According to a report by Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic, the Phoenix Suns and the Oklahoma City Thunder are in having discussions about a potential trade that would send Marcin Gortat, and P.J Tucker to the Thunder in-exchange for Jeremy Lamb, Kendrick Perkins and a future first-round draft choice.
This deal isn’t exactly a new proposal as hypothetical deals similar to this one was all over the internet when the Thunder were torn between whether to give Serge Ibaka or James Harden the long-term deal.
What this deal does for the Thunder is that it saves them a bunch of money come the 2014-2015 season. Perkins has two-years remaining on his deal after this season, and he’s set to make roughly $8.5 million next season and $9.2 million the season after.
The Thunder are trying desperately to avoid the luxury tax, as the harsh NBA luxury tax rules under the new collective bargaining agreement would be cancerous to a small market team like the Thunder.
Oklahoma City currently has five players under guaranteed contracts for the 2014-2015 season including Perkins and the Thunder owe $59.4 million dollars to those five players alone, that in it of itself is above the salary cap which is roughly around $58 million. Gortat has only one-year remaining on his contract after this season and he’s set to make about $7.7 million next season. In theory, Gortat would also be a much better fit on the Thunder than Perkins given that the Thunder love to run, push the pace, and Gortat gets up and down the floor much quicker than Perkins. Gortat is also a solid mid-range shooter which can help the Thunder create more spacing offensively.
The Thunder would also receive another quality player in P.J Tucker who’s playing on a minimum contract and on top of that, the Thunder can elect not to pick-up Tucker’s option for next season. Tucker is set to make only $762,195 this season and has a team-option for $884,293 next season; give his production, that’s a steal.
So what the Thunder would accomplish should a trade such as this takes place is that, the Thunder would free up over $9 million dollars for the 2014-2015 season which would give them that much more freedom financially to sign other free-agents.
This deal makes a lot of sense for the Suns as well. The Suns have been trying to move Gortat but his value has been diminishing rapidly. In this deal the Suns would get in return a solid center in Perkins who can anchor the middle of the defense for the next two seasons, a lottery-pick in Jeremy Lamb who has failed to crack the rotation in Oklahoma City with Kevin Martin around, and a future first-round draft choice.
With the addition of Lamb and another future first-rounder, the Suns would have that much more assets heading towards the future. Stick and stay with SunNGun.com for all the latest updates on the Phoenix Suns.