Per ESPN's Marc Stein, the Oklahoma City Thunder have traded Hasheem Thabeet to the Philadelphia 76ers. As reported by The Oklahoman's Anthony Slater, the 76ers officially gave the Thunder a second round draft pick. The protections on it are reportedly very binding, and that pick is unlikely to ever materialize for the Thunder. Instead, the Thunder will create a $1.25 million trade exception by shipping out Thabeet's contract.
Thunder, I'm told, will send cash considerations to Sixers so Philly will absorb Thabeet's contract. OKC thus creates $1.25 million TPE— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 26, 2014
OKC also receives a highly protected second round pick in the deal, though it is unlikely to ever make it to the Thunder.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) August 26, 2014
It's not earth-shattering news, but I think here at WTLC we love Hash (or maybe it's just Zeb and I). The tears are flowing.
For the Thunder, this brings the roster down to 14. This could potentially be a roster spot for Semaj Christon, though it's still more likely he goes to the D-League. That said, the flexibility of having an extra roster slot is always nice. Losing Thabeet's contract also gives the Thunder a bit more room beneath the $76.8 million luxury tax threshold, which they were inching toward. Their payroll was at $75.2 million before the trade, and trading Thabeet brings them down to $73.9 million.
As for the $1.25 million trade exception the Thunder receive, they can use it to acquire – by trade, waivers or free agency – a player within the value of the exception. It is a nice asset to have, a small benefit from making the trade versus just waiving Thabeet's non-guaranteed contract, though $1.25 million isn't a whole lot. The considerably larger $7 million trade exception the Thunder received in the Kevin Martin sign-and-trade last year expired this offseason unused.