Amin Elhassan of ESPN Insider on amnestying: “While the Thunder aren’t in tax territory now, any significant addition of salary (such as using the full midlevel exception) would thrust them there. We’ve already seen them lose valuable scoring sub Kevin Martin to free agency and miss out on adding Dorell Wright due to salary concerns. So even as Oklahoma City tells us that amnestying Perkins is not an option, we’ve seen two significant personnel moves backfire due to payroll concerns arising out of Perkins’ salary. To make matters worse, Perkins has been one of the least productive starting centers in the league the past few seasons, bringing even greater dissonance between his on-court value and his cap hit. Finally, there’s little chance of trading Perkins without attaching a valuable asset like a pick or a promising young talent, so you’re stuck with him.”
Jay-Z on repping players: “Yeah, but they have that thing, that belief that you can only do one thing. We don’t have that. We’re not inflicted with that disease. You know, I can walk and chew gum. It’s insane to even say that. ‘What does he know about sports?’ It’s like, uh, everything. And more than you. And as far as business, those guys, they’ve been sitting around just doing the typical thing. Sometimes they acquire an artist, however they acquire the artist, I don’t want to do that to them, however they acquire the artist, I mean, the athlete, they get them and then they knock on the same doors. They go to Nike, they do the contract and then they sit back and they don’t do anything else. So they’ve been sitting around for 20, 30 years just not doing anything. So me coming, that’s a problem for them because now they have to go to work. Now they have to wake up. Now they have to do things. So they don’t want me to be around because now they have to do something for these athletes.”
Darnell Mayberry: “The most notable example of how a trade exception can be used can be seen in a pair of deals Thunder general manager Sam Presti pulled off while in Seattle in 2007. Presti orchestrated a sign-and-trade with Orlando that sent Rashard Lewis to the Magic. In return, the then-Sonics received only a future second-round pick and a $9.3 million trade exception. One week after Lewis joined Orlando, Presti then used much of the trade exception (you don’t have to use all of a trade exception at once) to acquire veteran center Kurt Thomas from Phoenix along with first-round picks in 2008 and 2010. The 2008 selection turned into Serge Ibaka. The 2010 selection ultimately was packaged along with another pick and became Cole Aldrich.”
Via the DT commenting army, here’s a handy list of all the players OKC could go after using its new trade exception.
Mayberry on Daniel Orton: “Daniel Orton was on his way to being the star performer at this week’s Orlando Pro Summer League. Through the first two days, the Thunder center was turning heads and being praised like never before. That was before he collided with teammate Reggie Jackson. The two bumped heads, and Orton missed the next two games with a mild concussion. But who knows what the story coming out of summer league would have been had it not been for a fluke injury, had Orton stayed healthy? Those first two days clearly belonged to Orton. Fans and media members from all over were gushing about how good Orton looked.”