fisher and Eric Maynor is also coming back from injury. Then add some second rounders along with the Thunder's own first round pick and they might actually be deeper and younger next year if they draft some guys that will immediately contribute. I can also see them signing Nazr Mohammed or someone like him as a veteran center for close to the minimum, as big man insurance.
The only way I could see the Thunder trading Harden is for a can't miss player that they believe would make them even better or if Harden demanded a trade. Seeing as neither seems too likely, I doubt it happens.
Collison's contract actually decreases his salary per year, so the next 3 years it goes from 3mil to 2.2mil a year. Which is great value for what he brings.
Cook makes 3mil next year then expires. For a shooting specialist that can't really shoot, they'll let him walk. His type can easily be found in the late first.
Aldrich will probably be their backup C next year. He's waited his turn, and he's ready to take Nazr's role. 2 mil for a backup C is solid value.
They'll probably let Maynor walk or trade him, since they drafted Jackson last year. Another year of seasoning will be good for him, and he fit's on the second units backcourt better with Harden.
I'd like to see them take Jeff Taylor this year(though he might be gone), develop him for a year or two, then have him take over Thabo's role. I love Thabo, but they need to save money, and Taylor could potentially be the same player, but save the team 4-5 mil(luxury tax included). Thabo + money/2nd rounder might get them a late first rounder.
With their draft picks they need to do what the Spurs did with George Hill. Take a guy who's ready to contribute right away in a position they need help in, then when he's up for an extentsion trade him for pick/player who can fill another hole while on a rookie deal. Costs down and a sustainable roster. I'd rather have a young guy on my team for 3/4 years, then a vet for one. Better for chemistry.