With all the NBA trade rumors circulating, the Oklahoma City Thunder pulled off one that many people expected, trading away Russell Westbrook's backup. According to Yahoo Sports on Feb. 21, the Eric Maynor trade sent the guard to the Portland Trail Blazers for a trade exception to use this offseason or early next season.
What a trade exception means is that the Thunder can acquire more salary in other trades than they trade away, as long as they are equal to or less than that which they traded away. That amount equals Maynor's $2.4 million salary. To replace Maynor's spot on the roster, Oklahoma City traded a 2014 second round NBA Draft pick to the New York Knicks for Ronnie Brewer.
The Eric Maynor trade makes sense because he will be a free agent at the end of this season and second-year guard Reggie Jackson had already taken his place in the Thunder's lineup. With Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka locked up to long term deals, re-signing someone as talented as Maynor was unlikely. If Oklahoma City was willing to part with James Harden, they weren't going to splurge on a backup.
In a minor pickup, Oklahoma City gained the rights to Greek forward Georgios Printezis, a second round pick by San Antonio in 2007 who has never played an NBA game.
Following the Eric Maynor trade, Oklahoma City now has only two point guards on the roster.
"That's definitely something that we're going to evaluate in the coming days, and we'll do that," GM Sam Presti said. "In the meantime, we're very confident in the group that we have."