Clearing Cap Space: Heat Trade Daequan Cook, 18th Pick In NBA Draft To Thunder For 32nd Pick

The NBA: It's Fannnnnnn-tastic. Where else will you see a team trade down AND throw in a player, getting nothing back in return but a lower pick? According to Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski, that's exactly what the Heat have done, shipping Daequan Cook and the 18th pick in the upcoming NBA Draft to the Thunder in return for the 32nd pick.

For the Heat, the calculus is rather simple: They're trying to maximize their cap space for the free agent bonanza that 2010 promises to be. Moving Cook and the 18th pick gives Miami roughly $3.4 million more in cap space, which should leave them at least $28 million total heading into the summer; more than enough to land another max-free agent (Chris Bosh?) in addition to Dwayne Wade. Since the 32nd pick is a non-guaranteed second-rounder, it doesn't have a cap hold like a first-rounder, which is why trading down in the draft allows them to skim off of their salary, when it comes to free agency.

As for the Thunder, Sam Presti strikes again, utilizing his ample cap space to move up 14 spots in the draft at the cost of taking on Daequan Cook's contract for two years. Not a bad day's work for the Thunder's boy wonder GM. With the Thunder now owning the 18th, 21st and 26th picks in the draft, don't be surprised if they stash a player in Europe for a year or two (Kevin Seraphin?) or explore packaging their picks and perhaps a young player to move up even higher in the draft.

For more on the Thunder and Heat, check out Welcome To Loud City and Peninsula Is Mightier.

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