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Report: Thunder trade two second-rounders to Nuggets to save nearly $9.4 million

Billy Donovan, Clay Bennett

Billy Donovan, left, newly named head coach of the NBA Oklahoma City Thunder, talks with Clay Bennett, right, Oklahoma City Thunder chairman, on the arena floor before a news conference in Oklahoma City, Friday, May 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)


That Thunder-Nuggets Randy Foye trade that didn’t make much sense as a basketball move?

It’s pretty much all about money.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The Thunder project to save $9,372,663 with this trade –$8,139,310 in luxury tax,$1,233,353 in remaining salary.

All three players are on expiring contracts, so the financial implications don’t extend beyond this season.

Neither D.J. Augustin nor Steve Novak have contributed much to Oklahoma City this season. Two second-rounders aren’t much to give up for so much savings.

But they’re also draft picks that can’t grease the wheels of a trade that helps the Thunder on the court. I wonder what pending free agent Kevin Durant thinks of this move. It might comfort him that Oklahoma City didn’t deal a rotation player and is still deep into the luxury tax.

It won’t hurt the Thunder to have Foye, a combo guard, around just in case. He’ll serve as the third point guard behind Russell Westbrook and Cameron Payne with D.J. Augustin in Denver. But it’s hard to see Foye having a significant role on this team.

Oklahoma City also opens a roster spot, though an addition would cut into its savings.