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Report: Thunder trade Jerami Grant to Nuggets for 2020 1st-round pick

Jerami Grant, Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder will trade forward Jerami Grant to the Denver Nuggets for a 2020 first-round pick, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal will bring OKC its sixth future first-rounder in the past week after the L.A. Clippers doled out an NBA-record five picks to snag Paul George.

The move will save the Thunder $39 million in salary and luxury tax. In exchange, the Nuggets will get another long versatile wing to further reinforce their pursuit of a Western Conference title.

The Nuggets now have two capable backcourt cogs in Jamal Murray and Gary Harris, coupled with a frontcourt of Grant, Paul Millsap and Nikola Jokic — a more-than-solid potential starting lineup. Denver will acquire Grant with the $12.8 million trade exception, which was created in the Wilson Chandler trade to the Philadelphia 76ers last July, one which would expire today (July 8), according to ESPN Insider Bobby Marks. Grant is under contract for the next two seasons with a cap hit of $9.3 million each year (signed a three-year, $27 million deal in 2018).

Denver is now $1.9 million under the luxury tax with 13 players on the roster, a great position to be, as they load up ahead of this 2019-20 season.

The Thunder acquired Danilo Gallinari in the trade for George with the intention to start him at Grant’s power forward spot. ESPN’s Royce Young noted this wouldn’t be a deal the Thunder would make under any other circumstances, but given that the franchise will likely blow up this team as it is, the front office has been determined to load up with draft picks, making this the sixth first-rounder acquired in a span of three days.

Grant was on the final guaranteed year of his deal ahead of what is largely perceived to be a lighter 2020 free agent class. The Thunder would have had problems re-signing him and saving costs as they enter this rebuild has become a must.