OKC eyes Cavs’ Alec Burks, Hawks’ Taurean Prince before NBA trade deadline
Though the NBA’s trade deadline is just over 24 hours away (Feb. 7 at 3:00 p.m. ET), the Oklahoma City Thunder are still searching for ways to bolster their roster. There are several players available, but OKC seems to have their eyes on two players in particular: Cavs shooting guard Alec Burks and Hawks swingman Taurean Prince.
The Thunder, who are currently holding the No. 2 seed in the Northwest Division standings with a 34-19 overall record, are said to be interested in adding a solid wing player. Whether it be Burks or Prince, both would fit that bill.
The Thunder are said to have interest in Burks as they scope out the market for a backup wing, according to league sources. Oklahoma City has a $10.9 million traded-player exception to use to absorb a salary. The Thunder have also inquired about Hawks forward Taurean Prince, who I reported was available last month on The Ringer NBA Show.
Burks, now 27 years of age, is enjoying a fine season with the downtrodden Cavs. The former 12th overall pick has made 34 appearances with Cleveland this season (24 starts), racking up averages of 11.6 points on 40.6 percent shooting from the field (37.8 percent from beyond the arc), 5.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 28.8 minutes per outing.
The Cavs acquired Burks by way of a trade with the Jazz in November — the same deal that sent Kyle Korver to Utah. Burks, who’s earning roughly $11.2 million this season, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent following the 2018-19 campaign.
Prince, 24, is in his third year of service with the Hawks. The former Baylor Bear has played in 32 games this season, averaging 13.5 points on 44.0 percent shooting from the field (37.4 percent from downtown), 3.8 rebounds. 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals in 27.4 minutes per contest.
According to spotrac.com, Prince is slated to earn a base salary of $2,526,840 for the 2018-19 season, while carrying a cap hit of $2,526,840 and a dead cap value of $6,008,826. He’ll have a shot at restricted free agency in 2020.
Prince knows his name is being tossed about in trade discussions, but he’s made it known that he would like to stay in Atlanta.
“It’s part of the game, but I think everyone in this locker room knows, my family knows, Travis [Schlenk] knows and from top to bottom down, I want to be here,” Prince told The Athletic.
Whether or not the Thunder will be able to land either of these players remains to be seen, but it sounds like they’re interested. Stay tuned for more updates on this topic as they become available.