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Loud Links: 12/22/2009

So the big news of the day was the Maynor trade for our spare parts. And we got an expiring contract in return to boot. Fleecing folks is always nice, but when it sets you up for even bigger trades (yay for lots of expiring contracts!) it's twice as awesome. mleetch352 and Zorgon have already covered the finer aspects of the trade, but here are a few more articles to reference for good measure.

Thunder acquires Eric Maynor in trade with Utah |
In exchange, the Thunder will send the draft rights to Peter Fehse, a 2002 second-round pick, to Utah. The deal will also bring Matt Harpring’s expiring $6.5 million contract to Oklahoma City, but the 33-year-old Harpring is out for the season after numerous ailments and surgeries deteriorated his performance.

Maynor, Harpring Traded to OKC -
Maynor comes to the Thunder offering a unique skillset that he honed while playing at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he averaged 22.4 points and 6.2 assists per game as a senior. He has a good amount of speed and a solid mid-range game, but he needs to work on his defense as he's not strong enough to defend the tougher NBA point guards just yet. He is a true point guard in every sense of the word – able to create with both hands and he has great vision to set up his teammates. Although he won't wow his new fans in Oklahoma City, he is tremendously solid – a jack-of-all-trades, master of none (yet) type of player.

Cap Analysis of the Maynor Trade -
It's a little strange that the Jazz would give away Harp's expiring contract essentially for free. With the $6.5 million owed to him coming off the books at the end of the season his contract could have been a valuable bargaining chip as the trade deadline approaches. Teams looking to get under the cap to make a run at the elite 2010 free agent class probably would have been willing to throw actual basketball talent at the Jazz. Instead the Jazz have opted to give that bargaining power to OKC, who could potentially combine his contract (after a two month waiting period) with another expiring contract -- such as Earl Watson or Etan Thomas -- to go after a high salary player.

Derek, Lakers Welcome the Thunder |
Derek Fisher and the Los Angeles Lakers are rolling again, having won four straight, and tonight face a team they already have a prolonged winning streak against. The Lakers return from the road tonight to host the Oklahoma City Thunder, against whom they have won 11 straight, including twice this season.

On with the show: Thunder returns to Los Angeles |
"The last game, an impromptu concert broke out, which was a little strange," remembered forward Nick Collison. "I haven’t had too many experiences like that before. It was a circus in there."