Two days after they matched a maximum offer sheet to Enes Kanter, the Oklahoma City Thunder have wiped Perry Jones' contract off the books. They'll send him along with a second-round pick and cash to the Boston Celtics, taking back a protected second-rounder in 2018. From Daily Thunder's Royce Young:
Thunder announce the trade. Sending Perry Jones, a 2019 2nd rounder and cash to Boston for a 2018 protected 2nd rounder and trade exception.— Royce Young (@royceyoung) July 14, 2015
In all likelihood, the protections are the pick are highly restrictive and the Thunder may never see it transferred. However, they originally set out to trade Jones in a salary dump, and they've accomplished that now.
By trading Jones' $2 million expiring contract for next season, they clear $5 million in luxury tax payments; trading Steve Novak next would save another $11.75 million. They also create a trade exception that they can use to absorb a contract worth up to Jones' old cap hit.
Jones has been a tantalizing prospect ever since he dropped to the Thunder's hands with the 28th overall pick of the 2012 draft, but the results never followed in the three years since. Last season, he averaged 4.3 points across 43 games while shooting below .400 from the field and .250 from three-point range. When injuries decimated the top-end of the roster, he was given the chance to start but failed to impress consistently and was eventually booted from the rotation entirely. It was unlikely that he'd find a role with the Thunder next season, but in the final year of his rookie contract, he'll get one more chance to figure it out under Brad Stevens in Boston.
This move is the second salary dump of the offseason for the Thunder, after having sent Jeremy Lamb to the Charlotte Hornets in late June for Luke Ridnour (since traded again) and a draft pick.