The Thunder‘s first-round pick no longer has any chance to fall outside the top 18 selections, so Oklahoma City will retain the selection for this year rather than convey it to the Sixers, note Anthony Slater and Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. Oklahoma originally traded the pick to Cleveland in the Dion Waiters deal, and the Cavs sent it to Denver two days later in the Timofey Mozgov trade before the Nuggets attached it to JaVale McGee to send him to Philadelphia at the deadline. The Thunder would send the pick to Philly next year if it’s not in the top 15, and the same protection applies in 2017. If the Thunder still have the pick after 2017, they’ll owe only a pair of second-rounders instead, according to RealGM, and as our Traded Picks by Round table shows. There’s more on the Thunder amid the latest from the Northwest Division:
- Enes Kanter is hopeful of a long-term stay with the Thunder as restricted free agency looms in the offseason, as he tells Slater for a separate piece. “I hope so,” he said. “It’s an amazing place. I don’t know how to explain it.”
- Slater’s Kanter story delves into his fractured relationship with the Jazz, one that began even though Kanter didn’t want Utah to draft him, The Oklahoman scribe writes. Slater suggests that a poor experience with Fenerbahce of Turkey and the NCAA left the big man with a wariness of organizations that led him to question the Jazz when they drafted him against his wishes and didn’t give him much playing time his first two seasons.
- The Nuggets used a $200K prorated sliver of the mid-level exception to sign Jamaal Franklin this past weekend to a contract that covers three seasons, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter links). The deal is non-guaranteed for 2015/16 and 2016/17, Pincus adds, noting that the net cost of the contract need not be more than zero for the Nuggets if they don’t keep Franklin for his non-guaranteed seasons, since they’re still shy of the salary floor.
- The Jazz have shown promise in the second half of the season, but the roster is still a long way from championship contention, as Brad Rock of the Deseret News examines.