REPORT: Thunder actively pursuing backup big men
The Oklahoma City Thunder are reportedly actively pursuing backup big men via a trade, per Yahoo Sports’ Keith Smith.
Hearing that Oklahoma City is actively pursuing backup big men. Challenge is they don't want to take on much, if any, money due to tax concerns. But the Thunder realize they need at least one more big for the playoffs.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) January 11, 2019
The Thunder have centers Steven Adams and Nerlens Noel on the roster and they’re indeed a solid tandem at center.
However, Adams is dealing with a sore ankle and Noel is likely going to be out for a few games after suffering a serious head injury against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Noel is in the concussion protocol.
As a result, the front office in Oklahoma City — led by general manager Sam Presti — is looking to add more frontcourt depth.
As Smith points out, the Thunder can’t really afford to take on any more money due to luxury tax issues. Oklahoma City has the highest active roster cap in the NBA at $144,583,363.
Presti and the rest of the brass in OKC are going to have to get creative if they do add another player.
The Thunder are 25-16 on the season, good for third place in the Western Conference standings. The team is in a little bit of a funk right now, though, as they have lost three games in a row.
There’s currently no timetable for Noel to return to the court. The 24-year-old has been one of the best offseason pickups, flying under-the-radar while averaging 5.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting 59.1 percent from the floor.
Hopefully Noel can return soon. However, in the mean time, look for the Thunder to try and make a move to get another center on the team.