NBA Trade Deadline: Should Oklahoma City Thunder Make a Deal Before February 24?

Ricky FrechCorrespondent IFebruary 8, 2011

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 22: Jeff Green #22 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in action against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on December 22, 2010 in New York, New York.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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With the trade deadline looming later this month, talks are likely to begin to really warm up as to which teams should make moves as we head into the latter days of the season.

The Thunder could be a target for teams looking to acquire some quality talent because of their plethora of young studs. The two names that I feel are most likely to be brought up are Jeff Green and James Harden. Both of those guys have shown signs of star potential and it will be hard for OKC to keep both of them in addition to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

Personally, I think Green is the most likely to be traded and therefore have constructed the following deals with him in mind, but for any of the trades you could substitute in Harden. Here are three trades I would like to see happen, although I highly doubt they will.

Oklahoma City Gets:
Anderson Varejao, Joey Graham

Cleveland Gets: Jeff Green, Nenad Kristic

Analysis of Trade: We begin with the trade I feel like has the best chance of actually happening. It's widely known that the Thunder need some help in the post and Varejao brings the toughness Kristic lacks. He immediately fills a need for a team that needs quality big man depth come playoff time.

Graham is basically there to make the numbers work, but I think he would boost fan support because he played college ball at Oklahoma State.

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The Cavs get a guy in Green that could pair with J.J. Hickson to make a quality young core. I'm not saying the move makes them instant contenders, but it's a huge upgrade from Christian Eyenga at small forward. Kristic is also a move that's looking toward the future because he is $5.5 million expiring contract, which frees up more cap space for the rebuilding Cavs.

Oklahoma City Gets:
Marcus Camby, Nicolas Batum

Portland Gets: Jeff Green, Nenad Kristic, Daequan Cook

Analysis of Trade: As much as I would love to see this one happen I think it's pretty unlikely. However, I think it's a pretty fair trade.

The Thunder get the immediate inside presence they need in Camby and a young, athletic small forward in Batum. Camby is the very definition of short-term fix and it's unlikely that he stays for more than a year or two, but that could give the Thunder enough time to develop Serge Ibaka or find another big man. Batum gives the Thunder another athletic, young guy to get out and run the floor.

He's probably where the deal breaks down, but I couldn't really find anyone else on the team that worked with the numbers and with the trade. I don't think he's better than Green, but he does have lots of potential so I don't know if the Blazers would trade him.

If they do, they'll get a guy to pair with Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge for quite the imposing core of players. I really think this move makes Portland much stronger in the near future, but who knows if they agree. Nenad and Cook are here to make the deal work and to give Portland a couple of expiring contracts.

Oklahoma City Gets:
Nene, Al Harrington

Denver Gets: Jeff Green, Nenad Kristic, Morris Peterson

Analysis of Trade: This is the one that seems most unlikely to me and pretty much hinges on Denver first trading Carmelo. If that were to happen then it would be obvious that the Nuggets are trying to rebuild.

This trade brings them a quality young guy along with two expiring contracts (Peterson is included instead of Cook because his contract is larger) and clear off two big contracts. If the current rumors are true, then Denver will be getting Corrie Brewer from the Timberwolves in addition to other things. Pairing Brewer and Green seems like a good idea to me and gives the Nuggets some young guys to build around.

The Thunder get exactly what they need, times two. Neither Nene or Harrington are exactly young, but they could help a ton come playoff time. The only problem here for the Thunder is that they would pretty much lose all their cap space, which could hurt when it comes time to re-sign Westbrook or Harden, but this is a trade for the present.

With all of this said, I don't really think any of these trades will come to fruition because Sam Presti seems to like to build through the draft and not through trades. If any of these do happen I think it would greatly increase the Thunder chances in the playoffs. Do you agree or disagree? Do you have any other trade ideas? Tell me about them in the comments.


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