Trade season is slowly approaching in the NBA, and as is typical, the first deals to get done are either to fill sudden roster holes due to injuries or cap/roster space clearing moves (sometimes both) with an eye towards future deals.
The Rajon Rondo trade that sent the veteran point guard from L.A. to Cleveland fit both of those categories, as the Cavs were desperate for a veteran guard after Ricky Rubio’s injury and the Lakers were eager to clear a roster spot and save some tax dollars (which involved adding the Knicks to the deal to take and waive Denzel Valentine). Our second trade of the new year fits the latter category, as the Jazz are apparently shipping guard Miye Oni out to Oklahoma City in an effort to clear a roster spot (if needed) as well as save some tax money as Oni’s guarantee date was coming up.
The Utah Jazz are finalizing trading Miye Oni to the Oklahoma City Thunder, sources tell me and @Tjonesonthenba.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 4, 2022
Miye Oni’s guarantee date was coming up, and the Jazz were likely planning on waving him anyway. But it appears they may have gotten something in return instead. https://t.co/jlFc6IcETb
— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) January 4, 2022
As for why the Thunder would do this, they’ll be getting a 2028 second round pick for taking Oni’s deal off the Jazz books, as Sam Presti continues his quest to collect every future draft pick in the NBA and eventually redeem them for a prize.
Oklahoma City is acquiring Utah’s Miye Oni and a 2028 second-round pick, sources tell ESPN. Thunder will waive Oni and open up a roster spot ahead of the February trade deadline. Utah saves money and opens a roster spot too.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 4, 2022
This is a move that could set up another move if Utah wants later, as they’ll have a roster spot handy for the buyout market or another trade.