With what will likely be a hefty tax bill on the books for next season, the Oklahoma City Thunder are reportedly shopping a few players to trim their financial commitments. From Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix:
OKC has shopped Perry Jones, Jeremy Lamb and Steve Novak the last few days, per league sources. Financially motivated, but looking for pick.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) June 23, 2015
Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones, both products of the 2012 NBA Draft's first round, have spent the brief entirety of their NBA careers with the Thunder. In that time, neither have made much headway towards establishing a role for themselves. Lamb owns an unimpressive .348 career three-point percentage and has been plagued by major consistency issues, while the superbly athletic Jones has yet to see his physical acumen translate into plus production.
Steve Novak, acquired from the Utah Jazz in the three-way trade that netted the Thunder Enes Kanter at the deadline, played all of 88 minutes since then. One would think the 32 year old marksman is nearing the last hurrah of his NBA career.
With Kanter due for a new contract likely to pay him eight figures annually, the Thunder will probably find themselves well over the $81.7 million luxury tax threshold for next season. Clearing the contracts of Novak ($3.8 million next year), Lamb ($3.0 million) and Jones ($2.0 million) will save the Thunder some extra tax dollars.
There may also be some roster size incentive to make a trade, since the Thunder are at 13 guaranteed contracts for next season as it stands (this doesn't include Kanter or restricted free agent Kyle Singler) and will have to make room if they intend to sign the 12th overall pick, 2014 first-round pick Josh Huestis or a veteran with the taxpayer Mid-Level Exception.