The Oklahoma City Thunder traded forward Jerami Grant to the Denver Nuggets for a 2020 first-round pick on Monday — a deal that saves the Thunder $39 million in salary and tax and stockpiles their sixth future first-round pick in recent days.
The Thunder also received a trade exception in the deal, one they must use within one year.
Oklahoma City gathered five future first-round picks in the Paul George blockbuster deal to the LA Clippers on Friday night, and moves Grant onto a Nuggets roster arming itself for a Western Conference title contending run.
In the George trade, the Thunder received three unprotected first-round Clippers picks (2022, 2024 and 2026) and two future Miami Heat first-round picks (2021 unprotected and 2023 lottery protected). The Thunder also have the rights to swap picks with Los Angeles in the 2023 and 2025 drafts.
The Thunder are gathering assets and lowering payroll and tax in the post-George era — with Russell Westbrook remaining among the Thunder stars whose future could be elsewhere, league sources told ESPN. Westbrook and his agent, Thad Foucher, are discussing his future with Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti, sources said.
The Thunder solidified Grant’s power forward position in the Clippers trade, acquiring Danilo Gallinari. Denver absorbs Grant’s $9 million salary into the trade exception created with the Wilson Chandler deal to Philadelphia on July 8, 2018. That exception expired Monday. Grant has a $9.6 million player option on his 2020-21 contract.
Grant, 25, averaged 13.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 77 starts for the Thunder a season ago. Grant has played five NBA seasons, including his first three with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Grant, son of ex-Washington Wizards star Harvey Grant, is a player whom Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly has known as a young man, as Connelly worked with the Wizards early in his career. Grant joins Paul Millsap at power forward, bringing a dynamic athletic component to that position on Denver’s roster.