The Nuggets and Thunder have agreed to an exchange that will move Green Ja Mychal in Oklahoma City, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Green will take his $8.2m player option for 2022/23 as part of the deal.
According to Wojnarowski, Oklahoma City will also receive a protected 2027 first-round pick from Denver, while the Nuggets will get the No. 30 pick in this year’s draft, plus a 2023 second-round pick and a 2024 second-round pick.
The Thunder entered the week with four picks in the top 34 of this year’s draft – they also control numbers 2, 12 and 34. They have always been considered extremely unlikely to sign four rookies for the 2022/23 season. , so it’s no surprise that they decided to drop one of their picks. Dropping the No. 30 will allow them to land a future first-rounder and a potentially useful player for Green, who will be on an expiring contract.
Green had a down year in 2021/22, averaging 6.4 PPG and 4.2 RPG on .486/.266/.871 shooting in 67 games (16.2 MPG) for the Nuggets, but proved be an effective stretch four over the years. Coming in 21/22, he had knocked down 38.0% of his three-point attempts in his first seven NBA seasons.
It is unclear if the Thunder intend to keep Green for the 2022/23 season or if they will try to switch him to another team.
From the perspective of the Nuggets, the trade – Calvin Booth‘s first as head of basketball operations – allows them to take a salary for 22/23 while acquiring an additional first-rounder in 2022 in exchange for a future pick. Denver will now control the 21st and 30th overall picks in this year’s draft, giving the team ammunition if they want to try to move forward.
Although it looks at first glance that the Nuggets are trying to duck below the luxury tax line for next season, Wojnarowski says (by Twitter) This is not the case. According to Woj, Denver still expects to be a tax-paying team and now has more flexibility to use its mid-level exception or the $8.2 million trade exception that will be generated by Green’s move.
The trade will be finalized sometime before the start of the league’s new year in early July, as the Thunder will use some of their remaining cap margin to support Green’s salary – that cap margin will disappear in July when Shai Gilgeous-AlexanderThe maximum salary extension hits Oklahoma City’s books, as we noted in our offseason preview.
Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype (Twitter link) estimates that OKC will still have about $23.4 million in the 21/22 cap space after the Green acquisition, so more salary dump deals could be in the works in the two next weeks.
As ESPN’s Bobby Marks observes (by Twitter), the Nuggets already owe their 2023 first-round pick (top 14 protected) to the Thunder and their 2025 first-round pick (top 5 protected) to the Magic. If any of those picks fall into their protected range, the 2027 pick OKC acquires in this trade would have to be pushed back to 2028, as Stepien’s rule prevents teams from trading future consecutive first-rounders.