OKLAHOMA CITY — The Thunder have traded power forward Jerami Grant to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for a 2020 first-round pick. This was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarkowski.
Oklahoma City Is trading F Jerami Grant to Denver for a 2020 first-round pick, league sources tell ESPN. Deal brings OKC it’s sixth future first in past week and saves Thunder $39M in salary and luxury tax.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 8, 2019
The trade saves Oklahoma City $39 million of luxury tax money. The Thunder were currently leading the league in luxury tax amounts even after the Paul George trade by over $20 million. OKC now lies just $3 million over the tax line.
Grant was heading into his final year of his deal with OKC before his player-option kicked in. That would cost the Thunder more money if he desired to return. Danilo Gallinari was also brought over in the George trade last Saturday and provides a stop-gap for Grant’s departure at the power-forward position.
Again, this move is not done if George never demands a trade. The Thunder were willing to remain an expensive team in order to compete in the Western Conference. George’s request changed Presti’s and ultimately the team’s trajectory moving forward.
Grant was brought to OKC in 2016 in exchange for Ersan Illyasova from Philadelphia. The swingman spent time as a reserve where he developed into a versatile two-way player with a respectable 3-point shot. Last season, Grant started the third game of the regular season and finished off the year as the Thunder’s starting four.
This move also creates a $9.3 million dollar trade exception for OKC. In addition to the five first-round picks from the George trade, this marks the Thunder’s sixth draft asset in the last 48 hours.
Wojnarowski reported two days ago that Sam Presti and Russell Westbrook have been in contact about the the plan moving forward. Those plans reportedly include the possibility of a trade. It is still unclear if the Thunder wish to truly rebuild by trading Westbrook or move forward with plenty of trade assets at their disposal and make another run with Westbrook as their star.
Brady Trantham has covered the Oklahoma City Thunder for The Franchise since April 2018 and for Thunder Digest since 2016. He hosts a Thunder podcast with Madysson Morris “OKC-82 Podcast” which can be found on all podcast outlets, and is a featured co-host on the Franchise Thunder Insider’s Show on Saturdays from 10-12, in addition to weekly guest spots on “The Franchise Drive” on Tuesdays and “The Franchise Morning Show” on Wednesdays. Follow him on Twitter @BradyDoesSports