With the 2022 NBA Draft just 10 days away, we have our first pre-draft trade. The Denver Nuggets have agreed to trade JaMychal Green and a protected 2027 first-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for the 30th pick and two future second-round selections.
Since the Thunder are well under the cap, they are able to absorb Green’s salary without sending out a player to the Nuggets.
Impact of the JaMychal Green trade for the Nuggets
For the Nuggets, they clear Green’s roster spot and $8.2 million contract off their books. They also now have two first-round selections in the June 23 draft, one at 21 and one at pick No. 30.
Green didn’t have a large role for the Nuggets last season, starting eight of the 67 games he appeared in, averaging 16.2 minutes per game. With Zeke Nnaji likely to see increased playing time after being the 22nd pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Green was an expendable piece.
More importantly, this trade now allows the Nuggets to use the $6.4 million mid-level exception available to teams already paying the luxury tax. The trade also creates an $8.2 million trade exception since they did not take any players back in the deal.
Impact of the JaMychal Green trade for the Thunder
While the Thunder sacrifice one of their first-round picks this year, they still enter the draft with picks No. 2 and 12. On the other hand, they’ve just traded the 30th pick, which is the last pick in the first round for a future first.
Although the 2027 first-round pick includes protections, this appears to be a can’t-lose trade down the line for the Thunder. Even if the protections prevent this pick from landing in the lottery, it’s likely not going to be worse than pick No. 30. Basically, even though the draft is five years out, getting a first-round pick that they know will land higher than No. 30 is yet another win for general manager Sam Presti.
They can still trade Green to another team, which could bring back yet another asset. These are the exact type of moves that can be taken advantage of when you’re one of a select number of teams that are actually under the spending limit instead of above.