NBA Trade Deadline 2012: Thunder Roster Expected To Remain Static

Like the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat, Oklahoma City don't really have much to worry about in terms of its roster. The Thunder have perhaps the best big man rotation in basketball (with Chicago the central challenger) and a dynamite one-two-three punch in Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. The Thunder were overwhelming favorites to win the West before the season began, and remain so thanks to a strong first half. There is little room for roster improvement.

NEEDS & TARGETS

What little room that can be found is at backup point guard, where a season-ending injury to Eric Maynor has left a hole behind Westbrook. Rookie Reggie Jackson and veteran Royal Ivey had taken up the mantle, but neither instills much confidence right now. While Scott Brooks can lean heavily on Westbrook and even Harden in spot minutes at the point, the optimal solution would involve adding an experienced backup there. But that may not be feasible, given that point guards are at a premium this season and that anyone the Thunder acquires would be made superfluous or would make Maynor superfluous next season.

In a perfect world, the Thunder might also rent a power forward who can put up 15 points in 30 minutes, when needed. OKC's cadre of big men are far better on defense than offense.

SALARY CAP SITUATION

The Thunder have a salary figure of $59 million, according to ShamSports.com. Oklahoma City can really not afford to take on additional salary going forward, given that Westbrook's new contract kicks in for the 2012-13 season with Harden and Serge Ibaka a year behind. Westbrook's contract, combined with those paid out to Durant, Kendrick Perkins and others, will put the Thunder over the cap next season without any additions.

For more on the Thunder, please visit Welcome To Loud City.

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