Thunder create largest trade exception in NBA history at $27.5 million
Apart from owning a surplus of draft picks in the coming seasons, the Oklahoma City Thunder made history after the Steven Adams trade to New Orleans Pelicans became official on Monday. OKC now has a whopping $27.5 million trade exception, which is the largest recorded by an NBA franchise.
The $27..5M trade exception that OKC has created from the Steve Adams trade to NOP is the largest (for now) in NBA history. OKC will have a year to use.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) November 24, 2020
According to league rules, trade exceptions are created following trades where one team moves more salary than it gets in return. The Thunder still owed Adams around $27 million for the 2020-21 season before shipping him to NOLA in a four-team trade that also involves the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets. The Pels recently extended Adams for an additional two years worth $35 million.
The Thunder can sit on the trade exemption for 12 months and use it at any point during the time period. The team’s general manager Sam Presti, meanwhile, has indeed been a busy man over the last few weeks. Presti practically blew up last year’s overachieving Thunder team, headlined by moving superstar Chris Paul to the Phoenix Suns. They also shipped Dennis Schroeder to the Los Angeles Lakers and allowed Danilo Gallinari to walk away in free agency.
It looks like OKC just wants to stockpile future assets for now, considering they immediately traded away veterans like Ricky Rubio, Danny Green and Kelly Oubre before they could even suit up for the team. Large trade exceptions, meanwhile, are a nice luxury to have especially for rebuilding teams. Presti definitely knows what he’s doing, as he could use that amount to trade for a superstar player within the year, all the while owning several lottery picks to build their future.