2:42pm: The deal is official, the Thunder and Celtics announced. The second-rounder headed to the Thunder is a protected 2018 selection, according to Oklahoma City. Boston’s announcement calls it a conditional 2018 pick, so the protection is probably such that it may not ever end up conveying to the Thunder.
To recap, the Thunder get that pick, while the Celtics get Jones, Detroit’s 2019 second-round pick and cash.
1:51pm: The second-rounder headed Boston’s way isn’t one of OKC’s own picks, a source Himmelsbach (Twitter link).
1:47pm: A protected second-round pick is going to Oklahoma City in the move, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman (on Twitter). That’ll allow the Thunder to create a trade exception equivalent to Jones’ salary, Mayberry notes. The Celtics will absorb Jones into cap space, tweets former Nets executive Bobby Marks.
1:30pm: The Thunder will trade Perry Jones III to the Celtics, along with a second-round pick and cash, reports Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald (Twitter link). It’s not entirely clear what’s going back to Oklahoma City, but it doesn’t amount to much, Bulpett says, indicating that it’s a move the Thunder are making with luxury tax savings in mind. Indeed, the deal stands to save the Thunder some $7MM in combined salary and tax payments, tweets Royce Young of ESPN.com.
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Oklahoma City had been carrying a payroll of about $98MM, well above the $84.74MM tax threshold, and moving off of Jones’ salary, worth more than $2.038MM, has reportedly been a priority. Chris Mannix of SI.com reported before the draft that the Thunder were shopping the former 28th overall pick, among others, adding after the draft that Oklahoma City was holding out for a first-round pick. That sort of return for Jones wasn’t to be, but it appears as though the Thunder have at least unloaded his rookie scale contract, which is entering its final season.
It’s unclear if the Celtics envision Jones as part of their long-term plan, and indeed much is in flux for the Celtics, as a source tells Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe that the team is active on many fronts (Twitter link). Jones, who turns 24 in September, is eligible for a rookie scale extension, though that seems unlikely. The forward is coming off a career year for the Thunder, who thrust him into more minutes than before amid injuries to much of their usual rotation players, but he still put up only 4.3 points in 14.7 minutes per game.
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