- Eric Maynor - In two years, OKC have turned eight figures worth of cap room into Eric Maynor and Cole Aldrich. Was it worth it? Could they have done better? This can be argued either way. Whichever it is, they haven't addressed their power forward hole. But when Ibaka breaks out, they also won't need to.
Maynor showed last year that he's not necessarily a score-first player; he can pass first if you want him to. He averaged 4.7 points and 3.3 assists in 81 games last season, split between the Thunder of the Jazz, and his statline was highlighted by his average of only 1.0 turnovers per game. That's a great ratio for any player, and particularly for a rookie. Maynor will never be a great scorer for as long as he lacks a true three point jumpshot and relies so much on floaters, yet he's going to stick for a long time if he keeps up that A/TO ratio.
Oklahoma City were able to make this trade because they had roughly $9 million's worth of cap room. As documented here, Oklahoma City had about as much cap room as anyone this summer, and could have bid on a number of quality players that filled a need (including Utah's very own Paul Millsap, whose new contract is ironically the reason for the need to salary dump in the first place.) They didn't do this, though, instead choosing to sign two of the worst players to have ever had ten or more year careers; Kevin Ollie and Ryan Bowen. Reasons like this are partly why; they maintain their cap flexibility for next summer, while using their untouched space to acquire talent during the season. Just like Memphis did in 2008/09. But more on that later.
It's interesting that they moved so early, too. With so many teams destined to be tax payers this year (14, at last count), you would think it'd be inevitable that, come trade deadline time, teams would be bending over in front of the Thunder, offering up penetration or whatever Sam Presti wanted if it meant that they could use some of the Thunder's cap space to save some of their excess salary. Yet instead of waiting for the deadline, Presti has acted two months early, and used it up on a projected backup. Maybe that was the best deal they can get. Maybe they have further plans for Harpring's expiring, and needed to get it while they still could. But it seems unlikely that Maynor and Harpring would have been the best available assets had they waited it out.
I guess they just really like Maynor. Perhaps a little too much so. We'll see how this works out come deadline day.
Washington will still need to consolidate this position during the season. The injuries to Porter, Beal and now Al Harrington are exposing a real lack of depth, particularly offensively. Backup point guard Eric Maynor has continued to struggle badly since his injury two years ago, shooting only 32% from the field, whie his backup Garrett Temple is similarly inefficient offensively but without any jump shot range and with more turnovers than assists on the season thus far. At the forward spots, Jan Vesely has finally shown some signs of life yet still provides almost nothing offensively, whilst Singleton and Trevor Booker have been mostly opportunity scorers in the NBA thus far. And the two players who can score off the bench, Harrington and Kevin Seraphin, are liabilities defensively and on the glass.
Note: Non-US teams that the player
has played for are, unless stated otherwise, from the top division in
that nation. If a league or division name is expressly stated, it's not
the top division. The only exceptions to this are the rare occasions where
no one league is said to be above the other, such as with the JBL/BJ League
split in Japan.